A-List Director Kevin Fitzgerald announces move to 7 Films
News has dropped that established director, Kevin Fitzgerald, is joining the family at 7 Films. With the industry at his fingertips we find out why, out of all the production companies in all of ad land, he picked 7 Films.
IDIDTHAT: 7 Films prides itself in mentoring young talent in the industry, so why bring on someone as senior and experienced as Kevin?
Nina van Rensburg (Exec Producer & Founder): Excellence is very important to us. Yes, we can do jobs more reasonably because of the vision that Lourens has about how we package things etc, but at the end of the day it always has to be excellent and that’s what Kevin offers, excellence.
Lourens van Rensburg (Director & Founder): When it comes to good work and good storytelling Kevin and I share a passion, yet our directing styles are very different. I think the industry also has this misconception that Kevin only takes on big-budget jobs and that’s not true. His latest spot for Toyota was created on a very limited budget, and it’s excellent. Just like Kevin, I want the next generation of young directors to be multi-disciplined, able to shoot something that is beautiful, but not neglect the emotive storytelling. I think Kevin can teach that to our emerging talent at 7 Films.
IDIDTHAT: What was your first thought when Kevin called you?
Lourens: I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever get a phone call from Kevin Fitzgerald to ask to join us. I couldn’t believe that I could ever be that lucky.
Kevin: I’m the lucky one!
IDIDTHAT: Ah you guys, sweet!
Lourens: I’ve always admired how beautifully Kevin’s work is shot – his composition and framing – a skill that’s followed him since his early days of being a fashion stills photographer.
IDIDTHAT: Lourens, if you had to choose four pieces of Kevin’s work that you wish you had directed, what would you choose?
Toyota ‘Start Your Impossible’
Engen X Wimpy ‘Love Song’
UNISA ‘Define Tomorrow’
IDIDTHAT: Kevin, you surprised by his selections?
Kevin: Ha, oddly enough those are some of my favourites.
For any creatives out there living under a rock and don’t know who Kevin Fitzgerald is, take notes: Around 24 years ago, Kevin, an award-winning fashion photographer at the time, slowly started doubling up as film director on commercials sets. This was way before it was even considered a possibility for people to do both. His strong visual identity and emotive storytelling saw Kevin directing at Peter Gird Productions, then Egg Films for over ten years, followed by 03:07 Films, with a short stint in-between at Suburban Films alongside Miles Goodall. Awards, accolades, street-cred – Kevin has it all!
Okay, back to present day: We’ve hardly finished asking our first question and Kevin whips out a piece of paper with some notes on.
IDIDTHAT: Um, Kevin what’s that?
Kevin: Just some things I jotted down so I don’t forget something really important that I want to say.
IDIDTHAT: Wow wow wow! We love it. Now you could have pretty much selected any production company out there as your next home, why 7 Films?
Kevin: I’ve always admired 7 Films and Lourens’ work and there has always been something a bit maverick about them which I’ve loved – not only the work, but also the personalities and ethos.
IDIDTHAT: In terms of the kind of commercials you want to start shooting more of, what do 7 Films offer you?
Kevin: There are so many different facets to 7 Films. Not only the quality of the work, but also the investment in teaching and transformation and of course their mentorship programmes. As Lourens said, I think the industry perceives me as only taking on the big-budget projects, which isn’t true. I love variety and 7 Films understands the fast-evolving industry that demands flexibility from directors and producers to deliver more with less.
IDIDTHAT: Well after 7 Films winning Ad of the Year FOUR YEARS IN A ROW, we’re also pretty sure they hold the secret potion to creating the perfect ads!
Lourens: Ha! Interestingly enough, all four of those winning pieces were not conceived in a traditional sense and would never have seen the light if they were approached conventionally or in a conventional production house with a conventional system. They would never have made it.
Kevin: Yes, they would never have been made the conventional way, but also, they would never have won Creative Circle’s ‘Ad of the Year’ without your input and insight.
Nina: For us, Kevin joining our family is also an answer to prayer, because all the mentorship has been up to Lourens and to have someone as senior and experienced to help….
We’re interrupted briefly as Kevin takes an urgent phone call. He returns and whispers something in Lourens’ ear…
Lourens: Well, looks like we just got our first script in for Kevin!
Everyone: *CLAPPING WILDLY*
Aaaand we think that’s a perfect end to this interview.
Produced by the iDidTht Content Studio – Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder
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