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Commercials 30 2012 Back to Reports & survey Listing

As well as telling us about their businesses in the Commercials 30, producers also vote for their favourite directors, ads, agencies, post houses, editors and vfx ops. Here are the results

Every year, when the UK’s commercials production companies respond to the Televisual Commercials 30 survey, they do more than just tell us about how their own companies have fared over the past 12 months.

It’s also the chance for them to have their say about who and what they feel have been the standout pieces of work, individuals and companies in the industry over the past year. First up is the peer poll (detailed on page C7 of this supplement), which gives producers a chance to vote for their favourite rival companies and detailed over the following pages are the results of who and what the UK’s ad producers feel have been the best commercials, the best directors, the best agencies, the best post houses, the best editors and the best vfx stars of the last year. After a less than creative 2011, it seems 2012 has seen the sector not just recover a bit from economic recession, but from a creative recession too, and we’ve detailed some of that work here.



The Best commercials
1 Guardian, Three Little Pigs, Rattling Stick
2 John Lewis, The Long Wait, Blink
=3 Barnardo’s, Life Story, Rattling Stick
=3 Canal+, Bear, Soixante Quinze
=3 Channel 4 Paralympics, Meet the Superhumans, 4Creative
6 Chipotle, Back to the Start, Nexus
=7 BHF, Hard and Fast, Hungry Man
=7 Cravendale, Cats With Thumbs, 
Smith & Jones
=7 Lurpak, Rainbow, Blink
=7 Talk Talk, Home Within Homes, Stink
=7 Thomson, Time for a Holiday, Academy
=7 Weetabix, Dad’s day Out, Moxie

So the top spot in this year’s poll of the commercials producers’ favourite ads of the year goes to a commercial directed by one of our top placed directors who works out of our number one placed production company, was devised by our number one voted ad agency, was posted by our most voted for post house and was edited by our first placed editor. Ringan Ledwidge’s much loved Three    Little    Pigs spot for The Guardian Newspaper aimed to show off the paper’s multi platform credentials with a retelling of the classic fairy tale, but with the three little pigs victims of a global economic recession rather than a big bad wolf.

In second place is our other top voted director Dougal Wilson of Blink’s seasonal tearjerker The    Long    Wait    that featured a little boy desperate for Christmas to come just so he could give rather than recieve. It’s another in a line of classic collaborations between Wilson and agency Adam & Eve on the John Lewis account, with Always    a    Woman a much loved spot from the previous year. Will this Christmas bring more gifts?
In third place is another piece from our top placed director Ledwidge, this time a charity ad for children’s home Barnardo’s that seems as far from the pace, style and look of Three    Little    Pigs as its possible to go. Life    Story    instead relied on the performance Ledwidge drew from a variety of actors showing the positive progress of a troubled boy placed in Barnardo’s care.

Other ads that were much loved by the production industry this year include 4Creative’s ‘makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up’ Meet    The    Superhumans    spot that perfectly trailed Channel 4’s Paralympics coverage and Nexus’ Cannes Grand Prix winning Back to theStart for Chipotle.



The Best Directors
=1 Ringan Ledwidge, Rattling Stick
=1 Dougal Wilson, Blink
=3 Chris Palmer, Gorgeous
=3 Peter Thwaites, Gorgeous
=5 Frank Budgen, Gorgeous
=5 Ivan Zacharias, Stink
=7 Adam Berg, Stink
=7 Fredrik Bond, Sonny London
=7 Sam Brown, Rogue
=7 Danny Kleinman, Rattling Stick
=7 Martin De Thurah, Academy
=7 Daniel Wolfe, Somesuch & Co

