POV: Director Austen Humphries

Austen Humphries shares his experience as director for Rattling Stick


POV: Director

How would you describe what you do?
Friend to the idea, Solver of problems, Deliverer of shits and giggles.
How did you get into this job?
By working hard and being very nice to people. Being a sponge, creatively speaking, probably didn’t hurt either...
What is most challenging about what you do?
The near constant battle to protect the creative against the forces of “we haven’t got the money to do that...” That, and the fact I gave up drinking two years ago.
What is most rewarding?
Everyone smiling, happy and hugging each other when you call a wrap. It’s not over until it’s over, but I always think that point is a decent barometer of how it’s going. And seeing something finished that makes you not want to eat your body weight in donuts to get over...
What’s a typical work week like?
I'm not sure I'm ever off the phone long enough to know. Oh, that...
What needs to happen the most in order for a shoot to run smoothly?
I guess it's all in the prep. If your ducks are in a row when you get up on day one, you're there. Then you get to enjoy the really fun bit of actually shooting it, and I think that shows in the final picture.
Whats your best job/worst job?
I certainly haven't got a worst job, I'll try and find some sort of positive from even the most trying of situations, but feel free to ask for my Turkey reel at Rattling Stick and make your own minds up. Best jobs are when everyone is happy and smiling at the end of it, which seems to be most of the time. I think.
What advice would you offer someone considering a career as a Director?
Be open minded and receptive to input, and be nice to people. Being a creative process, remember it as that. It evolves and changes all the time, and if you can help that along and keep pushing in the right direction, you're doing your job. And know everyones names on set.
If you had one project that you could post on AdForum to represent your work, what would it be?
Probably the Nike Zlatan stuff I did. The whole thing was a free-wheeling creative juggernaut, which was a lot of fun to be part of. He was brilliant, the idea was funny and just kept getting funnier and more expansive as we went along. It was one of those jobs that we just kept pushing and pushing creatively. We'd probably still be going on it if we could.
Finally tell us something that most people don’t know about being a Director?
You don't have to wear Jodhpurs and you don't need to use a megaphone.