What the most creative advertising idea you’ve seen recently?
I saw the Angry Birds Venting Machine the other day where you punch the machine and it spits out a prize. I thought that was funny and engaging.
What website(s) do you use most regularly?
What’s the most recent piece of tech that you’ve bought?
Sonos speakers; I have them all around the house now. I use them to play my vinyl as well as streaming stuff. I have the Sonos Connect hooked up to my vintage Bose 901 speakers so they output whatever is playing. I’m obsessed with music and that’s pretty much the dream scenario.
What product could you not live without?
Probably my Macbook. I feel like that’s the one tool I need to do what I do, even above my phone. I feel like my MacBook has been instrumental at every point in my life and career over the last 10 years. I think I need it just in order to create, to write, to communicate and organise my life.
What’s the best film you’ve seen over the last year?
The Farewell. I saw it while I was in Los Angeles. I was out there in post on a movie [Let It Snow] and I hadn’t seen my wife or two boys for a long stretch. I’d also not seen my extended family for around a year. I found it so poignant, moving, beautifully directed and performed. But I think it really resonated with me because of where I was at, at that specific moment in time and my life. All at once I was where I always wanted to be, in Hollywood making a movie, and yet without the people that really matter to me. It was a profound experience.
What film do you think everyone should have seen?
Thunder Road. It’s hilarious, heartwarming, emotional and incredibly, wonderfully strange in places. One of the most unique and yet satisfying indies I’ve seen in a while. A lot of friends who have great taste in comedy and movies have somehow let this one slip by and it’s an amazing tour de force from Jim Cummings who writes, directs and stars. That’s the one that pops into my head anyway.
What’s your preferred social media platform and why?
Instagram. I love the way you can integrate photography, moving image and now music alongside communicating with people. It’s starting to feel like a really creative platform.
What’s your favourite TV show?
This is bonkers, but I actually just finished watching The Sopranos for the first time. I’d seen all the other amazing HBO stuff like The Wire and Six Feet Under and loved them all. But, for some reason, I couldn’t engage with The Sopranos first time round. This time however I did. The hype is real. Incredible writing, directing and what a performance from Gandolfini. I was bereft at the end. My favourite shows to watch are ones that have the highest stakes and simultaneously the pace and the story telling is allowed to be complex, deep and novelistic. The Sopranos has all of that. Incredible television.
What’s your favourite podcast?
I’m into that Dax Shepard one at the moment, Armchair Expert. I’d just worked with D’arcy Carden and listened to her episode before I met her. I then realised that it was this amazing archive of these incredible guests, a lot of them having come up through UCB or SNL or just curveballs like NFL coaches or writers. The conversations are framed in a really interesting way that just makes for compelling listening and there’s a fact check at the end which is a great idea.
What show/exhibition has most inspired you recently?
The Antipodes at The National; just an extraordinary piece of theatre by Annie Baker. I also loved the Musee De L’Orangerie in Paris. I found the Rothko paintings totally captivating and I often look at his work for inspiration in terms of colour and texture.
What’s the most significant change you’ve witnessed in the industry since you started working in it?
I think the proliferation of online work and social media.
If there was one thing you could change about the advertising industry, what would it be?
I’ve had really rewarding relationships with creatives whereby you really feel like there is a collaboration taking place, I think there are probably still some antiquated ideas of how a film should be made in the advertising industry but I’m a big believer in collaboration and so I would try to foster that attitude as much as possible if I had a magic advertising wand.
Who or what has most influenced your career?
I’ve learned a lot from a lot of great people. I think aside from mentors and people I admire or aspire to it’s really all about what I’m feeling or going through at any one time in my life and being honest about my voice and what I have to offer. I think when I learned that, it influenced my career a great deal. Just embracing who I am as a filmmaker and not trying to be something I’m not.
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know.
I’m really good at Minecraft. It’s my kids’ fault.