CRAFT: PORTFOLIO; Paul d’Auria

At a time when more scripts are calling for whizz-bang special effects, the director, Paul d’Auria, is taking a risk by concentrating more on people and performance. But it’s not suspicion of new technology that is stopping him, it’s more a case of ‘been there, done that’.

At a time when more scripts are calling for whizz-bang special effects,

the director, Paul d’Auria, is taking a risk by concentrating more on

people and performance. But it’s not suspicion of new technology that is

stopping him, it’s more a case of ‘been there, done that’.



After graduating from the graphic design course at Newport College of

Art and Design in the early 80s, d’Auria worked at the Radio Times on

the listings pages. After only nine months he was away, doing an MA in

Information Design at Leicester Polytechnic. Six months after that, he

landed a job designing electronic graphics for the BBC and, after five

years in news and current affairs, d’Auria made the rare move over to

light entertainment, working on the Lenny Henry Show, among others.



It was at the BBC that d’Auria met John Kennedy and Graham McCallum, and

seven years ago the three created McCallum Kennedy D’Auria to specialise

in TV idents, although he also worked on Jo Brand’s Through the Cakehole

and Viva Cabaret for Channel 4. D’Auria had enjoyed his time at the BBC,

but felt increasingly unhappy with the way his job was going. ‘There

were more and more contractors coming in and telling you how to do

things,’ he recalls.



In the past couple of years he has started directing commercials with

initial commissions for Pied a Terre, Do It All and Vaseline Intensive

Care. He’s even written scripts and shot ads speculatively for the Body

Shop, Stanley Tools and Tabasco Pepper Sauce. The Stanley Tools

commercial will be shown this spring.



His passion for his work shines through: ‘Doing ads is not really

different from working on TV programmes. Sometimes you get clients who

want things done a certain way, sometimes you don’t. You get much more

tied down to the politics of an agency.’



D’Auria has been ill for some time and that has, literally, coloured his

work. ‘I try to make my commercials funny, because humour has kept me

going through the past few years. I try to make them bright and vivid

because those things matter.’