Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Director of the Month: Siri Bunford




I got a request last month to feature a female director.

Trouble is, there aren't many. It seems possession of a penis is almost mandatory before an individual is allowed to shout 'Cut' or 'Action'. And not just in commercials - it's the same in the world of feature films.

Why this should be, I don't know. If you have a theory, write it up as a comment. The best answer I can give is that you need to be part megalomaniac to want to direct, and just as history's foremost dictators have been men, so have the best directors.

But there is one very interesting director around right now who also happens to be female - Siri Bunford. Her 'Kubrick Season' promo has just been nominated for a D&AD pencil.

You've almost certainly seen it, and it is the best thing on her reel. If you like that, do watch the rest; it's in a similar vein. I met Siri in the flesh once, when she pitched for a Guardian ad when I was at DDB. Can't remember which one. But she had the same luminous intelligence in the flesh as comes across in her work.

Her sensibility is perfect for Channel 4, and arguably harder to apply to the rough-and-tumble world of product advertising. But if you have something that needs a bit of elegance and intelligence... I reckon you could do a lot worse than put Siri on it.

13 comments:

Bodecker said...

This woman is a real maveric. In the Orange ad she had totally ignored the old adage "Never work with children or animals". Why there's children and dolphins all together in the one shot. Granted, the dolphins are blow-up balloons but it can't have been easy getting them to go where you want them. It's like she's told the whole world to go stuff itself and to hell with the consequences. Bravo. Bravo.

Anonymous said...

Very nice. Not sure about three of four ads doing the "flying stuff" thing, but cool all the same.

Anonymous said...

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simon said...

Having worked both in advertising and film I would have to say that the reason there are so few women directing has nothing to do with their ability to shout action, or cut. But more to do with the other 80% of directors work that doesn't involve being on a shoot. Mans' ego flatter then to believe that creating 'their vision' is what's really important, while women understand that getting things done is more appealing and so they end up producing.

Anonymous said...

Simon @ 11.18. You are spot on.

Something that struck me at the BTAA's a few months ago, was that most producers that went up with their directors to collect awards were women.

Look at most of the industries top production companies - the majority are headed by women, and I think this is because they can keep a man's ego in check far easier than another man is able to.

There are a lot of great female directors out there, but to be honest, the industry as a whole is still quite sexist. I know we aren't meant to say it, but it is definitely true.

brake dollinge said...

my ex is a director.

I've always been puzzled by the sheer weight of numbers by which women are under-represented in directing. I thought she'd have a unique insight.

she said it was because they always wanted to go and have babies.

emmeline pankhurst, we hardly knew ye.

Anonymous said...

who's the sad twat the requested a female director? Who cares what sex they are.

Anonymous said...

Let's have a child director next month

Anonymous said...

Anon 2.28.
Don't you find it interesting that there are just a handful of women that direct commercials compared to the infinite amount of men?

Grant said...

That's all great, but the Kubrick scene in question is famously the first ever to use a Steadicam and when he walks out it's mounted on a Dolly. Tsk. Tsk.

Quick - before anyone else can say it - I'm a nerd...

Anonymous said...

Anon 6.57

I couldn't care less, i've got a life to live. Although, show me a Horse that can direct...then you've got my interest.

Anonymous said...

anon 5pm.
i know a few child directors ;).

Anonymous said...

re grant: "but the Kubrick scene in question is famously the first ever to use a Steadicam"

the first ever film (feature) to use a sled was bound for glory, closely followed by marathon man. 5 years or so before the shining. and what about rocky 1 in the training sequence? that was 78