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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : May June 2008
Canon (Leo Burnett, Sydney) Lee Jeans (Spin, Sydney) comedy script, but I’m very confi- dent i n my abi lity to del iver humour and storylines that are dri- ven by ideas – it’s something I’m very passionate about. CB: Are there any visual trends you’re bored of seeing? NR: I don’t find ’70s retro charac- ters on TV particularly amusing. They were cool a few years ago, but now all these quirky characters are becomin g cl ichés. It’s as though everyone’s using exaggerated comi- cal characters and dressing them in skiv vys a nd giving them a funny pair of glasses – to me, it’s lazy humour. Unless it’s a truly original character then it doesn’t necessarily work. CB: Do you have a director’s ego? NR: Well, I’m very comfortable with who I am. I’m always confi- dent with what I’m trying to do. Some people say I’m too hard on myself but I’d say I’m critical and realistic, rather than having massive tickets on myself. Maybe I should be a bit more arrogant, but I c an’t MAY/JUN E 2008 do it – I’m too lai d-back. It’s a curse, really. CB: Is it true you’re not good at lying? NR: No. But it is true that the bes t work I’ve don e has alwa ys resulted from having a very person- al and direct relationship with cre- atives. You’ve got to h ave a very open and truthful di scussion at the very beginning to make sure you’re on the same playing field. If you’re not, there’s really no point continu- ing. The more years I work, the more I try to be upfront in my dis- cussions. When you’re working out the right tone of the scr ipt , that’s where directors can have a massive input on the end result. It can be so sub- tle, but a few degrees off and the whole thing can fall flat. CB: You recently shot two animated spots for Wrigle ys Extra for DDB. How are they different to the original campaign? NR: We decided to take the narra- tive further to tell more of a story. Mitsubishi (Clemenger BBDO, Sydney) Ant and Alex wrote a series of vignettes about animated characters getting banged about by water from a riot truck, but the story was very simple. I said, ‘What if we focused on one c haracter a s t he e yes an d ears for the audience to see what’s going on?’ So we cr eated the ‘Bana na Bourne’ c haracter, which be came the eyes to showi ng the audie nce the riot scene –it’s funnier because you think he’s g oing t o g et away, but u ltimately h e me ets h is ow n demise. We also added the chopper and the rooftop chase scene to give the campaign more adrenaline and pace. CB: What h ave yo u l earnt si nce joining Plaza? NR: I’ve noticed that if you st ick to the essential idea, many creatives are open to developing their scripts. That’s something I’ve learned from wor king along side Paul Middleditch – he always ad ds something to th e original s cript. I see the scripts, and then I see where he takes them. It’s about embellish- ing th e i dea fu rther – a ll th e to p directors do it. It’s a maturity thing – you’ve got to have the confidence to bel ieve in your own take on t he script, and I ’m a t the point in my career wh ere I ’m confident in my ability to b ring s omething t o t he table. If the scripts are good to start with, the n you ’re a lready hal f way there. CB: What sort of filmic t rends are you inspired by? NR: The best work in the world at the mom ent seems t o be utilis ing effects at an interesting l evel – i t’s this combination of c reativity and VFX that makes them great. CB: So what’s your dream script? NR: Ideally I’d love to use all the experience I ’ve g ained o ver t he years and throw it into a job that’s wonderfully creative and flexible. In a short space of t ime, I’v e wor ked on a g reat mix o f p rojects. And that’s what I enjoy about directing at the moment, it ’s ab out mix ing everything up. 7 CAM PA IGN B R I E F 25
July August 2008
March April 2008