Hungry Eye, the Dutch-backed production company, has orchestrated a
dramatic management upheaval by installing a new managing director, Alex
West, to replace Jean Richardson.
Richardson left the company last week at short notice (Campaign, 24
West, 25, was previously the publishing manager of the video magazine,
Shots, for two years. He had just started work as marketing manager at
the post-production house, Cel, when he was approached by the Hungry Eye
founder and director, Thed Lenssen, about taking over from Richardson
The company, which was launched with a fanfare last year with ten
directors and five producers (Campaign, 25 November 1994), is now
without any full-time producers and has just three directors - Simon
Gargette, Ian McKell and Keith Rogerson, plus Lenssen.
According to West, the company will shortly hire four more London-based
directors, plus a full-time researcher and a budgeting specialist, which
he says will ease the load of producers.
‘Hungry Eye has come a long way, and we will build on what has already
been generated,’ he said. ‘The company is reverting to its original plan
to be a creative hothouse. I may not have worked in a production company
before, but as such I am not constrained by existing working methods or
practices from any other production houses.’
Richardson’s parting with Hungry Eye is understood to be over a
difference of opinion with Lenssen and his partner, Robert Swaab, over
the emphasis on profitability as opposed to creativity.
Since its launch, Hungry Eye has been a profitable operation. Its key
films have been Tango Orange for Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury, KFC for
Ogilvy and Mather, McDonald’s for Leo Burnett, and Burtons menswear for
Mellors Reay and Partners.