CAMPAIGN CRAFT: PORTFOLIO - Paul Gay

For Paul Gay, 1997 was the year he felt he cracked the directing game in terms of being offered high-calibre scripts. His showreel boasts BMP’s Volkswagen ’affordability’ campaign and Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s new ’mum’ One-2-One ad. It was also his first year working as a solo director, following his split with Steve Reeves.

For Paul Gay, 1997 was the year he felt he cracked the directing

game in terms of being offered high-calibre scripts. His showreel boasts

BMP’s Volkswagen ’affordability’ campaign and Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s new

’mum’ One-2-One ad. It was also his first year working as a solo

director, following his split with Steve Reeves.



No mean feat for someone who started his career as a paste-up artist in

an agency in Bromley High Street where the main client was David

Sullivan. ’I used to paste-up all the sex and dildo ads in Razzle,

Parade and Escort,’ Gay reveals.



After this distinguished first foray into advertising, Gay moved to a

design company - which he hated - and began to do D&AD evening courses,

where he teamed-up with Reeves and got a job at BMP DDB.



While at BMP, the pair directed two condom commercials for the Health

Education Authority and others for Marmite and Terry’s through Stark

Films.



They left BMP to direct full time at Blink in 1995 but decided to go

their separate ways in 1996. Gay briefly went to Tony Kaye Films and

then moved to Outsider.



The break with Reeves was, according to Gay, a ’natural progression’.

’Directing is more difficult for a team as it really is about a single

view. Steve and I were so similar that we wanted to do the same things

and this could have a negative effect. Also, the crew had to ask two

people if it was OK to do something,’ he says.



Gay admires the directors, Mike Figgis, Chris Palmer and Frank Budgen,

for their ability to work in a variety of styles. ’I know that, probably

because of the success of the Volkswagen campaign, everyone perceives me

as only being able to do documentary work. It’s frustrating that

everyone wants to put a label on you. As I’m an ex-creative, I’ve a good

eye for an idea and if you’re a good director you should be able to

communicate an idea in a different way. That’s why I really like the

One-2-One job.



The ad combines my docu-realism style with good performances from the

actors and post-production. It’s exciting to think about how I’m going

to work in new ways. New challenges sharpen the brain.’



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