Mike Stephenson, the acclaimed director, is leaving the Paul
Weiland Film Company to launch his own production company, MOON.
The director is setting up the company with Linda Peryer, who has been a
senior producer at Paul Weiland for eight years.
Stephenson admitted: "It's quite a wrench - it's a bit like leaving
home. But I've always had a real hankering to do this."
He added: "The premise of MOON will be pure craft and nothing but. It is
a testament to Paul Weiland that I have taken this long to set up my own
company. I'm very grateful to Paul for all he has taught me and the
opportunities he has given me."
Stephenson started his career in advertising in 1979 as an art director
working under John Webster at BMP DDB. He and his partner, Derek Apps,
moved to Lowe Howard-Spink in 1982, where Stephenson built a strong
reputation in television.
While at the agency the pair won awards for work on accounts including
Heineken, Vauxhall, Whitbread Best and Hula Hoops.
His directing career started when he joined the Paul Weiland Film
Company in 1988. Since then, he has directed commercials for clients
including The Independent, Nationwide, COI Army, COI Special Constables,
Teacher Training, Timebank and First Direct.
Recent commercials include the new Lloyds TSB campaign, COI Census,
Persil's "young Winstons" and the Royal & Sun Alliance "where's Lucky?"
spots from Ogilvy & Mather.
Stephenson has indicated that MOON will be looking to expand and
confirmed that he has started looking for directors.
He said: "We will want some more directors soon - at least two or three.
That's why we've chosen the generic name MOON, to reflect the fact that
it's not a one-man band."
Paul Weiland added: "I'm really sad to see him go but you can't hold on
to someone forever. He has always wanted to do his own thing. It's very
brave and we wish him the best of luck."