You can find Kevin Fitzgerald at Carbon Films

If you’ve worked with industry heavyweight director Kevin Fitzgerald before, then there is not much more to say. All you really need to know is that he’s recently joined the powerhouse team at Carbon Films, which is where you can contact him. Great, you’re all caught up and can stop reading now.

For those of you who haven’t worked with Kevin yet, continue reading…

Established commercial director Kevin Fitzgerald brings a vast skillset and experience to filmmaking, which makes it almost impossible to put him in a box. Kevin has been in the commercial directing game for so long that the industry has gotten to know him as many different types of director (you know how we like to put directors in a box). Kevin began his career being referred to as the ‘visual director’, which makes sense considering he comes from a fashion and photography background. Bringing this solid visual approach to his first BMW ad, he quickly became known as the ‘car guy’, directing a slew of car ads from Alfa and Merc to Fiat and every engine in-between. It wasn’t long and people began calling him the ‘performance guy’, directing banking spots, alcohol ads, comedy commercials, there was even that time he directed Uma Thurman (BTS, we asked him if he ever had her cell number and yip, he whipped out his phone and showed it to us. Look it was over 10 years ago so he said the number probably didn’t work anymore but it’s all about the story okay).

Talking about ‘performance guy’, we can clearly see exactly that in his latest work for Liberty and Unisa. Check it out.

Liberty ‘Stagefright’

Unisa ‘Define Tomorrow’

So, what kind of director is Kevin known as today? In our opinion, there is no better way to describe Kevin than through the work he has directed for the latest Devil’s Peak Beer campaign. The campaign was all about connecting with subcultures, communities of downhill mountain bikers, guitar lovers and tattoo heads.

Devil’s Peak ‘In On Skin’

Devil’s Peak ‘Hooked on a Hook’

Devils Peak ‘A Kick Into Chaos’

Screengrab from Devil Peak’s ‘Ink on Skin’ spot

Let’s talk about this opening shot of Devil’s Peak ‘Ink on Skin’. That dear reader, was not done in post, despite what we thought when we first watched the ad. It’s actually a hand with string stitched into it, eina! This is testament to Kevin’s ‘get it in camera’ approach we see in so much of his work, combined with a raw and unfiltered storytelling technique. ‘We used to do that when we were kids, put a needle under our skin. Conceptually I liked it because historically they used to do that, tattoo artists used to dye cotton and stitch it under the skin and that’s how they created tattoos. You wouldn’t know that, I wouldn’t know that, but this campaign wasn’t meant for us. It was meant to resonate with tattoo artists or people who are part of that community. It was therefore really important to me to be 100% honest in my approach. To strip down all the cinematic niceties and just focus on the performances.’

Screengrab from ‘Hooked on a Hook’ featuring jazz artist and guitarist Alvin Dyers

Hooked on a Hook’ is a spot filled with jazz legends and famous guitarists, but Kevin purposefully did not include the names of these people because according to him they are famous within their subcultures. ‘If I added the names on screen I feel it would be an insult to the people who know who these legends are.’ He says.

Screengrab from ‘A Kick Into Chaos’ starring Greg Minnaar.

Similarly, the ‘A Kick Into Chaos’ ad stars Greg Minnaar, South Africa’s 4 x World Downhill Mountain Biking Champion. Only the mountain bike enthusiasts would know that and recognise Greg’s voice as the vo. Getting Kevin’s interpretation about the animation style used in that spot he says: ‘We used some animation, but even so, we consciously decided to strip it right back to make it feel a bit raw and rough, which felt like it worked with the sport. This campaign doesn’t rely on fancy gear or tricks, it’s about capturing the moments. I love commercials like these where you need to think smart and out of the box, there’s something magical and really enjoyable about working like that.’ Says Kevin.

It’s this unfiltered honest approach to storytelling that really is the golden thread that runs through Kevin’s work and we’re excited to see what he creates next, especially with the production backing of Carbon Films. Kevin will be joining directors Bruno Bossi Daniel Morcos, Laurissa Vergottini, Mzonke Maloney and Porteus Xandau on the talent roster at Carbon.

There’s it, now you’re all caught up on Kevin.

Why not (s)talk some more? Carbon on IDIDTHAT and Company Website.

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Executive Producer: Kirsten Clarence 

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

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