Carbon Films, 4 new directors, 1 new partner, and a Bruno in a pear tree.
There’s a lot that’s been happening at Carbon Films recently; 4 new directors, 1 new partner, a lot of sit-up-and-pay-attention work, a bunch of new awards and….a Bruno still Bossi 😊 We get the scoop and also put together some when-to-use-which-Carbon-director crib notes. Let’s go!
If you didn’t know already, Carbon Films was founded as a two-person operation back in 2015 by Executive Producer Kirsten Clarence and Director Bruno Bossi. Fast forward to 2021 and not only has Director Mzonke Maloney joined as partner but their stable of directors also include award-magnets, Daniel Morcos, Laurissa Vergottini and Porteus Xandau. It’s clear that Carbon has carefully designed the growth of their team as each director brings something different to the production table.
We know that attaching the right director to a script can be the very thing that makes or breaks your commercial, so we’re at your service with some crib notes on each director so you’ll know exactly who to use and when.
Daniel has a strong eye and a considered aesthetic with a reel that offers something unexpected and visually spectacular. He has an impressive background in post-production as an offline editor which means he directs with a clear edit in mind, a valuable asset when making creative choices. What you probably didn’t know is that he happens to be fluent in Arabic so *eilawatan!
*Google Translate assures us that this is Arabic for ‘bonus’.
Check out these two spots we picked to showcase Daniel’s considered storytelling ability. See more of his work here.
‘Set Your Heart Free’
Deezer ‘Memory Lane’
Daniel’s ‘Set Your Heart Free’ spot was recently awarded Best in Craft in IDIDTHAT’S Craft Award. Judge and Darling Films’ director Chloe Coetsee, commented: ‘This spot makes you work for it, and I like that! In a spoon-fed commercial world it was great to get a sense of something before making sense of it. I love how the voice drifts through the contrasting visuals, creating a tension and offbeat pace. It’s evocative and playful and cool.’
Straight up, strong character-centric storytelling is Mzonke’s game. He’s a writer/director who has a thoughtful take on narrative. Mzonke will always challenge stereotypes, especially within the South African context. Before joining the Carbon team he was directing in Los Angeles, working with the likes of Tyler the Creator, Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) and Will I Am, so yes, he’s bringing some big game energy with him.
‘Mzonke is incredibly good with narrative and understands filmmaking entirely, much more than I do. Whether it’s funny or tragic, he brings a distinct voice and authenticity to the work.’ – Carbon’s Bruno Bossi
We selected these two spots to show you just what we mean about Mzonke’s refreshing take on characters and narrative. His ‘Skaap’ short film has stayed with us long after we first saw it. See more of his work here.
Castle Lite ‘Unlock Summer’
Porteus is an actor-turned director, which is perhaps why he has the ability to craft such rich and textured human stories. While his work delivers in the performance category, he also manages to bring those eye-popping visuals. If you don’t recognise his name, it’s probably because Porteus has spent most of his filmmaking career directing international work for big brands. Good news for you is that he’s now back on local ground.
We selected his recent Polestar work to show you what Porteus is all about. One of the spots, Polestar 2 ‘Flo Jung’, was featured in Ad Forum’s prestigious Top 5 Auto Ads from around the globe for March 2021, while ‘Sebastian Kienle’ nabbed a Best in Craft award. See more of his work here.
Polestar ‘Sebastian Kienle’
Polestar 2 ‘Flo Jung’
Polestar ‘Sebastian Kienle’ was awarded Best in Craft in IDIDTHAT’S Craft Awards for December 2020 by guest judge, Bioscope Films director Fausto Becatti. Fausto’s Comment: ‘(…)This film stood out to me because beyond being gorgeous to look at, with a beautifully crafted and deeply considered edit, I felt intrigued and drawn in by all the elements together. The treatment of the voice and the typographic, extra bits to convey his story, there’s a level of consistent consideration that keeps it interesting but not all over the place. A strong marriage of the human story with the design elements of the car. Bonus points for making the car look incredible too.’
Laurissa is Carbon’s dark horse. She has been working as a top researcher for some of the best directors in the world, so yes, what you’re going to get from this director is an encyclopaedic knowledge of advertising, techniques and thought. She is your go-to when you need a visual thinker who gets ideas and knows how to make sh*t happen. We think Bruno from Carbon summed it up perfectly when he said: ‘Laurissa is a ticking timebomb ready to blow up as one of the country’s best directors at any second.’
Kirsten weighs in on the Vergottini talent: ‘She knows exactly what she wants and she’s not the kind of director that relies on people around her. Laurissa’s very much got her own identity and ideas which is very rare.’
To understand what Bruno means when he says ‘ticking timebomb’ check out these two spots we selected from Laurissa’s portfolio. See more of her work here.
Look, we hardly need to introduce Bruno as he is a founding partner after all, but we also can’t exclude him when talking about the impressive talent at Carbon.
Scripts with strong concepts attract Bruno, which makes sense since he is an ideas man, no seriously, he’s obsessed. A conceptual thinker who always strives to push the idea further, whether through performance, captivating visuals or technical delivery.
We chose these two recent spots by Bruno to give you a taster of what we mean and because they were both awarded by our esteemed judges in the IDIDTHAT Craft Awards. See more of his work here.
KFC ‘Box Meals’ Campaign
Extreme Energy ‘Unstoppable’
KFC ‘Box Meals’ was awarded Best in Craft in IDIDTHAT’S Craft Awards for April 2021 by the ECD of Duke, Suhana Gordhan. Suhana commented: ‘(…)This is the kind of joy that demands repeat watching. The director could have overindulged here, milking performances and ‘hamming it up’. I like that restraint was applied and that the actors’ performances gave you just enough to want more. The food enjoyment is not hidden away and beautifully instigates the responses of the people caught in slow motion. Every choice was well considered – from art direction, to wardrobe, to music – resulting in the kind of effortless reward you want when watching a commercial.’
When Lebogang Rasethaba, director at Egg Films and Arcade awarded Bruno’s Extreme Energy ‘Unstoppable’ a Craft Mention for November 2020 he commented: ‘I have always been a fan of Bruno Bossi, firstly he has a really cool name and surname and it would be an affront to his ancestors if we didn’t see this name as often as possible. BRUNO BOSSI BRUNO BOSSI BRUNO BOSSI. But more than a cool cowboy with a fancy name he is a director who is full of surprises, has mad depth in his skills that are rooted in an understanding of the game 360. He has been around but he is still growing.’
After spending some time with the team of talent at Carbon, it’s clear that this is a film company that really does have creativity at the centre. We don’t know what the production company is pumping into its water cooler back at HQ, but this roster of directors have certainly got the industry talking. Now take your pick!
Contact Carbon Films:
Executive Producer: Kirsten Clarence
Produced by the IDIDTHAT Content Studio – Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder
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