Andy is a recent addition to the Think HQ team. As Director of Interactive and Creative, Andy has worked on many creative projects in the communications industry all over the world. His short film, 'Mrs McCutcheon', recently won the Best Australian Short Film at the Melbourne International Film Festival and has been nominated for an AACTA Award.
You’ve joined Think HQ after an extensive career in delivering creative projects and services. Is there any particular project you have worked on in your career that stands out as the most meaningful?
I was lucky enough to work in several areas within the communications industry. My highlights would be delivering the 2010 and 2011 Samsung Forums in Latin America as technical director. The Samsung Forum is a technology event with conferences and trade show where Samsung reveals to consumers what they have in store for the year. The scale and complexity of the event were daunting but we managed to deliver with success.
In the transmedia space, in 2012 I had the opportunity to present a multi-platform storytelling project funded by Screenwest at the Cross Media Days Conference and Market in Paris. The concept of transmedia was relatively new back in 2012 and it was a great opportunity to present the project to European networks such as ArteTV and ZDF.
In the digital space, highlights were working on complex apps targeted to the disability sector such as Startspeak for DADAA and Equip Myself for the Independent Living Centre of Western Australia. I was also involved in the conception and delivery of the My Three Houses app for Signs of Safety, a child protection framework for high complex cases, and interactive solutions for the Western Australian Museum.
And this year my highlight would be my short film ‘Mrs McCutcheon’ that went on to win the Best Australian Short Film at the Melbourne International Film Festival and received an AACTA Awards nomination for Best Short Fiction Film. The award will be announced at the end of the year, so fingers crossed.
What brought you to Think HQ? What were your motivations for joining the team, and what do you hope to achieve from the role?
At the same time I applied for the job here, I was going through a selection process for Clemenger BBDO. But what drove me to accepting the offer at Think HQ was the value proposition and the culture the company has. Having worked in ad agencies before, I have no interest anymore in doing work that isn’t meaningful in some way or that doesn't have a greater purpose.
You come from a multidisciplinary background; do you envisage the opportunity to apply many of these acquired skills at Think HQ?
I think it has already started to happen. I was primarily an art director and designer, so I am visually oriented. I attend to details - I know how a font, space, colour and imagery can affect the perception of a piece. Secondly, I come from a computer science background, so the application of my design thinking to digital was a natural transition. But I have a passion for film and entrepreneurship, which leads me to produce content. What I envisage for the department is a combination of these skills - a true digital creative department that is able to provide great design and content combined with well-developed technology. In the current integrated landscape, thinking in silos is a way to get behind the competition.
You recently produced an award-winning short film featuring actors Nadine Garner and Virginia Gay. Was this venture into short film something new for you?
This is my third film. I had produced a short back in 2003 that went on to a few film festivals in Brazil. In 2015, I executive produced a feature documentary that was part of a branded content project I was developing for Caterpillar. In the meantime, I produced a lot of audiovisual content, usually connected to my clients' projects. ‘Mrs McCutcheon’ is the first fiction narrative since 2003, and it was a breath of fresh air doing something purely artistic.
Who in film do you consider to be a creative influence, and which films or directors are your favourites?
I have a particular interest in European films and directors. I would say my favourite director would be Lukkas Moodison, a Swedish filmmaker that not everyone would know about. Another reference would be Wong Kar-Wai, the Hong Kong filmmaker responsible for masterpieces such as ‘In the mood for love’ and ‘Happy together’. Pedro Almodovar is another favourite. There is also a Brazilian filmmaker I truly admire called Walter Salles, and his most recent work was ‘On The Road’, the adaptation of Jack Kerouac's book, which also happens to be my favourite book.
You’ve clearly been well travelled for your career. If you had the chance for a holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I had the chance to go to Kenya and Tanzania for nearly a month in 2013. Of all the places I visited, they were the best places on earth for me and I dream of going back there. Visiting Africa was like having all the documentaries I used to watch as a kid turned into reality.