What the most creative advertising idea you’ve seen recently?

There have been so many sick ads in the past year... before corona, when iPhones and webcams got a bit overwhelming, to say the least. Been looking through the D&AD winners and there have been many impactful campaigns which got recognised. Apart from the usual suspects like KFC, Apple, IKEA and Burger King, which manage to keep a very high creative standard for most of their campaigns, bringing unique ideas and stunning visuals together, I was particularly impressed by the idea for the Grave of Thrones event made by the Australian cable network, Foxtel. Massive fan of the show and I love what they did. It feels like a stretch but it certainly got people hyped again about the show while waiting for the finale.

Foxtel – Grave of Thrones

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What website(s) do you use most regularly?

I do check industry websites a few times a week. I’ve recently discovered Shot Deck, and I’ve been looking for a database with HQ film screenshots for years. Their database is quite small, but growing. I’ve been spending hours just playing with the search filters and looking through the films. Other than that, I don’t think I spend a lot of time on specific websites, apart from Instagram and Facebook.


What’s the most recent piece of tech that you’ve bought?

Around April I was eyeing a Voightlander Bessa on eBay, and managed to get it at a pretty decent price. I wanted a decent rangefinder for a while, just because it’s compact and I got pretty tired of carrying a SLR with me. I got into analog photography while spending two years of high school in the US. After uni I didn’t take many photos for quite a while and only in the last few years have I started to pick it up again, influenced a bit by certain cinematographer friends of mine (you know who you are). I also set up a more personal Instagram account with some of my snaps.

What product could you not live without?

I really enjoy cycling, so I guess a bike. Last November I got a new bike through the cycle to work scheme. Funnily enough, I live about a three minute cycle from work, but I do cycle everywhere. Don’t think I’ve used many other means of transport since February.


What’s the best film you’ve seen over the last year?

Not sure anything will come close to seeing Parasite for the first time. I really want to check out the black and white version too. Also Uncut Gems is a proper masterpiece. The anxiety levels it creates are unexpected and it makes it really captivating. Not sure I could re-watch it though! The Lighthouse is also worth a mention; I love black and white, and the music... wow!

What film do you think everyone should have seen?

I mean, I’m not going to start giving classics here, as that’s obvious. It’s a tough question. I’m just going to say Under the Skin; it is a masterpiece. So many elements tied together. I love the reality feel with the alien twist. If somehow you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out.

What’s your preferred social media platform?

Certainly Instagram. It’s all I use. It’s my portfolio and my contact list and my friends list, and I like that it is all in one.


What’s your favourite TV show?

Really, I’m a series kind of guy, so to give you one favourite is quite impossible. The Wire and Sopranos are up there, for sure, they are just classics and you can feel them referenced in many series since. But the best... I don’t know... Chernobyl is certainly in the top three for me. I often forget how good ones I finished were, like Boardwalk Empire, Legion, Unabomber, Fargo Series One, Unorthodox, Band of Brothers. But when it comes to long-lasting series, Game Of Thrones is certainly the best. I remember one of the first series I started watching was Prison Break. Later you realise how bad it is.

What’s your favourite podcast?

I don’t really listen to podcasts to be honest. If I am listening to something, it’s music. But you should all check out [colourist and Cheat founder] Toby Tomkins’ new podcast The Full Gamut, available on Apple and Spotify.


What show/exhibition has most inspired you recently?

Didn’t go to many recently, but Dorothea Tanning at Tate was really interesting. Surrealism is my favourite art movement and seeing her work in an exhibition was very captivating.

What’s the most significant change you’ve witnessed in the industry since you started working in it?

Everyone knows that budgets have been going down and expectations have been going up. Mostly due to technology advances there has been a lot more crossing over of roles/departments. Although this might have been going on for a while on lower budget production, we’ve been seeing it happen more often on higher end jobs as well. A good example is the rise of brands and agencies having in-house production and post production services. At film school I learned that many changes and technological advances in the film industry happened for cutting costs and health and safety reasons. Our industry is ever changing but everyone seems to be adapting quite quickly to changes, or otherwise they would lose money.


If there was one thing you could change about the advertising industry, what would it be?

Don’t think it’s up to me to comment on changes to the advertising industry, but I am really not a fan of the mixed format hype that’s been going on.

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Who or what has most influenced your career?            

My time at the National Film and Television School not only influenced, but actually made my career. I met a lot of inspiring people there, from tutors to fellow students and staff, so I will always reference that time in my life. Also, definitely Cheat founder Toby Tomkins [above], who had trust in me enough to hire me. He is a great inspiration and always gives me advice and validates my work, which helps me gain the confidence I need to keep growing. Everyone else at Cheat is also a great influence as they all work hard and are amazing people.


Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know.

I used to play basketball and be able to dunk any hoop when I was about 17 or 18 [above]. I’m a long way from that now!