Harald Zwart is speaking on a mobile from a Norwegian mountain
No, he is not on the set of his latest commercial - he is enjoying a
long weekend in his home country.
The director has been making films since he was eight years old. He was
obviously precocious - his first effort was an animated short film.
After high school, Zwart spent four years studying film in
His final project was shown on Scandanavian television five years ago
and he has not been out of a job since.
Demand for Zwart is building in the UK, where his work is increasingly
conspicuous. His big breakthrough came with six spots for Ford Fiesta
earlier this year, which earned him the job of directing the launch
campaign for Cable & Wireless Communications. For Bartle Bogle Hegarty,
he has recently directed a Polaroid spot starring the Spice Girls and an
ad for Vigorsol chewing gum which won a bronze award at Kinsale.
But Zwart, who signed up with Pink Films two years ago, is anxious not
to be pigeonholed as a director of cute ads. ’I have had films refused
for being violent or sexist,’ he declares. Seeing Star Wars at the age
of 12 put him on the path to directing. ’For the first time I saw a
different universe that was believable. I still get a kick out of
creating something that other people believe in.’
Zwart has just made a film starring Mark Hamill, who played the hero in
Star Wars, but he still loves commercials because of the ’intensity’ of
the work and the opportunities they offer to be ’illogical and
’I combine features and commercials,’ he says. ’As soon as I finish a
film, the advertising jobs roll in.’