Saatchi still ahead in boosting young creators but now brands are joining the search for talent

The 22nd Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase took place on Thursday morning, with this year’s ‘Meet Your Creator’ theme striking a particular chord, in literal terms with a spectacular musical intro, complete with flying computer-controlled choreographed Quadrotors. But also as brands and agencies are, more than ever, looking to meet and encourage a new generation of creators.

In a seminar about ‘The Democratisation of Content’ which took place the day before, David Alberts, the chief creative officer of go-go film company MOFILM, announced a new competition in partnership with Coke Zero, in which budding filmmakers can win funding to produce an original short and then spend a day with Forest Whittaker developing a script for a feature film. Wow. Now Coke Zero looks brilliant for providing the opportunity, and MOFILM get to do what they do best, which is find new creative talent and make films.

Whilst brands like Orange UK already do wonders in supporting the UK film industry, for example, (single-handedly eliminating slow cinema Wednesdays with their two for one ticket offers, now the hunt is now on to find new talent, according to UK brand boss Ben Spencer.

Using the internet as a platform, absolutely anyone can upload content and (hopefully) make it big, so companies are wise to harness this potential. With brands like Unilever opening competitions to the public and finding the winners more than capable of competing in the global advertising market (like the Dove Self-Esteem Fund winner), the industry’s borders are blurring. A 14 year-old with a cheap video camera can now be a creative, and indeed, one UK Saatchi & Saatchi New Director’s Showcase entry was shot entirely on a Nokia phone. With high production values no longer the whole story, storytelling skills and strong direction are becoming all the more important.

Saatchi & Saatchi has been backing new creative talent at Cannes for 22 years now and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot more agencies and brands starting to encourage and support new talent in the same way. The stand-out NDS entry this year was Andrew Thomas Huang (see below) with his incredible multicoloured explosion of a short film, ‘Solipsist,’ with UK entry Skinny also worth a mention for the unrelenting music video for Moonbootica track ‘Iconic’. Also OK GO featured in the showcase, with a live performance music video for ‘Needing / Getting’ (involving a car covered in paddles, hundreds of pianos, guitars, barrels, spoons and goodness knows what else) but the film with the best auditorium reaction was the hilarious slow motion ‘Hard Times’ by Seyi Peter-Thomas.

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About Becky Wilkie

Becky Wilkie is an English Literature graduate striving to uncover the inner workings of the advertising industry; posing as a roaming reporter and working in trade PR. She can otherwise be found playing with her about-to-be famous band Fledglings.