Rupert Sanders may be just 25 but is already being groomed for
stardom by none other than Tony Kaye. The great man offered him a place
at Tony Kaye Films nearly a year ago and is currently creative director
on his first major US commercial for Gatorade.
Nevertheless, Sanders tells you: ’Tony is my guru but I’m not the next
Tony Kaye.’ A glance at his reel proves that despite his admiration for
his boss, Sanders is no copycat. There are certain similarities, most
notably the shared interest in children, an eye for unusual casting and
creating effects in camera, the last two of which were learned from
But he insists: ’My angle is totally different.’
The two first met in 1995 in Los Angeles while Sanders was doing a road
trip across the US after graduating from St Martin’s School of Art with
a first-class degree in graphics. The pair hit it off
socially but Sanders was only invited to the company after independently
writing and directing the Sony commercial which is still the centrepiece
of his reel. It was sold, as seen, to Sony’s agency, BMP DDB.
Since then, he has shown an ability to make even small projects
Films for Capital Radio’s Help a London Child and Woolworth’s both
feature children and show an unmawkish eye for humour and performance.
He was also responsible for the sinister, type-based ad for the style
magazine, Blah Blah Blah.
Sanders admits that it has been a rapid rise, especially for someone
with no formal film-making training. He says he has learned on the job
by staying calm on shoots and surrounding himself with a trusted,
technically-able team - most
notably the director of photography, Jesse Hall, and the producer, Amy
And his confidence is growing all the time.
A recent commercial for the British milliner, Philip Treacy, proves the
boy can do stylish fashion work with the best of them. ’I’d like to work
with anything from kids to rock stars, as long as I’m not typecast,’ he
says. If half the projects currently lined up come off, he should have