World: My Portfolio - Martin Aamund

"The UK is virgin territory for me," Martin Aamund, the Danish director who has just signed to Tomboy Films for representation in the UK, says. "My plan was not to come to London too early, but it's very difficult to judge for yourself when the right time is." Aamund had conflicting advice - some friends advised him to arrive with a strong reel, others warned that he might scare off TV departments that wanted to use unknown talent. It's academic now - he's here. And with a strong, funny character-based reel, he's unlikely to be waiting long for his first job.

Aamund was born in Denmark, the year before pornography was made legal there, he says, apropos of nothing. He left the XXX-world of Scandinavia behind at an early age, moving to Hong Kong with his family. "I'd love to go back there," he says. "It's been a long time since I lived there, but I still dream about it. I'd love to shoot there - it's packed with impressions, and there's a shot on almost every corner."

Meanwhile, Aamund will have to make do with Poland - as we speak, he's shooting a Nescafe ad in Warsaw. In the past couple of years, he's directed a string of jobs across Central and Northern Europe. They include Danish GE Capital Bank's "in-laws" spot, in which a couple saves money by honeymooning at their parents'. His series of short spots for Raiffeisen Wohn Bausparen, an Austrian financial adviser, features investors who are so obsessed with their portfolios that they mess up even the most basic daily tasks, fogetting to open the garage door before reversing out or putting the baby out instead of the rubbish in the morning.

A stand-out spot on Aamund's reel is "shower", an ad for Media Markt, another Austrian brand. "At the beginning, the script was a little more German and slapstick," Aamund says. "I wanted to treat it a little more emotionally." It took a lot of takes to get the performance he wanted, and he pays credit to the British actor who endured being drenched by autumnal weather on an Austrian rooftop, time and time again.

Aamund is unusual in his approach to production companies - he works through an agency, Agent Zoo, with his agent/producer, Martin Bardrum, at a number of different production companies across Europe, including Sabotage in Austria and The Lift in Barcelona. "We were sick of the release fees every time I wanted to work abroad," he says. "Production is a heavy-going business, we wanted to try to bring a bit of lightness into it."

- Martin Aamund was talking to James Hamilton.

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