Paolo Grippa – Award winning Visualist
Paolo Grippa, commercials director at Darling Films, has been directing television commercials for 17 years. He particularly enjoys emotional storytelling, which is something that developed naturally as his experience as a director grew. It is quite hard to tell a story in the short time frame of a typical television commercial and ensure that it actually has an effect on the viewer, making it memorable, he says. For Paolo, emotion has become key to achieving this and is always what he strives to capture within any narrative genre. Over the years he has worked on a variety of brands including Virgin Money, Guinness, ABSA, Standard Bank, Chicken Licken, Garmin, Sasol, Nissan and many others.
boat at -18 degrees in Poland.”
He finds it hard to pick his favourite commercial, but being completely honest, he admits that it might be a Garmin advertisement where he and his team had to create a whole action/war story. “We got to build a navy landing boat, blow things up and then blow even more things up. It’s probably one of the most challenging/scary/fun jobs of my career.” Paolo started his first job as an art director in 1996, straight out of Wits Technikon, at Net#Work BBDO in Johannesburg. In 2000, he moved to Prague in the Czech Republic to work at advertising agency Leo Burnett for 18 months before returning to South Africa to move into directing. His most noticeable achievements was winning the South African Young Creatives contest 2 years in a row (together with my copywriting partner). “The prize was a trip to the Cannes Advertising Festival in France to compete against creatives from agencies around the globe in the festival’s annual Young Creatives competition. My partner, Graeme Jenner, also a UJ Alumnus, and I placed third in my first year at Cannes and in the following year I placed second with another partner. “It is still one of the most amazing experiences to have had 24 hours (from brief to completion) to conceptualise and produce a finished advertisement, which was then judged by an international jury. We also got to spend the rest of the week at the festival, interacting with creatives from around the world,” he says.
“Some of these have allowed me the privilege to work with the Springboks, Bafana Bafana, the South African Wheelchair Basketball Team and even Richard Branson. Each new project is so unique and different that it’s always an exciting and unexpected experience. I’ve had the good fortune to work all over the country as well as travel to amazing locations in Kenya, Ghana, shooting on a frozen lake in Prague and on a
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