TBWA LONDON – Creative Director Walter Campbell

He would walk around the set filming everything on his own personal camera. He only wears black and often looks like an assassin wearing an Edward the VII beard… Even if you have never met him, you could not miss his stance in a crowd.

 We recently interviewed the award winning Creative Director Walter Campbell of TBWA London whilst he was with us shooting on a project in South Africa.


 What is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning? 

 “I think, is it raining or not? I like it when it rains; I hope it’s raining.”


Walter Campbell and Director Mark Jenkinson.


Walter Campbell chatting to D.O.P. Khalid Mohtaseb after Camera Wrap onset.


What is your favorite color & why?

 “My favorite color changes a lot, but I saw an amazing blue the other day in the sea here, it wasn’t like the kind of blue you expect, it was kind of like very strange, like a soft blue, like a cream soft blue it was very strange, I’ve never really seen it before, I thought wow!”


 How does it feel to have won twenty-three Pencil Awards? 

“You just think about what you are doing, and try to make it as good it can be, sometimes you think what can I do that’s different, what can I do that other people haven’t done. There is something that Tony Kaye said to me very early on when I first started working, everything is like 51% of you that goes in, every single element is a little more important than half, and that’s very interesting mathematics you realize that if everything is 51% that doesn’t add up to 100% it adds us to more than 100%. So you say to yourself, well this is important so lets do it right. Then if you’re lucky someone gives you an award.”


 Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows?

 “ Sometimes I’ve got four or five radios in my room and I turn them on all at the same time and I listen to them all playing over each other on different channels, so they are all on different radio stations. Its very interesting.”


 Why advertising? 

 “It’s a very good discipline, and I think the discipline is what I like, because you have a theoretical sort of problem and I find that, weirdly, the answer to the problem is always in the problem, the answer flows from the problem. What’s exciting is how well you can express the answer. I enjoy it because of that. I always find there is a very incisive answer that is usually born out of the problem and it’s very satisfying when you find it. I’m not really explaining it very well, but its sort of like everything is there, you know, you’ve just got to see it. You’ve just got to look into it and see it. I don’t really sort of see much of it as functional between advertising and trying to express an idea. If you are trying to express an idea for a film or a piece of wood or for a poem, it’s not very different. You think what is the core of this thing what is the centre and you try and think into it. I like that bit when you are just sitting and someone says this is the thing we are trying to achieve, this is the problem we are trying to overcome, or this is the question we are asking, I like that bit of it.”


Do you get bored easily?

 “I get bored with strange things. It’s like, some conversations you seem to have over and over again. It’s like when I go into this conversation, okay I think to myself what is the outcome of this going to be, and you sort of like want to cut to the end of it, it’s like your trying to be rude, but you sort of go I know this conversation so lets get to the end of it. I’m slightly bored by those conversations which I think everyone has sort of been in.

 Then I’m also bored when people have a large conversation and then nothing comes of it, and there is no outcome. There are a lot of meetings I think in the world at the moment, and there’s no purpose for them, they’re just meeting, nothing happens. There is no sort of like “now do this” at the end of it, and that’s the point.”


 Would you call yourself a doing man?

 “I like to be doing something for sure, I like to express my intentions you know?”



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