How would you describe what you do?
I’m a director, working on music videos, commercials and short films. For commercials, everything starts with the creative agency, which prepares a brief in collaboration with the client and then presents it to three directors. Each will write a treatment to express their take on the concept. For music videos, there could be any number of directors competing for the job, and the brief is often a lot less specific. I start a project by outlining the concept that I want to explore, although sometimes that comes from the brief. Writing a treatment is a skill in its own right. I will look around me for inspiration, thinking of original ideas that I can use to bring it to life in visual and captivating ways.
When comparing treatments, the agency will look at the idea, previous experience that shows that the director is a good match, and the ability to produce the video on budget. After winning a job, production starts and I will storyboard the vision while building and briefing the team. The shoot day is really intense and fast-paced. Every shot has been planned and we run on a tight schedule. My focus is on keeping the vision clear. However, there will be plenty of unplanned ‘magic moments’ that, when embraced, often end up bringing something fresh to the film.
After the shoot, I immerse myself in the footage, and translate it in the best possible film. I spend my time working on the post-production: edit, grade, visual effects, music and sound. The agency and the client are kept up-to-date at every stage, and once the film is approved my job is complete.
What does a typical working day look like?
Every day is different, which is one reason why I love my job. When I am on a project I often work weekends, but I don’t mind putting in the hard work to get the best results. Preparing a shoot is intense and things tend to slow down in post-production.There are times when I have a lot of time in between jobs, which I spend mostly developing ideas. It’s hard to manage your time being a director as you never know when the next job will come in, but I prefer the freedom and flexibility to the monotony of a nine-to-five. Projects can vary a lot in terms of creative freedom, from open briefs to very developed ideas. Budget will also impact what is achievable.
Where does the majority of your work take place?
Sometimes I focus best when there are a lot of people collaborating and exchanging ideas so being in the office at Colonel Blimp is great. Other times I work best in the dead of night when there are no distractions.