Liesl Karpinski - Executive Producer
Liesl was going to be a rich and successful lawyer, which was swiftly overruled after she interned at a film company in the US. Sure, criminals may walk free everyday because she became the film industry’s most kick ass producer, but behave badly with her budget and you’ll be in contempt before anyone calls “cut!” Based on the successes delivered for an impressive list of clients – and a cabinet collapsing under the weight of D&ADs, several Loeries, Vuka awards and more – the folks at Harvard bestowed her with their Honorary Masters Degree in Awesome. It’s in the mail, for realsies.
There are Cannes Lion awards and an Oscar or three on the horizon, and yes – your briefs are still admissible. Here’s the catch: hard work like hers comes with a warrant for lunch. Why? Probable cause. Awesome like this has gotsta eat! So? How many should we book for?
AK – Director
After studying Stills and then Film, AK changed the game as a runner on the blockbuster feature 'Nuclear Burndown'. (Mmm… no… us either…). Despite the great loss to running, AK moved on to promo producing and editing his way up to the high dive for a career that continuously places firsts for the likes of Adidas, Investec, BMW, Chrysler, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and, well, any more names in a list like this would be bragging.
His special effects strengths and cinematic magic make marvelous happen for strong conceptual ideas, and, with five Dogstar Golds, several Asian & Adfest Awards, British Design Awards, D&AD, Cannes and other pieces of film-related bling, AK’s leaving the running to Usain Bolt and boldly going where no one named ‘AK’ has gone before. This includes documentary filmmaking and a current project called ‘Fracking the Karoo’. Got a cool idea? Let’s talk. Run, don’t walk.
Rajay Singh - Director
Rajay is a Director who really understands commercials – inside and out! Arriving on set in 1997 as an odd boy, Rajay got to know the business intimately, quickly becoming coordinator, then line producer, producer and Assistant Director before being asked by an agency friend in 2006 to direct an ad for a large telco client. Since then he’s never looked back – unless it’s through a viewfinder.
With a solid foundation in production and a strong talent for visual story telling, it’s no surprise Rajay was soon filling his trophy cabinet with multiple awards from Cannes, AdFest, Spikes and Kancil, and shooting in locations as diverse as the U.S., Tanzania, India and Japan.
Constantly pushing the production design, lighting and styling envelopes, Rajay works every idea and script tirelessly until it satisfies his extremely high demands for perfection and his passion for nailing the message – while sparking the emotions of target audiences in every TVC he shoots.
Well travelled, well versed in directing, and now … well, a Spitfire on a mission. See what magic he can spark in your next board!
MARKSTRY - Director
The year 2010 was massive for most, but while many cavorted themselves into Vuvuzela-delirium, MARKSTRY was busy winning “Best Film” at Durban’s Film Festival. Lucky then that this dapper lad is known as the complete-crew-component – a sourcer, shooter, splicer and synchronized swimmer (every fifth Sunday in February). MARKSTRY will assemble and arrange absolutely everything behind and before the camera with die-hard detail, because his talent for the technical is backed by an unflinching commitment to his craft. Here and now, that means continuity of content. With an
impressible inclination for the internet and how it offers more mileage for your media budget, MARKSTRY is motivated by making movies that do more than just meet the mandate – or its margins. How is he all of this – you ask? Studying Performance at Rhodes before Narrative at Film School supercharged our trailblazer’s compulsion to create memorable magic, and now it’s only your briefs that will keep MARKSTRY sane. That… and synchronized swimming. But that’s only every fifth Sunday in February. So you brief, you win!
Peter Heaney – Director
Banana chutney is not a good idea. Touching someone on their studio? Also. Booking the right guy for the gig in order to get gold? It’s a no brainer. That’s how we feel about Peter Heaney and his fit in the world of commercials. This multitalented, acclaimed, and awarded long form director is able to translate the creative crux for stories being told in thirty seconds (or thereabouts) without losing any of the magic in the momentum. He brings a big-league grasp on the full process of production which sweats the small stuff – so that you don’t have to.
Think performances – which happen to be Pete’s secret power – and the work speaks for itself. And despite what you may read in the tabloids, he’s never touched anyone on their studio. On purpose. Unless they asked him nicely.
Anthony Bila - Director
Anthony was born in the township of Tembisa, east of Johannesburg. His career began as a member of the world’s first Junior Board of Directors for HDI Youth Marketeers (a member of the TBWA\Hunt Lascaris group) at the tender age of 18. This work brought him into the world of advertising, harnessing his insatiable appetite for storytelling. His concern always being to tell uniquely African narratives with a global perspective, having been simultaneously influenced by the advent of the internet and social media. Anthony studied at the University of Johannesburg specialising in Media Studies and Advertising. He also studied Radio Production at Boston Media House, thereafter working at UJfm, Yfm and 5fm respectively as an on air personality and producer. Over the past 10 years, Anthony has worked in advertising and as an interdisciplinary artist, specialising as a writer, illustrator, actor, photographer and director. He’s worked on both sides of the creative fence, as an advertising creative group head or senior content and community manager at agencies such as NXT\ and Cerebra
. As a photographer and director Anthony has worked on brands such as Diesel, G-Star RAW, Adidas, Asics, Dickies Construct, Galxboy, Mini, Coca-Cola and more. His work has been exhibited in China, Germany, Holland, South Africa and published in magazines such as the Wall Street Journal, GQ, Elle Magazine, Glamour and others. On the other side of the lens, Anthony played a starring role (as himself no less) in Sara Blecher’s award winning feature film Ayanda and The Mechanic whilst also lending his photographic skills to the film. Anthony was also won an award as one of GQ’s Best Dressed Men in South Africa in the highly contested category; he was also named as one of the top 35 under 35 men in South Africa in GQ in 2015. Whatever medium chosen, filmmaking being Anthony’s Holy Grail, Anthony’s concern is but one, to bring Africa to the world and the world to Africa, one photography, film and/or story at a time to influence and inspire relevant, representative audiovisual content in all its forms.
Ed Van Blerk - Junior Director / Animator
Ed van Blerk’s greatest talent is his love for a challenge mixed with a calmness under pressure. This is the exact know-how that made him the perfect candidate to take over from Isabel Jones when she moved on, but a burning craving for the creative led him on a different path. Starting with DTP and design, working on the 2010 World Cup bid and then animation for TVCs, this is one cool cat.
He cooks too! His keeps his famous recipe for brussel sprouts in his phone under “Pizza Delivery” because anything to do with brussel sprouts is just childish really and we’ve got art to make here. Ed learnt everything he knows about revenge from the Count of Monte Christo, so… send him a brief. Soon. Just saying.
Cherice Whewell – Producer
Cooking, wine and a twisted story feed Cherice’s fancy, which, if you think about it, is quite the metaphor for how this industry works – on a good day. With a background in commercials, features and long-form TV – there’s nothing ‘medium’ about the mediums she moils to master. Not just a pretty face, Cherice’s grasp for creatives and their process meshed with the time she’s spent with some of South Africa's most remarkable
directors and producers, Cherice chalks up all the right stuff for some serious sway at Spitfire Films. "There's very little in this world I can't find joy in.” It’s a quote. Not by Cherice. But one she connects with deeply. That’s the spirit We like it, and her. Both can stay!