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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : May June 2008
TV C PROD UCT I ON Australian Tourism Commission ‘Jono’ (Whybin\TBWA, Sydney) positions, at le ast onc e be cause h e was told he “could not draw”. Filmgraphics began almost ac ci- dentally as a one-man freelance ani- mation operation doing ti tles an d graphics. “In th ose days we had n o Flames t o set ti tles and supe rs, rathe r we did i t all by hand . I off ered to do it rea l c hea p. My clients we re Paddle Pop and a f ew margarine and biscuit brands. I did the jobs the hi erarchy at the t ime didn ’t wan t,” s ays the mod est Denneen while tucking in to some sushi over lunch. The bus ine ss gre w an d g rew. Tec hno logy grew an d g rew. I t wasn’t un til 1980 that De nneen branched into live action. “It was a Mr Sheen job,” recalls Denne en, “ Animation a nd liv e action mixed. I was in charge of the animation. Well the job was in strife and I ende d up fi xing the w hole thing an d when the next job th at came up and I was offered just the animation part, I sa id I want it al l, or nothing”. He got it . The job was for Bridgestone and the s pot went o n to pick up a stack of awards. Since t hen , F ilmgrap hics has grown f rom st rength to str ength and to t his day has kept its strong ties with animation. “I l eft Crispin Porter + Bo gusky to wo rk wi th D avid,” s ays Fil m- graphics newish CEO Chris Moore. “Anna F awcet t (Denn een’s lon g time prod ucer) rang me about t he job and I said there’d only be on e or two jobs I’ d leave fo r, and that was one of them. David is a bloody legend.” “The best thing about our dir ec- tors is they come from an animation background,” says Denneen who is much mo re comf ortable talking about the grou p’s ac hievement s 22 CAM PA I GN B RIE F Co-director Denneen with Leisureproducer Suzanne Baker and co- director Bruce Petty than his own. Fi lmgraph ics talen ted st able o f directors includes Graeme Burfoot, Phil Meatchem, Jonathan Nyquist, Fab io Nardi and Marc Furmie, who all enjoy a variety o f jobs at any given time. And more recently they have signed Scott Pickett, who has come straight from AFTRS. “Animator s prepare sto ryboards and then stick to them shot to shot to shot. You put your money where your mouth is,” says Fawcett. “That seems to amaze some peo- ple. When we’re on th e shoot a nd they see the split t hat i t is exactly the same as the storyboard.” “Di rect ing is knowing h ow to sidestep wind, rain, any type of per- formance issues on the spot. Every probl em can be solved ,” ad ds Denneen. He makes it sound so easy. Warren Brown i s a l ong t ime fan of Denneen’s: “I’ve met a few ‘one offs’ in this business, they’re people who don’ t overly co ncern t hem- selves with what oth ers migh t be doing because they have their own creative journey to pursue. “If you really love this b usiness, work with Dave, because he’ll prob- ably make you feel as though you’re only flirting with it.” Coming from Brown, that’s pretty high praise. Denneen is well known fo r n ur- turing young talent and keepi ng pace with the changing t rends and technologies in the industry. “The knowledge yo u g ather, the keeping up i s a huge thin g.” Denneen cheerfully admits to ha v- ing thrown out a larg e amo unt of animation machines to stay on the cutting edge. “Working with him was amazing,” according to Iggy Ro driguez f rom DDB Sydney, who ha s just shot a Gat or ade br and spot wit h Denneen. “He’s not trying to do what everyone else is. He’s one step ahe ad. You could t el l he had a stature of epic proportions.” “He changes all the t ime. Tha t’s his secret,” says Fawcett. Of course having Anna Fawcett as his produc- er for over fifteen years is a big part of the success too. Sinc e its humb le beginn ings in 1964, Filmgraphics has grown from an animation studio to live action/ animation to live action with strong knowledge of SFX and animation. “We do e verything from big com- plic ated internatio nal shoot s to loca l cha rity spots. TVCs with SFX, cars, comedy, drama, televi- sion series, features,” says Moore. In his spare time, Denneen enjoys painting, fishing and lunching. “I like to stay busy. When you’ve got no work, you’re looking for work.” Denneen has enjoyed plenty of highlights over the years. From the Oscar to Cannes Gold for Fanta, a D&AD Yellow Pencil for Nobby’s Nuts, th e iconic James Dean spot for McDonalds, Nike for Wieden and Kenn edy, Anheuseur-Busch ‘Li fe’s we ird without Bee r’ for Goodby Silverstein to more recently coming back fr om Cape Town shooting Carlsberg for the Swiss Saatchi, a nd having three ads on www.bestadsontv.com all at once, shooting Gatorade with DDB and RSPCA with The Palace. Over the years Denneen has seen many trends come and go and has outla sted them al l. “We’ve gone through the ‘grass is greener off- shore’ , t he ‘raw’ film, the ‘what does this button do colour grade’ and many others and I think it all comes back to the art of story- tell ing. I’m happy t o see that reflected in the scripts we’ve been getting. Nothing beats good stories well told.” So after all these years how does he keep doing it? “Are you kidding? I’m working at my hobby and get- ting paid for it!” laughs Denneen. “We’re busy and we have fun,” adds Fawcett. 7 MAY /JUN E 2 008
July August 2008
March April 2008