Continuing to grow its directorial roster, Thomas Winter Cooke has signed two of the U.K.s best young commercial directors, Seamus Masterson and Elliot Hegarty, as well as well known documentarian and commercial filmmaker Martin Brierley, for exclusive representation in the U.S.
These three directors are not only very talented filmmakers, each has a unique vision and skills that are very much in demand, said TWC exec producer Mark Thomas. We are very excited by the opportunity to introduce them to the American market. We view this as a defining moment for TWC.
TWC signed the three directors following a recent trip that Thomas and TWC co-founder Ralph Winter made to England to meet with directors whom they felt could succeed in the U.S. That impressed me, said Masterson. Mark and Ralph took the time to target and go after directors they liked. It convinced me that they would be positive and proactive in promoting my career.
Masterson is a comedy specialist who has enjoyed considerable success of late, especially in viral advertising. His work was a finalist in three categories at this years Viral Awards in New York and he took home the award for Viral Campaign of the Year in 2003 for the Mazda viral ad SMOOTH PARKING. That spot also garnered a Strategie Cinema Award and was a finalist for an APPE Award.
For my kind of comedy, a level of realism is necessary, said Masterson. The spots need the Ive been there factor to be effective. Its simple. It makes it humorous. Thats whats key for me. It translates everywhere. The simplicity of the idea makes it successful.
After attending Reading University, Masterson started out directing low budget music videos. Then he became an editor and initially worked on movie trailers and video content. His credits included Sony PlayStation, Electronic Arts, Eidos, Namco and Disney. In 1997, Masterson was asked to adapt a short film that he produced for the PlayStation game WHEN WE WERE KINGS as a cinema spot, and that launched his career in commercials.
Since then, Masterson has directed commercials for such accounts as Pepsi, Alka Seltzer and Benecol, as well as longer form projects for game-makers. The latter include a cinematic for the EA Sports title Euro 2000 that featured DJ Paul Oakenfold and a launch promo for Eidos LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER: THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS. Ive been fortunate to work on projects where the format was less important than the idea behind it, he said.
Like Masterson, Hegarty specializes in comedy and has created a niche for himself with off beat work. His credits include campaigns for Londons Daily Telegraph, Fosters Cougar Bourbon brand and Kelloggs.
Hegarty said that his strength lies in visual storytelling and dialogue-based humor. Comedy is the best way to grab the viewers attention and get an emotional response in 30 seconds, he observed. If you can make someone smile you are most of the way there in selling an idea.
The son of John Hegarty a principal in the London ad agency Bartle, Bogle & Hegarty, Hegarty noted that he grew up in advertising, but began his career in dramatic filmmaking. After attending NYU and London International Film School, he directed ten short films and one feature, COUNTY KILBURN. The latter, about an Irish pub in London, drew considerable critical praise and was distributed theatrically in the U.K. Hegarty began his spot career with the London office of @radical.media. He was nominated as Best New Director at the British Television Advertising Craft awards and selected for the Saatchi New Directors Showcase in Cannes.
Brierley has been one Europes most successful commercial directors for more than a decade but recently moved to the U.S. intent on breaking into the American spot market. His recent work includes campaigns for Revlon, MasterCard, Holsten Pills and Kelloggs, and he is the recipient of some of the industrys top awards including Gold and Silver Lions from Cannes for spots promoting Maxell and Crackanut, respectively.
TWC is located in Santa Monica, California. For more information, call (310) 392 7333 or fax (310) 392 7323.