Daniel Kleinman

Daniel Kleinman

Director

Rattling Stick

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My Character:
  • Creative
What's the best lesson you've learnt this year?

I enjoyed a day learning forging (with metal, not banknotes). I also learnt that when a client says 'No, absolutely not, don't want it, don't do it', sometimes they mean: 'Maybe I'll change my mind and want it when it's too late and, if I'm not able to have it, then… I'll be cross.'

What's the most satisfying thing you've done recently and why?

Spent a couple of days with Paul Weiland in Italy… he was paying.

You're asked to do a TED talk. What would you choose to talk about and why?

I'm quite interested in life-drawing – the way it hones the senses and helps with decision-making.

You've got £1 million to invest in something. Who/what gets your money?

I think I'd give it to the Heritage Seed Library, an offshoot of Garden Organic. It's now illegal to sell seeds that are not licensed in the European Union and many old varieties of flowers and vegetables are being lost. Why does everything in the world have to become homogenous and identical? Big chemical companies only produce and license FI varieties for professional growers. I want lots of different-sized flowers and veg that mature over a long and varied period – the opposite of FI hybrids. The Heritage Seed Library acts as a club preserving old varieties and allowing gardeners access to arcane seeds.

What single thing would improve your life?

A cure for gout.

You've found a time-travel machine. Where do you go?

London, 1975 – I'd give my young self some advice and tell him not to be such a knob.

It's 2020. What are you doing?

Struggling over a treatment for Butlin's on the moon. The average treatment a director is expected to write for a 30-second ad is now 10,000 pages.

Oops, the world ends tomorrow. What do you do today?

There are a few bottles of good stuff I've been saving in the basement; no point in wasting them.

But if you could be anyone else in adland for a day, who would you be and why?

A young BB King – I wish I could play guitar like that for a day.

What will be your legacy (assuming the world doesn't actually end tomorrow)?

I'm proud of Rattling Stick and I hope it continues as a company far into the future. I may also leave in my will that, in the event of my death, my arm should be cut off and pickled so that, in a similar way to Jeremy Bentham, once a year it has to preside over a Rattling Stick AGM. That way, I have left an arm and a legacy.

This is still a great business because…

I'm still learning, still trying new things, still never doing the same thing twice and working with interesting people all over the world oiling the wheels of commerce for the betterment of mankind. Not a bad job.

What makes you, you?

A striking profile, a wonderful calm disposition, Dali Llama-like wisdom, a hilarious sense of humour and deep humility.

The lowdown:

As the godfather of one of the UK’s best production companies, Kleinman continues to nurture a team of directing talent (Ringan Ledwidge, in particular) responsible for some of the best ads of the year. It’s no surprise Rattling Stick is a magnet for former creative talent such as Andy McLeod and Ed Morris: so respected is the production company by the agency community. Kleinman remains a strong figurehead, and is not beyond turning in some lovely work himself.

Other people you may be interested in:

Andy McLeod

Andy McLeod

Director

Rattling Stick

Ed Morris

Ed Morris

Director

Rattling Stick

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Steve Ackerman

Steve Ackerman

Managing director

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