Point of View: Director, Wilkins & Maguire

Interview with Director duo Wilkins & Maguire of Stink Films

POV: Director

How would you describe what you do?
Reframing ideas, extracting performances, recreating life’s wonder and awe, challenging people’s preconceptions, taking the real and turning it into tangible beauty.
How did you get into this job?
We are a duo so we came to directing commercials from a few angles. Leo studied art then documentary photography, Robert studied history, became a journalist, and then a filmmaker. We met on the set of Leo’s directorial debut Gypsy Blood, a few years and another film later we signed up to direct commercials together.
What is most challenging about what you do?
It’s all challenging, things go off plan all the time. That’s also what makes it so exciting and rewarding. You react, adapt, and find the profound in the chaos, its often the unknown that brings the magic.
What is most rewarding?
Parachuting into people’s lives, and working out how to visually portray their story and narrative in a powerful way through film.
What’s a typical work week like?
It’s never typical and that’s what keeps us going.
What needs to happen the most in order for a shoot to run smoothly?
A good concept that everyone can get behind and believe in goes a long way. That’s the most important ingredient, but when things run too smoothly it’s a little worrying….
Whats your best job/worst job?
Worst ad job – trying to make frozen fish look nice and fresh when it hadn’t properly defrosted. Documentary – Low point…. Sleeping roadside in winter in Calais then being pepper sprayed by riot police. Phone pitching for an ad shortly after was interesting. Best jobs – Filming with women in final stages of cancer for ‘Breast Cancer Now’ was profound.
What advice would you offer someone considering a career as a Director?
Do it. Start making things, shoot, write, be ambitious, don’t take no for an answer.
If you had one project that you could post on AdForum to represent your work, what would it be?
Guinness Made of More Africa was a special project. It encapsulates the human spirit of people from a seemingly distant place, and yet their stories are so relatable. It is the ‘Hero's Journey' that we are always looking for.
Finally tell us something that most people don’t know about being a Director?
That we learn from being allowed to make mistakes.