What the most creative advertising idea you’ve seen recently?
Coinbase, hands down, won the Super Bowl for its bold lo-fi originality. Absolutely stood out from the pack and I admire the dedication to use such a simple idea without embellishing. Having said that, it wasn’t such a thrilling watch on its own now was it!? Its power was created by being such a juxtaposition to all these huge, flamboyant star studded commercials.
I was also very impressed with the sheer volume of gags thrown into the Greenlight ad, with the effortlessly silly Ty Burrell. From an editing point of view, the pacing was perfect without ever feeling rushed. On paper I think the script would have felt like an impossible ask for a 30-seconder.
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What website(s) do you use most regularly?
Honestly, it’s probably Google Maps and though most of the time it’s for functional reasons, I do also enjoy looking around a place I haven’t been. Especially in these times with far less travel, I do love to drop into street view in a far off land and have a wander around.
What’s the most recent piece of tech that you’ve bought?
A remote control speed boat for my daughter, though I have also been granted permission to sail around the pond in the park, as long as I avoid the ducks.
What product could you not live without?
It’s got to be my ear phones. Being able to have one ear in while I’m doing other things has been a staple in the Covid years and I have consumed an incredible amount of podcasts and audiobooks. Without as much socialising, feeding my cultural interests has been vital.
What’s the best film you’ve seen over the last year?
It has to be Get Back, the epic eight hour Peter Jackson Beatles documentary. It’s absolutely joyful to see the band’s interactions in real time. It really is one of the most incredible things I’ve seen. I could never have imagined I’d have a chance to encounter the Beatles in their prime like this. The process of creating the documentary from the vintage 16mm footage, by using AI to analyse the picture, and also to be able to perfectly isolate specific voices and instruments from the mono mix is mind blowing.
What film do you think everyone should have seen?
Everyone should watch Bo Burnham’s Inside as a way of working through this Covid experience. It’s hilarious and disturbing and I’m in awe of his creative talent to have self-made this film while at home during lockdown. But, aside from that, Hal Ashby’s funny and poignant 1971 Harold and Maude is a classic must see, and the Cat Stevens soundtrack is fantastic
What’s your preferred social media platform?
None. I’ve tired to keep away from all of the main ones. I use them occasionally, when it’s the only way to encounter certain media. However, I do it in a way that’s anonymous. I don’t have the time or energy to manufacture and curate an online version of myself, which is what I’d need to do to in order to make myself seem at all interesting. I do still like to think I’m a sociable person though!
What’s your favourite TV show?
Oh, this is tough. But, as I’ve been looking back at the comedy show’s of my youth, I’ll go for Edgar Wright’s Spaced. It absolutely blew me away with its stylistic flare and comedy performances, it still holds up incredibly well. Honourable mentions to the epic Breaking Bad and the endlessly creative Black Mirror.
What’s your favourite podcast?
The Slate Culture Gabfest; it’s a fantastic weekly look at all that is new in culture, with three wonderful and intelligent hosts. I’ve been listening to them for over a decade now and they are like old friends. I’m also very partial to Song Exploder, a fantastic and insightful dive into the creation of a piece of music by the musicians themselves.
What show/exhibition has most inspired you recently?
It’s been a while since I’ve been as culturally active as I’d like to be, in light of Covid. However, last week I went to see director Michael Cumming talk and screen a Brass Eye 25th anniversary film as part of the Oxide Ghost Tour. Brass Eye was probably the single most influential cultural product of my teenage years so it was a dream to hear about how Brass Eye came to be from the man himself. “People say that alcohol’s a drug. It’s not a drug, it’s a drink!”
What’s the most significant change you’ve witnessed in the industry since you started working in it?
I would say that the culture has changed a lot over the last 20 years. There used to be a lot of the old guard that behaved in an inexcusably entitled and rude way. Nowadays, I find this industry to be populated by so many wonderful people and I feel very privileged to encounter them on the variety of different projects I work on. We still need to do more as an industry to get an equal representation of women in all roles and increase diversity. In general I think as we continue to go through this change from traditional TV to the vast variety of platforms, especially VR, lots of interesting creative possibilities will arise.
If there was one thing you could change about the advertising industry, what would it be?
Just a bit more time in the edit before we present the first cut please. All the happy accidents that come from experimentation can add a huge amount to the piece of work so having more time to play and take risks can be hugely beneficial. Sometimes a day working on just the sound effects and music can totally elevate an edit.
Who or what has most influenced your career?
Cinema is my biggest influence. In all genres, and from the birth of cinema to the present day. Experiencing storytelling in this form is continually inspiring and rewarding. My enjoyment in the craft of storytelling motivates me to replicate that experience in the projects that I’m privileged to be involved with. It's an ever evolving form and I think that independent horror films are currently where a lot of really exciting boundary pushing work is happening.
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know.
I once had a long, late-night chat with P. Diddy at the Cannes Lions Festival, though I can’t remember a single thing we spoke about aside from that I accidentally referred to him as Puff Daddy (when he hadn’t gone by that name for over a decade). Unfortunately for him it’s 15 minutes of his life that he’ll never get back.