Two New Directors join Picture Tree – Meet Marcus Moshapalo

Marcus Moshapalo and Sibu Khuzwayo have both recently joined the family at Picture Tree as they embark on a new chapter as commercial directors. But get this, they’ve only met briefly and hardly know each other. Now although we’re all about social distancing, this just wouldn’t do. In this, the ‘Meet Marcus Moshapalo’ edition, we tasked Sibu to ask Marcus 4 of his most burning questions, you know, director to director. And while they got to know each other a little bit better, we got to play fly on their Zoom call wall. Once you’ve gotten to know all about Marcus, make sure you click through to the ‘Meet Sibu Khuzwayo’ edition.


His background as an Art Director in advertising, where he spent almost 17 years, means he closely scrutinizes the composition of every frame. A dynamic director with a visual art director’s eye that’s concept-driven. He’s a cool, finger on the pulse kinda guy.

Watch this debut fashion film, directed by Marcus, showcasing Shaldon Kopman’s Urban Camo designs.

‘Urban Camo’

Sibu Ask Away!

Sibu: I only met you for a few minutes but I knew I would always remember you, because having watched some of your work, I think there’s a lot I can learn from you.

1. Sibu: My first question – what has shaped you as a person and the work that you do?

Marcus: My brother is my biggest inspiration. He was listening to hip hop music back when it wasn’t even a thing and he was really into art. And as a kid growing up ekasi, those things were not necessarily cool and sometimes even frowned up. So, I drew my inspiration from him and then I got to branch out and found my own way of doing things and looking at things and I think that developed into being inspired by things that have a strong visual aspect.

IDIDTHAT: Hang on, sorry to interrupt, but is your brother Kabelo Moshapalo, Executive Creative Director at TBWA?
Marcus: Haha, yes that’s the one.

IDIDTHAT: Oh my gosh, we love him! Hey Kabza!
Marcus: Haha, I’ll tell him.
IDIDTHAT: He better be reading this…

2. Sibu: How do you find the transition from being an Art Director in the advertising world and now working as a commercials Director?

Marcus: Because I was always on the other side of the table, as part of the agency creative, I now understand what the expectations are of a director and what an agency is trying to achieve from a board for instance. I think that insight is invaluable. To take the agency’s vision and then distil it into my vision as a director, and then find a balance between the two has been the most exciting part of the transition for me.

3. Sibu: You can see your short film for Urban Camo was lensed by an Art Director. To what extent do you think your background has influenced the way you frame things?

Marcus: Working in print etc you learn how important composition is, so when you’re framing for something you consider every little thing and how balanced everything needs to be. That’s what I trained for and definitely art direction as a skillset has been a huge part of how I see things.

4. Sibu: What is the most valuable skill you learnt in advertising that you’ll be using as a Director?

Marcus: Over my almost 17 years in advertising I’ve learnt the balance between creativity and the sell. Finding the essence of the thing or the core of what you are communicating. Realising that often the solution is the simplest thing, that’s a skill. My intention is to create work that is effective and still beautiful.

5. Sibu: I know we were only going to ask 4 questions each, but I have one more. What would you like to be remembered for?

Marcus: Woah, that’s a hard one. I love craft. Even though I am a visual storyteller, there is no point in making something beautiful but it has no substance. I want to be remembered as someone who created beautiful well-crafted work that is visually enticing, but also someone who created work that matters. 
Sibu: With your background and influences and your experience in art direction I’m really excited to see what you’ll get up to as a director.
Marcus: Thank you. I really appreciate that and it means a lot coming from you. Having seen your short film, ‘The Letter Reader’, I am in awe. It’s so authentic and so beautiful. I get such a sense of who you are just from watching it. The people were interpreted in such a sensitive and respectful way. There is so much soul needed in ads, a human aspect and I think your stories about humanity are what we need. Just quickly, I’d love for you to answer the same question you asked me: ‘What do you want to be remembered for?’
Sibu: Ha! Damn you got me! I want to move you in a unique way. From the very first frame of my work, I want you to feel Africa. I am trying to harness a unique voice so I can touch people in a certain way.
Marcus: And the fact that your film has gotten international exposure and the awards it’s won is a testament of how great a storyteller you are, it’s awe-inspiring.

We could watch these two talk shop for the whole day but unfortunately, we don’t have Zoom Premium and we’re only allowed a 45-minute session with these talents #TheLockdownStruggle so make sure you click on the link below to see what questions Marcus asked Sibu in the ‘Meet Sibu Khuzwayo’ edition or just drop Picture Tree a mail at and get working with these talents right away!


See what happens when these two swap interview roles and Marcus now gets to ask Sibu some questions. View Story

Contact Picture Tree:

Scott: Executive Producer Commercials
+27 82 926 6378

Gary: CEO/Executive Producer

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Produced by the IDIDTHAT Content Studio – Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder

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