Looking at Sandra Goldbacher’s moody, stylised showreel, it is hard to
believe that this is the director responsible for two boxing
documentaries, and a gritty 90-second film in Channel 4’s current Broke
series about a 17-year-old Birmingham chambermaid who at night sleeps in
a tiny Citroen car.
But a closer look at the lush ads on the reel, and not least the work
for Sheridan’s and Northern Rock, betrays a fascination with narrative
substance as much as with style. ‘It’s nice to create a certain look,’
Goldbacher says. ‘But I do like working with performers, building
characters and creating stories. The feature projects I’m working on,
for example, are relationship-based and certainly not visual
Goldbacher, having progressed from art school at Middlesex Polytechnic
to the National Film School, started out as a documentary film-maker.
She was hired by the BBC after graduating and worked on arts
documentaries for two-and-a-half years. Then came the boxing films for
Channel 4, one of which was set in a Sheffield gym and included footage
of a young Prince Naseem Hamed, now a world champion.
The break into commercials directing came with a move to Propaganda, and
then a switch to Rose Hackney Barber at the beginning of 1996. ‘I
definitely see commercials directing as what I do now and if and when
feature projects happen I think they’ll help my commercials work.
Commercials work is a great opportunity to experiment with different
looks,’ Goldbacher says.
Goldbacher is currently shooting a Hedex ad for Ogilvy and Mather, which
is the first overtly humorous script she has tackled, although there was
plenty of visual humour in the series for Radio Times that made it on to
her reel. ‘It’s nice to do something funny. I really don’t want to get
pigeonholed as a good stylist or as someone who can handle domestic
drama, which certainly can be a factor for women directors.’
Other new directing projects include feature films - she had a 20-minute
short at last year’s London Film Festival - and writing more