World: My Portfolio - Steve Rogers

"I don't know why I keep agreeing to work with animals. It is just terrible. I seem to forget so quickly just how bad the experience can be," confesses Steve Rogers, the Australian director, behind the Nike Goatek advertisement, in which an athlete and his goat race together to the top of a mountain. The execution is a perfect example of Rogers' style, which cleverly fuses storytelling with subtle humour. And the seamless result makes it difficult to believe there was an intense power struggle between the animal and the film crew during its making. This was because rather than employing the skills of an animal trainer, an entire family of goats was used to get man and beast running in harmony.

"We hid one of the goats behind a bush and made it bleat, so the goat we were filming then ran in the direction we needed," Rogers says. "It was all about the technique of hiding either the mother or baby goat behind the right bush, nothing really more elaborate than that."

Rogers launched his career in 1988 as a partner and creative director of Conga, a graphic design company based in Sydney.

He started life working with visual design, motion graphics and titles, but a love of live action soon led him to try his hand at directing. Yet he retained his expertise in design, which later provided a foundation for his production company, Revolver Films, which launched in 1997.

His reel is characterised by two principle ingredients, humour and action.

Both are present in equal doses in his spots for Renault's Megane and Dunlop Tyres. Rogers insists this was not a conscious decision.

"These two elements seem to coincide in the work I have been doing. The action is fun to film but it's really about the script and whether it interests me. There's an integrity in some scripts that just draws you in more than others," he says.

In his Nike "keep the ball alive" ad, he worked hard to get the action right, calling in a stunt man from the James Bond movies and a member of the Australian rugby team to co-ordinate the ad. The former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio is one of the stars seen hurtling through the streets of London, narrowly avoiding traffic.

The ad was banned in the UK. "Everyone was aware of what was in the ad, so why they then decided to ban it, I don't know," he says.

Rogers, who joined the production company Rose Hackney Barber last October, says he is keen to keep working in the UK. "In the US, the director is not as involved throughout a project, from casting to editing. I like to be involved in all the different elements."

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