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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : November December 2008
T VC PRODU CT IO N Classic Milk ‘Note’ (GPY&R Melbourne) Empire Beer ‘Castle’ (GPY&R Melbourne) Classic Milk ‘Cindy’ (GPY&R Melbourne) Ford Focus ‘Chihuahua’ (JWT Melbourne) Nestea (STV, Turin) Mennen (L’Oreal Paris) Why Derek Richards came ‘home’ to The Guild Much traveled and awarded Director Derek Richards recently returned “home” to the stable that once plucked him from skiing instructor’s fields and shot him on the road to commercial success: that of Melbourne Production icon Helene Nicol, now heading up The Guild. Intrepid CB guest reporter John Skaro was a fly on the wall at Richards’ latest job interview with Nicol. Here’s what he heard: Nicol: So you’ve been away for quite a whil e, Derek, haven’t you? P lease explain… Richards: Yeah, “ away” in more ways than one. I’m generally away 3 or 4 tim es a y ear d oing jobs i n Europe. But most r ecently , my absenc e can be p ut d own t o a somewh at inco nvenie nt skir mish with the Grim Reaper. I was actual- ly out of action for over a year with health issues, but they’ve been sort- ed. I’m fit, been given the all clear, (hav e my l us ciou s h ead of ha ir back!) am definitely not c ontagious and raring to shoot some local spots again. Nicol: Are you back in Me lbourne, then, or will I b e getting exp ensiv e mobile bil ls from Ma llorca, Moscow, Sardinia, Reykjavik etc… Ri cha rds: Ha, ha, you ha ven’t changed, Helene. As you know, I’ve always lived in Melbourne. And as I 42 CAMP AI GN B RIEF Nicol: You mean the brush with death? Richards: Is this Oprah o r a j ob interview? Seriously, I don’t want to set off the violin strings, but yeah, your own mortality makes you think about l ife and work differently. It has made me a more mellow person I guess. Calmer perhaps. A better listener. More appreciative of oth- ers’ input and talent. I don’t think you’re looking at the next Mo ther Theresa by any stre tch, but the n again I’m told she h ad more th an her fair share of “uncompromising” moments too. Nic ol: Do y ou see thi s li fe stage Richards: “Is this Oprah or a job interview?” notice on your business ca rd, The Gui ld has an office in Sydney as well as Melbourne - so I c an work in e ither cit y as a “ho me” ba se, can’t I ? For me where I live h as never really effected where I work. Nico l: I might not have changed, Derek, but have you? It’s probably no secret that you’ve got a r eputation for being a bit of a prickly bugger… Rich ards: I r eal ly don ’t k now wher e the “diff icult” l abel came from. P erhaps like a lot of half- tru ths i n advert is ing, t he u rban myth gets a l ittle exagge rated by someone, somewhere e very lunch time. Having said that, fair cop… if passion, commitment, single-mind- ednes s and convict ion h ave made me a d iffi cult con coct ion, the n yeah, I’ll wear that. Tha t s aid, the last year or so has taught me a bi t about thinking outside my own 30- second box. changing your work, th en, f rom t he slick, chic, “too cool for school” style to a softer, more namby-pamby Derek Richards maybe? Rich ards: Oh, I don’t t hink s o. Hope not too much anyway. But it has made me think a bit differently. Traditionally, and I th ink a lmost accidentally, I ended up in a “fas h- ion” category. You know beautiful girls and boys, sexual tension, nice pics. Like the Class ic Cho colate Milk “Cocaine” spot for inst ance, or the Cindy Crawfor d “Beauty Spot” one or even more recent ly the Ford Focus “Jacqui O” thing. I still love doing all t hat, bu t r ight now it would be gr eat if s omeone would consider me for something simple – two actors and some di a- logue to begin with perhaps, rather than specific all y, th e sa ssy “ girl meets boy” stuff I may ha ve been pigeon-holed into at times. Maybe it’s time for that myth about me to go out the window a long with the “prickly bugger” tag, eh? Nicol: Apart from f inding me i rre- sistible of course, why The Guild? Richards: Well, i t’s true you and I do go back to the start of my career. Your style, commitment and belief got me going in t he first place. I could say it just feels comfortable - but you know it’s a lot more than that. The Guild is doing some very good work. Everyone is keen and passionate. They’re all nice people. And I really think it’s important for me to have a tight, hands-on rela- tionship with a Producer right now. Tradit ionally I have done a lot of work overseas - and that will still happen - but I w ould really like to spend mor e time wor king in Australia, and have a really solid creative partnership going. Nicol: Before I tuck your reel under my arm and embark on evangelising the Richards Good News, how do you personally reckon you’ll go? Richards: I really don’t know. It is now two years since I have worked with any Australian creative team - and there are lots of good directors here - so I am not sure how I go about convincing creatives to give me at look at those projects - maybe I have to prove it in another way. Just go and shoot something. As I said, I’m sti ll doing work in Europe - in fact I’m only 48 hours b ack from shooting a job in Spain for a Russian agency. But really I would rather be working at home. I have a pretty simple lifestyle, and don’t need to be rich. I really just want to do interesting spots. Nicol: OK, Derek, so where to from here? Richards: I was h oping you’d say The Guild… Nicol: Oh alright… why not! NOV E MB ER/DE CE MB E R 2 0 08
Awards Dec 2008
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