London-based director Giles Smith considers himself hugely lucky to live and work in a place that has such a strong heritage for film making. Having worked as a creative in the agency sector, film has always been one of his passions. Get to know more about Giles’ path into film and find out which stroke of genius led to the bookings for his company rocketing.
When did your passion for film start? What triggered your passion for film?
As an ex-agency Creative Director, I’ve always had a passion for short form storytelling. I love the process of seamlessly weaving narrative with high end stunning images. I guess like most in our industry, I’ve always had a passion for film. But I very much consider mine a passion for advertising too.
When did you realize that you wanted to be a Director?
After over a decade watching others bring my concepts to life, I soon realised that I’d like to be further involved in that part of the process, and quickly took the opportunity to build my reel working on projects that I’d also written.
Can you describe your first project? How did it go, and what would you do differently now?
My first project was for UNICEF, ensuring people in developing countries understood the importance of hand washing. With a challenging budget like most charity jobs we had to lean heavily on favours, I quickly understood the importance of loyalty within the industry. I wouldn’t say I’d greatly do much differently, but over the years I’ve learned the significance of the director’s relationship with the on screen talent, ensuring you not only cast someone who looks the part, but who also feels the part. Personality on screen needs to shine.
Which of your cases is your favorite? And why?
I think probably my film ‘World Away’ for Cunard, with Voice Over from philosopher Alan Watts. His voice and thoughts combined with the visuals sit really well for me. Unbeknown to the client, I secretly had my DoP bring a Bolex super 8 camera with him, and we gathered extra shots along the way. Only when back in London did we reveal the footage to the client. This texture and tone of the Super 8 stock completely changed the direction of the film, transforming it from a relatively straight forward film looking to a personal travel diary with a vintage look. The client then went on to invest further on media and the film played out in cinemas nationwide, and in turn bookings for his client rocketing.
What is your biggest dream regarding your profession?
Simply to keep being given the opportunities I have been so far. It’s the most incredible world we work in, I feel privileged to be part of it, working with amazing talent and traveling the globe. Long may that last!