The best directors
This year, the gold winner’s podium is a little crowded. Our poll of commercials producers’ favourite directors has delivered two winners in Ringan Ledwidge and Dougal Wilson who garner the same number of votes. It’s yet another year at the top for Rattling Stick’s Ringan Ledwidge who now spends his fourth year in a row as the number one rated director among commercials producers. “Always brilliant,” comments one of his voters about him, “consistently produces great work,” says another (with Three    Little    Pigs for The Guardian and work for Barnardo’s obvious examples of that). “A multi-talented filmmaker” is how one of his admirers describes him while another comments that “you can always tell the bits he’s added to a script.” One voter sums it up by saying, “He’s nice, talented, considerate, and cool. What a jerk.” Blink’s Dougal Wilson also makes it to number one after being voted second last year. He’s also had a standout year with his work for John Lewis, The    Long    Wait being far and away the most talked about Christmas ad of the season and his work for Lurpak (left) a undeniable visual feast. His admirers pick him out for his “great casting” and “effortless storytelling” and because he “consistently produces great work. “ Another describes him as “incredibly versatile and a lovely chap who remains passionate about his craft.” Sharing third place are two directors from Gorgeous – Chris Palmer and Peter Thwaites. Chris Palmer gains his votes for among other things, being “consistently brilliant.” Thwaites takes third place after stand out spots including the recent Guinness Cloud piece and the award winning    Luck    is    an    Attitude    for Martini. Another Gorgeous director Frank Budgen shares fifth place with Stink director Ivan Zacharias.


The Best Agencies
1 BBH
2 AMV BBDO
3 Adam & Eve DDB
4 Wieden + Kennedy
5 Mother London
6 Saatchi and Saatchi
7 VCCP
8 NUmerous agencies recieved just a couple of votes each, too many to mention here

The Best Agencies
Last year, it was Mother occupying the top spot in our poll of commercials producers’ favourite agencies to work with. This time Mother’s moved down to fifth place and BBH has overwhelmingly taken over the top spot. BBH has been behind campaigns and ads like the Weetabix Dad’s    Day    Out spot from Moxie, the Audi Swan commercial, Partizan’s Olympic themed Taxi spot for British Airways as well as our top rated ad, Three    Little    Pigs for The Guardian. Its various fans cite it for “still fighting for the best work and taking brave decisions” as well as for “sweeping every awards show,” for its “consistently good creative” and because “nobody is doing better TV at the moment.” AMV BBDO takes second place in the poll this time after placing fifth last time. It’s made some great ads with its Walkers work, its recent BT campaign and it’s Doritos Dip    Desperado made by Independent. It’s cited because it’s “consistently solid” and run by “lovely people to work with”. Others say “they still write brilliant dialogue” and “they always impress.” In third place is the amalgamated Adam & Eve/DDB, who’ve had success with John Lewis for one. The new partnership will bring together “two of the best agencies in London. It’s going to be amazing to see what they do,” says one of its voters.

The Best Editors
1 Rich Orrick, Work Post
=2 Paul Hardcastle, Trim
=2 Andy McGraw, Stitch
=2 Paul Watts, The Quarry
5 Bill Smedley, Work Post
6 Leo King, Stitch
=7 Ben Campbell, Cut + Run
=7 Rick Russell, Final Cut
=7 Jonnie Scarlett, The Quarry
=7 Sam Sneade, Speade
=7 Tim Thornton-Allan, Marshall Street

The Best Editors
It’s another year at the top of the commercial producers’s poll of their favourite editors for Work Post’s Rich Orrick. Orrick held the number two position for a number of years before making it to number one for the first time last year. He takes pole position on the back of another 12 months of outstanding work in the cutting room. He’s edited some of the most creatively lauded commercials of the year including the Ringan Ledwidge directed Three    Little    Pigs for The Guardian, another Ledwidge spot, Barnardo’s Life    Story and Biscuit Filmworks’ Tim Godsall ad for Lynx,    Sporty    Girl. Three editors share second place this time. The Quarry’s Paul Watts keeps his second place in the poll sharing it with Andy McGraw from Stitch and Paul Hardcastle from Trim. McGraw jumps from sixth position last year on the back of work like the St John’s Ambulance Helpless spot directed by Blink’s Benito Montorio. Trim’s Paul Hardcastle comes into the ten this year after helping create work like Adam Berg of Stink’s Homes    Within    Homes spot for Talk Talk and Toyota’s The    Real    Deal commercial (also by Berg). Rich Orrick’s stablemate at Work Post, Bill Smedley moves up to fifth position this time after placing joint sixth last year. His work includes Sprite Camouflage and Martini spot, Luck    is    an    Attitude for director Peter Thwaites.

