gibberish


Hector. Film Review.

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I was privileged to be at the premiere of this great movie at the Edinburgh International Film Festival tonight as guest of the co-producer, Simon Mallinson.

It’s a low budget tale with a big human story at its heart that is carried off with consumate ease by its eponymous lead, Peter Mullan.

Mullan has slowly but surely risen up the star league over many, many years, but few parts can have given him such screen time, such total empathy with the viewer and such character.

Most people associate Mullan with aggressive, gritty, hard Scottish character parts but this, although gritty and Scottish, is the complete antithesis of that.  He plays a long term homeless man that still cares about his appearance and his ability to integrate into his own form of society – his “real family” as he calls it.

It opens on Hector carefully going through his morning ablutions, only for the camera shot to widen and reveal that these are taking part in the public toilet of a northern Scottish shopping centre.  Such is the lot of a homeless person that cares about how they look.

It’s a road movie of sorts in that it follows the endless winter migrations of Mullen’s character, Hector, North and South across the UK, sleeping in the outdoors, public toilets, motorway service station car parks, shopping centres but more positively in a London Christmas homeless shelter where he has, over the years, become something of a cause celebre.

The tedium of his life is beautifully realised in the succession of lifts he gets from kind hearted (and possibly lonely) lorry and van drivers and the slow pace emphasises the sheer monotony of a life with no real purpopse.

And his situation, already bleak is heightened by the fact that every step he takes is contorted by some form of unexplained leg pain.  Hector’s life is clearly far from a picnic.

But, despite this, what lies at the movie’s core is the milk of human kindness.

Each lift acquired, each gesture of charity (a free cup of tea, a shared meal, the tenderness of the London homeless centre’s manager, played beautifully by Sarah Solemani) adds weight to the fact that homeless people are more often than not castigated for their situation, assumed to be beggars, spongers, theives.

But, the truth is, each has a story, a reason, for their situation.  And it’s this kindness that Hector elicits, dramatised in tiny vignettes again and again, that marks this movie out from the usual “it’s grim up north” docudrama that dwells constantly on the misery of life where one is cast aside from society.

It would be wrong to explain why Hector finds himself in his own situation, and for so long, so I won’t spoil it.  It sort of doesn’t matter, but we are curious.  What does matter is how Mullan crafts his perfectly rendered character into a lovable, sympathetic man and the absolute epitome of what makes people good.

To that end director and writer (based on a true story) Jake Gavin is to be congratulated on not only what is a decisive and confident debut but also a great human love story that potentially offers more to come.

Hector could come back, that’s for sure.



User generated content
September 20, 2010, 10:51 am
Filed under: advertising, business, creativity, humour, jokes, life, politics, Rants, Scotland, stories | Tags: , , ,

What happens when you run provocative headlines.  This is the campaign for the launch of STV local in North Lanarkshire.

good typography too.



Trotty

I had the not inconsiderable pleasure of spending Thursday evening meeting, introducing and then listening to Dave Trott present at Robbie Smith’s studio in Leith in my role as Head of Client Services at STV.  Thereafter we had a beer or three in the Cafe Royal.

Since then I have been inundated with messages of thanks proclaiming him the best speaker people have ever heard.

Why?

Because although ostensibly this was a talk to creatives about creativity it was, in actual fact, a potted guide to strategy development (which is, of course, at the heart of all creativity).

In his speech he poo pooed the notion that creativity starts with impact.  Because vacuous impact creates no effect other than fueling the egos of lesser art directors.  No; creativity starts with persuasion, by identifying what he often referred to as the, usually disregarded these days, USP, then working through communication (ie the content of the message) before gilding the idea with impact.

Created in this order ads of any kind (and any medium – digital or otherwise) have the ability to “go viral”.

It was all done with a deep and committed single mindedness and lightness of touch that was jaw dropping in its simplicity, but eye opening in its possibility.

Dave Trott. You are a genius  Just like Cloughie!

And then to top it all off Doug Cook sent me this astounding picture.

Me and Trotty. David and Goliath.



we are Derren Brown

Could you close the door behind you on the way out?


New work
January 17, 2009, 2:11 pm
Filed under: advertising, Arts, business, family, life, work | Tags: , , , ,

Me and the boys at 60 Watt have been developing a new advertising campaign for themselves that will be running in full page format in The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday. It challenges the notion, full on, that advertising in a recession is a bad idea and instead encourages clients to be bold.

The first ad went out on Friday.

60w-first

And this one runs soon.

60w-second



Wassup 2008.

Thanks to Will Atkinson for providing me with this gem.

Not only is this very funny and a genius pastiche but it is a very true take on our current zeitgeist (yeah I know but it’s the right word.)

For those of you who don’t remember the vernacular hogging original it was truly the talk of the water cooler in 2000.



IPA AGM

I told you this was a great event.  Particularly because Alfredo Marcantonio showed us a reel of commercials that were all low budget but brilliant.  Here are a few of them.

I’d never seen this VW Karmann Ghia ad before but it really is a classic.

[Youtube=]

He showed this too.  Which made us all laugh.

And this cracker for Carling Black label.

He showed a different ad from this one for the x show.  But this is a pretty good alternative…