CRAFT: PORTFOLIO - Rory Rooney

Unusually for most directors, Rory Rooney’s lifestyle is almost as exciting as his work - and he is gratifyingly thrilled about the whole game.

Unusually for most directors, Rory Rooney’s lifestyle is almost as

exciting as his work - and he is gratifyingly thrilled about the whole

game.



He gets his ideas from living above a brothel in Soho (’There’s one

woman who really goes for it ...’), having Damien Hirst as a former

landlord and having cut his teeth running for the maverick director,

Tony Kaye (’like pulling your fingernails out with pliers’).



Back in his production days - achieved by pestering people on the sets

he drove vans to and from after college - he produced Damien Hirst’s

effort for the satellite channel, TNT. ’It all got rather messy when

Hirst tried to shoot a kidney bean out of his arse and the ad was never

shown,’ he reminisces.



The Kaye work - including casting the storm chasers for Volvo’s

’twister’ - paid off. After directing for MTP in Scotland, he was

snapped up sharpish by Jo Godman and is now free to run wild, making

soft-porn pop promos.



He prefers unconventional casting methods. ’I knew this painter who

would make a great art director - I don’t want to look at eight CVs for

every job.’



Kaye’s influence, he says, can be seen in the ’thoroughness and

spontaneity’ of his own work. But Rooney is still experimenting with his

style, and takes his influences from his immediate environment, which

includes his colleagues at Godman (he describes them as ’excellent

people’ who are willing to spend ’time and effort’ on him).



On set, Rooney is a whirlwind: ’I want to cram in as much as I can and I

probably work at 100 times the speed of everyone else. I am always aware

of the clock ticking away but I never compromise.’



The bulkiest section of his portfolio is devoted to Irn-Bru. ’The agency

called me in at the writing stage, so I was involved right down to

casting the nude bloke for ’invigoration’.’ The Co-op and Zeon watches

used the same tactic, getting him in early, and a test film for the Face

gave him full writing credit. ’I love ideas,’ he says. ’And this is the

way the industry is going.’



Looking ahead, Rooney sees bigger budget work, wants to win some D&AD

pencils and would ’love to do an Irn-Bru on Levi’s’.



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