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Fergus Stothart

Fergus Stothart from Garage Films: The pandemic will shift tendencies away from traditional formats and into new creative territories

11 de mayo de 2020

Fergus Stothart is a Director/DP based in Los Angeles, California. He was born in Australia in 1969. His father is a painter and his mother a designer. He grew up on a farm near Sydney and spent his teenage years travelling with his family, attending school in France and Greece. He settled in Spain in the 1980s, studying photography in Barcelona.

After assisting photographers in Copenhagen, Denmark, he returned to Barcelona where he quickly became one of Spain’s leading still photographers - shooting for Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Renault. He specialized in shooting cars, winning awards at Cannes, SOL, FIAP and CLEO.

Audi commissioned Fergus to direct his first television commercial in 2005 and he has never looked back. He has since directed spots for clients including Powerade, Honda, Home Depot, Chrysler, Ernest Jones, Mitsubishi, Puig, P&G and The Canary Islands. He is represented worldwide by production companies in Spain, USA, Mexico, China and the Middle East.

Since moving to California in 2016, Fergus has continued to grow his US client base and has worked extensively in Mexico and South America. His Spanish/Australian heritage means he has the ability to work effortlessly in both the Hispanic and general market environment. He speaks fluent Spanish and his career directing in Europe and America has given him a unique perspective on the Hispanic market.

1. What is your first memory with a camera?

I was 11 years old and had just moved from my native Australia to a tiny Greek island with my family. Dad gave me a 110mm Kodak instant camera; a bakelite box with a tiny lens and a few rudimentary buttons. I loaded it by sliding a film cartridge into the back and snapping the door shut. We lived in a village that was built around a castle overlooking the Aegean sea and there was something I wanted to photograph around every corner. But… the camera only had 24 shots and getting the film developed meant sending it to Athens via post, so I was very careful about what I took photos of.

2. How are you experiencing the quarantine? Are you doing any kind of creative project?

Fine, I guess. I'm used to travelling a lot so this is new and strange for me. Actually, it's been an amazing opportunity to do all the things I don’t usually have time to get into. About every quarter I publish a book of photos for my clients, family and friends. I've always got at least 3-4 passion projects going at any one time. During this quarantine, I’ve completed two books and am in the middle of a third about the LA river. What else? I’m in the middle of writing a script for a short film I want to direct. I try to write for two hours every day.

3. What advice would you give directors to face this time outside the set as we knew it?

Enjoy yourself. Don't get stressed. The work will come. Keep being creative. Make sure you can look back on this as a growth moment in your life.

4. Do you feel that after this contingency production formats will change?

I don't think production formats will change much. Film production is already amazingly efficient and I'm not sure how it could be improved. I do think this crazy time we are living in will shift tendencies away from traditional formats and into new creative territories. Obviously, social media platforms will get stronger with advertisers. And these new formats require new creative approaches which I find super exciting. I feel that guys like me who can write, dp and direct will suit these new ways of communicating.

5. What projects have you worked on recently?

I shot a few films for a European skincare product owned by Colgate-Palmolive in Spain right before the pandemic hit. I flew back to the US in mid-March and made it home to my family just before the travel ban. I'm super excited to have these new films on my reel. Before that, I did The Home Depot GM/HM Spring campaign in Miami. Great films for an amazing client. We shot a super sweet 60´s
brand that I’m proud of and that should be released any day now. I was due to shoot a car commercial here in LA in April, so I’m just waiting on the latest news on when that will go ahead.

6. Where is Fergus headed towards for the future?

I want to keep learning and growing as a director. I feel so lucky to learn from every project. Operating and DPing more is a priority. I love photography - I'd love to exhibit some of my favorite stills. The narrative format is my long term goal. That’s what motivates me perhaps more than anything.

Production Company:
Garage Films, US
Contact: Fermín Vilanova

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