Most Rated Post
1 The Mill
2 MPC
3 Framestore
4 Glassworks
=5 Absolute
=5 Rushes
=7 Electric Theatre Collective
=7 Prime Focus
=7 Time Based Arts
10 Finish

Most Used Post
1 The Mill
2 MPC
3 Framestore
=4 Prime Focus
=4 Rushes
6 Glassworks
7 Finish
8 Absolute
=9 Big Buoy
=9 Electric Theatre Collective

The Best Post Houses
So the results are in for our poll of commercials producers’ ‘highest rated’ and ‘most used’ post houses. And the big surprise this year is... there’s no big surprise. At least at the top of the list. The Mill takes the top spot in both poll’s with MPC in second and Framestore in third, and that’s pretty much the same result as last time (though MPC and The Mill shared the top spot in the ‘most used’ poll last year).
The Mill is picked out by ad producers because “they have some of the best operators in the world,” says one voter. Another picks The Mill out for being simply a “top flight company” that has “very strong reels and nice people.” Others still pick it out for its “great colourists” (more about that on the next page).
MPC is lauded for “always trying to make it better and better” and for being “client friendly” and “nice people too.” “They meet creative and technical challenges,” says one admirer.
Framestore’s fans says it’s “consistent and helpful” and that it’s “the closest thing we have to Hollywood.” It’s singled out for it’s “top work in all fields” and because it can “pull a rabbit out of a hat without having a rabbit or a hat.”
Our fourth highest rated post house is again Glassworks with its voters picking it out because of “some brilliant CGI coming from them” and because it’s “highly creative and never lets you down.”
Absolute and Rushes share fifth position in the highest rated poll with Absolute picked out for being “intimate” and Rushes for its “great client relationships” and “industry involvement and proactivity.”

The Best VFX Operators
1 Jean-Clement Soret, MPC
=2 Paul Harrison, Finish
=2 Seamus O’Kane, The Mill
4 Aubrey Woodiwiss, The Mill
=5 Simone Grattarola, Rushes
=5 Mark Horrobin, Smoke & Mirrors
=5 Adam Scott, The Mill
=8 Barnsley, The Mill
=8 Simon Bourne, Framestore
=8 Tareq Kubaisi, The Mill
=8 Steffan Perry, Framestore
=8 Ben Rogers, Glassworks
=8 Duncan Russell, Smoke and Mirrors
=8 Mick Vincent, The Mill
=8 Jason Watts, Finish

The Best VFX Operators
And he’s done it again. MPC’s colourist Jean-Clement Soret again takes the top spot in our poll of the commercials producers’ favourite vfx artists. This is now the third year in a row that he’s won the gold. The director of colour grading at MPC was unsurprisingly the colourist of choice on some of the stand out commercials of the year including the St John’s Ambulance Helpless ad directed by Benito Montorio at Blink, Cravendale Catnapped by Partizan’s Traktor, 4Creative’s Paralympics trail Meet    the    Superhumans, Audi The    Swan    by Park Picture’s Joachim Back and, of course, Dougal Wilson’s The    Long    Wait for John Lewis. As well as garnering the respect of his customers, Soret is also well respected among his peers and was voted number one in Televisual’s 2012 best colourists poll this year with fellow graders describing him variously as having “an amazing ability to constantly get unique beautiful pictures” and “a great innovator of creative grading”.
In second place again is colourist Paul Harrison, who’s recently moved over to Finish from MPC to bring grading to the post house. Like Soret, he’s also a favourite among his peers who describe him thus, “Paul has an impressive client base and is never far from a major advertising campaign. His capacity for bold and original grades ensures he’s in constant demand at the highest level.” Notable spots so far at Finish include Guy Manwaring of Sonny’s Coke Zero 007    Unleashed spot. Sharing second place is The Mill’s Seamus O’Kane who moves up from third position in last year’s poll. Creative highlights for him include work for Gorgeous’ Peter Thwaites with spots like Guinness Cloud and Sprite Camouflage as well as the trailer for the new Misfits series on E4.

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