Dennis Lewis, the former Bartle Bogle Hegarty creative director,
has launched his own production company, Upstart.
It will concentrate on film-making, from commercials to pop promos and
corporate videos. Lewis has directed commercials in the past, including
spots for BBH clients such as Murphy’s and Buxton mineral water.
Lewis, 50, announced his intention to leave BBH and move to France in
April of last year. He was replaced as creative director by Pat Doherty,
who has since been on maternity leave. Until around a month ago, Lewis
was still working three days a week at BBH.
’I have been a creative director for so long that I understand how ideas
work,’ Lewis said. ’I wouldn’t want to be a creative director at any
other agency so this is a logical step for me. I can help people build
and improve ideas.’
He will divide his time between London and South-west France.
Upstart will operate as a conventional commercials production company at
first, but Lewis hopes that he will be able to break into in other areas
within a short space of time. He is also optimistic about staff
He added: ’I will happily work through agencies or direct with
I sense that clients want other things as well as ads.’
Upstart opened its London office this week, with Anita Mahal, a former
BBH TV producer, who was previously managing director at Branded Films,
taking on the role of managing director.
Lewis, an art director, was at BBH for 13 years and, with his partner,
Steve Hooper, was made joint creative director of the agency in 1993
when John Hegarty became executive creative director. The team made
their name with work for Audi, Levi’s and Pretty Polly.
’Upstart is a great opportunity to give extra value to all sorts of
interesting areas. I want to put ideas into things and work on projects
that I’m really interested in. I’d love to do a Radiohead video, for
instance,’ Lewis said.