As directors (and also as people who order tea), the three Figment Directors are all totally unique in their perspectives and creative approach. Oliver has a rich background in directing features which influences how he approaches commercials, Gregg and Robin both have backgrounds in advertising which means they get the business of the ad and Robin is also currently directing a feature film.
iDidTht: Your journeys have all been so different, how do you approach the work at Figment?
Oliver: I can get very bogged down by the process of long form work because it’s so laboured by a certain level of detail in honesty, performance and character. Commercials allow me to experience genres in a sense that I wouldn’t normally. It’s a holiday away from the isolation. On commercials, there are a lot more people who you are counterpointing ideas and decisions with, so it’s a more inclusive process. But it’s also enriching and stimulating in a different way. I get to explore my ideas about certain things that I never do in film.
Gregg: For myself and Robin, coming from an advertising background, we get excited about the idea. Being on this side of the fence as directors, the idea is still king for us. Even for Oliver, because in features there is a central thread that runs through the whole movie and it’s a single thing that you focus on from beginning to end. From an advertising perspective, when I see a good idea I get excited regardless of where that script comes from.
iDidTht: Apart from the idea and a good cuppa, what else are you all three passionate about?
Rob: The willingness to push and break through the expectations. We try to elevate the work to something else and we add value by crafting.
The Figment reel is, like their directors, diverse, but whether it’s the treatment, performance, location, framing or post-production, the team always carefully oversee every aspect of the process with a sincere focus on the craft.
iDidTht: Working so closely together, how would you all describe each other’s work?
Gregg on Robin: Robin is very careful with the handling of the core idea and not killing it. Every shot and all the music and cast and every frame is pushing that idea forward to get you to the point where you go – ‘Wow that’s a successful commercial!’ With Robin, the handling of the idea is so good from an advertising perspective. When I watch his commercials I know exactly what it wants me to do or feel or what it’s trying to sell. Sometimes it’s on an emotional level, sometimes it’s more direct.