Jason Harrington has spent the past few weeks sailing around the
Bahamas on an 80-foot yacht, chasing dolphins and directing a commercial
for John Player Gold Leaf cigarettes. He then tries to convince me
advertising is not for him.
The 30-year-old director, who has worked for Tony Kaye Films since 1995,
recently made a name for himself in the UK on the back of his
controversial ’unexpected II’ ad for Dunlop Tyres through Abbott Mead
Harrington joined Tony Kaye after a brief spell with the BBC and then
MTV in New York. Since then he has divided his time between New York and
London, directing commercials for clients as diverse as the Red Cross,
United Healthcare and the National Basketball Association.
After spending the last four years in New York, Harrington has decided
to return to the UK because he believes better work is produced here:
’The US produces some good commercials but its agencies are not as
talented as those in the UK.’
He’s also sure of his own style: ’People have described my ads as
mini-epics and I agree with them. My commercials tend to be action
adventures, normally involving lots of travel, that’s what I enjoy’
While Harrington sees advertising as ’a good tool for film,’ it’s not
where his ambitions lie. On his next visit to the US, he’ll be directing
two commercials for Miller Genuine Draft but after that he’ll turn his
attention to film scripts.