BEST OF THE BEST AWARDS: Best Commercials Director

This year must have been hell for Frank Budgen, a director and partner at Gorgeous Enterprises. He doesn't enjoy picking up awards. "It's good when Paul (Rothwell, the managing director and also a producer at Gorgeous) goes up," he says. "I don't like collecting awards."

As well as the Grand Prix at Cannes for Nike's "tag" for Wieden & Kennedy Portland, US, Gorgeous scooped the Palme d'Or for worldwide production company of the year at Cannes, a gold for the NSPCC work with Saatchi & Saatchi and a D&AD gold for Levi's "twist". All the ads demonstrate Budgen's range of styles, each one a breath of fresh air.

"I do about four ads a year," he explains, "and when I get something that I want to do, I will put everything I can into it. Sometimes, I'll shoot stuff that's very spontaneous and you don't quite know what you're going to get until the day. Rather than impose my style, every job is dictated by the idea."

Budgen cites Vince Squibb at Lowe (with whom he worked on Reebok "sofa") as an example of when chemistry between a director and a writer can make all the difference to the final ad. "It's always good when you're working with someone and you respect each other. Vince is one of the best writers around. But as well as having a good script, you do need good support behind you."

So how does Budgen motivate his crew? "By being a pain in the arse," he laughs. "Crews enjoy working with me, but it's not the easiest shoot for them. If the end results are good, everyone prefers that to an easy ride, no matter how hard the process may be."

Budgen started directing ads full time in 1991. He became a partner at Gorgeous in 1997, having notched up considerable experience at The Paul Weiland Film Company. There he worked with, among others, BMP DDB on films for Volkswagen and with Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R on Virgin Atlantic.

Robert Campbell, the creative director at RKCR/Y&R, describes Budgen as "advertising's most complete perfectionist".

For someone who has experienced such success, Budgen seems almost surprised by it. "I never knew what I wanted to do when I grew up and I still feel that way," he says. So do feature films beckon next? "Good scripts are few and far between," he says. "But you never know where a script is going to come from. Americans produce a lot of rubbish but when they get it right it beats everything."

The judges agreed that Budgen's exquisite composition of pictures brings another meaning to the advertising idea. He emerged as a clear winner.

Paul Briginshaw, the creative director at Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, said: "Budgen's made three of the best commercials in advertising history this year."

Honourable mentions go in equal measure to: Daniel Kleinman from Spectre for his contribution to ads such as X-box "Champagne" with BBH; Fredrik Bond, now at MJZ London, who was behind the VW Lupo spot with BMP DDB; Ivan Zacharias from Stink, who directed "doctor" for Stella Artois with Lowe, and Paul Gay (Outsider), who directed Volkswagen Diesel's "it's easy to forget" ad for BMP.

Shortlist: Fredrik Bond (MJZ), Paul Gay (Outsider), Jonathan Glazer (Academy), Daniel Kleinman (Spectre), Chris Palmer (Gorgeous), Kevin Thomas (Thomas Thomas), Peter Thwaites (Gorgeous), Traktor (Partizan), Ivan Zacharias (Stink).

FRANK BUDGEN, Director and partner, Gorgeous Enterprises

AWARDS 2002

Levi Strauss "twist": BTAA (two golds); Creative Circle (one gold, five

silvers); D&AD (three golds, three silver nominations); One Show

(silver)

NSPCC "cartoon": Cannes (gold Lion) Reebok "sofa": BTAA (one gold, one

silver); Cannes (gold Lion); Creative Circle (one platinum, four golds,

one bronze); D&AD (silver, three silver nominations)

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