This is Robin Adams from Egg Films: Commercials Director. Craftsman. Thinker
Director Robin Adams joined the nest at Egg Films in July 2018 and has been dodging our calls ever since. But here at iDidTht we are nothing if not persistent and despite his aversion to media attention we finally managed to pin him down along with his Producer and paparazzi-handler Kerry Hosford. Robin is a sincere, no-bullshit Director who made us, and Egg Films, sit up and pay attention, but we guess that’s what you get after a nearly 5 year apprenticeship with the late Keith Rose.
From the moment we meet it’s perfectly clear that Robin would rather be on set than sitting in a media interview self-promoting himself. Right off the bat his sincerity and honesty is incredibly charming and he’s damn down to earth. As a Director he is determined to pursue the unexpected and focused on one thing and one thing only: ‘creating honest work that will amaze.’ It’s most likely Robin’s pursuit of authenticity that also makes him weary of the PR machine – as if that would stop us!
iDidTht: What first drew you to Directing?
Robin: ‘My grandfather was one of very few photographers of colour working for the Argus back in the day. Growing up, this was my first interaction with photography and in a way inspired me in a visual sense. The romance of being around his photo lab and going out taking photos with him provided me with a beautiful platform. But Directing was always a step outside my reality. I never thought it was something that was possible for me.’
Turns out Robin was wrong, thankfully. After directing a spot for Ster Kinekor’s Vision Mission, Robin got his big break and joined the team at Velocity Films. A few months later, in 2012 he was approached to work for Keith Rose.
Working with Keith Rose was one of the most challenging and rewarding apprenticeships around.
Robin speaks with the utmost respect and affection about his years working under the mentorship of the great Keith Rose.
Robin: ‘I went on a fantastical journey with Keith. I remember thinking, during my first few months with him, that this was the hardest working person I had ever seen in my life. Keith had a total commitment to the industry and regarded that as an absolute necessity. That commitment to his craft and his pursuit of excellence, every single step of the way, was a beautiful process. Keith always said ‘If you’ve dropped the ball once, you’ve lost the battle.’ That really stayed with me. We worked hard and long for almost 5 years. I always want to improve, not just myself as a Director, but also the industry as a whole.’
Robin kick-started his career at Velocity and he has now moved to Egg Films, which must surely be the best launch into the industry any Director could ask for. Apart from all the shiny awards, we wanted to know what first attracted him to Egg.
Robin: ‘The first time I worked at Egg was just after Velocity closed down – coming in here I felt like I was beyond enemy lines. It felt so wrong because they had always been the competition. But once I was through the doors, I just saw this beautiful family. I saw Colin [Colin Howard is Egg’s badass Managing Director & Executive Producer] walking up the steps, going into the offices and greeting people and it felt so wonderful. There’s this realness and a family feeling about Egg Films that I can honestly say comes from the good people that make Egg what it is.’
iDidTht: ‘We wanna work at Egg! Kerry, same question to you: what did you and Colin see in Robin that got you excited?’
Kerry: ‘Without having met Robin his reel already really stood out from a lot of the younger Directors. There was a considered visual style and consistency in craft that we were drawn to. His commercials are quite varied but there is sincerity there. This last Viceroy job was so huge from planning and prep to execution and his attention to detail and thoughtfulness was amazing. He strives for excellence and hard work and paired with that is his fresh outlook on style, fashion, and music. In the long run that will lead to very exciting work.’
Robin Did That
For Robin it’s about finding and pushing uniqueness #CanWeGetAnAmen. And at the core, there always has to be some kind of soul in the work. Below are three of our favourite spots from the Robin reel – all three set in a world filled with that heart and soul Robin pursues.
Viceroy ‘Perfect Blend’
‘Make Love’ Superbalist
Robin: ‘I most recently did the Viceroy commercial, the things that I am passionate about – identity, representation, truth and sincerity – if you’re looking for it, you can see it in that commercial. Similarly Axe also speaks to that and was the first spot I did. I still love it because there was a real sincerity about Axe that came through. Working on the ‘Make Love‘ campaign with Superbalist was a really meaningful project to me from the influencers all the way through to the styling and even the voice – all three of these spots go a long way in showcasing my colour.’
As a young Director Robin is fast making strides in the industry and is quickly growing his portfolio. His thoughtfulness in his work is apparent and we wanted to know what story he thought wasn’t being told in South Africa.
Robin: ‘I’m this kid who grew up in Belhar [a suburb in the Cape Flats area] and especially within South Africa I feel the voice of the coloured people gets lost in-between all of the narratives at play. There are so many stories in South Africa that can be told and we have such a unique perspective, it’s just important for us to keep pushing and celebrating that difference.’
We wish we had more than an hour to pick Robin’s brain, but security was very clear on where the exits were. Nonetheless, Robin is clearly a thinker and as a young Director the future looks damn bright. He wants to create work that is sincere and unexpected, and that also challenges him. As long as he’s creating, we’re watching!
Produced by the iDidTht Content Studio
Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder
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