Start-up encourages creatives to direct commercials

Upfront Films, a production company for agency creatives who want to direct ads, is being launched in March by Zoe Bell, the head of TV at Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury, and Sheila Simpson, a founding member of the HHCL Brasserie.

Upfront Films, a production company for agency creatives who want

to direct ads, is being launched in March by Zoe Bell, the head of TV at

Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury, and Sheila Simpson, a founding member of

the HHCL Brasserie.



The new company, which will not have a roster of directors, will work

with creatives who want to direct their own work. But Bell and Simpson

warned that they will vet potential directors for suitability, taking a

close look at the individuals and the scripts before getting involved in

a project.



Creative teams such as Trevor Robinson and Al Young, and Erik Kessels

and Johan Kramer, have famously branched out from their agency roles to

direct commercials, while Steve Henry, the creative partner of Howell

Henry, directed a Mercury ’Oliver and Claire’ ad through Helen Langridge

Associates last year.



Bell and Simpson will plug a gap in the market, producing specifically

for agency creatives, who often lack the technical knowledge needed for

shoots, or have little experience of dealing with film crews. Crews, or

even collaborative directors, will be brought in on a tailor-made basis

for each individual project.



Simpson said: ’It is good to look at convention and to respond to

changes in the business - we wanted to find new ways of doing

things.’



Bell, who worked at Howell Henry for five years, added: ’How many

creatives have felt a sense of frustration when something they conceived

and lived with for six months doesn’t translate to the final film? How

many of these people have the strong desire to see it through

themselves? I hope we’ll be the first to find out.’



Simpson worked at Publicis, Spots and Great Guns before moving to the

Brasserie. She and Bell met when Simpson was working at Publicis.



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