World: My Portfolio - Sam Cadman

Most directors cut their teeth on promos, direct ads and yearn to work on films or TV shows. Yet Sam Cadman's approach was unconventional. "I think I'm doing my career backwards," he says. His work first appeared on TV when he partnered Dom Joly to make Trigger Happy TV. Before the show aired, Cadman had been keen to direct commercials and now, having directed ads for clients such as Nike and PlayStation, he's keen to direct music promos. "The Darkness would be fun," he muses.

Cadman bristles at The Carpenters' Close To You soundtrack which accompanies "welcome", a Volkswagen ad he directed for DDB Amsterdam where VW drivers keep hugging a new Golf owner. "I could see why some people would prefer The Carpenters," Cadman says, diplomatically, "but on my reel, it's Led Zeppelin. I wanted a bit more attitude."

As preparation for "welcome", Cadman compiled a tape showing a selection of hugging techniques. "There are loads of different ways that people hug and we wanted to get across that sense of variety so it didn't feel monotonous."

In contrast, his latest ad for Muller Rice shows a man trying to catch a budgie to eat it. "There's a funniness and a warmth to this ad," Cadman says.

Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney's campaign for Fox Sports shows fans who take sport a bit too seriously. It was well-received, although Cadman admits: "I know nothing about sports; I think I got the job because of Trigger Happy TV."

In "cricket", a competitive dad type gets pleasure from bowling out a group of children, while in "rugby", an old guy is tackled to the ground by a young rugby fan. Cadman reveals: "This grandad was an incredibly good sport as we had to do about 30 takes. The day after, we paid for him to have a proper massage."

Cadman's first ad was for Tango for HHCL. "Megaphone" starred a guy who amplifies every single tedious detail of his day through an orange megaphone.

The lead actor, Jim Hosking, became a director too and shot last year's 118 118 campaign. "Jim stole the show," Cadman says. "If you get the right actor, it brings it to life."

- Sam Cadman was talking to Lucy Aitken.

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