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Hero image for Tony Williams: Director of our most iconic TV commercials...

Tony Williams: Director of our most iconic TV commercials...

Interview – 2010

Tony Williams is one of New Zealand’s most distinguished directors; his career has spanned five decades. Williams began working with noted film producer John O’Shea at Pacific Films in the 1960s and shot two features, and directed nine documentary films. In the 1970s he directed his first feature film Solo, and a series of documentaries including Getting Together, The Day We Landed on the Most Perfect Planet in the Universe, Take Three Passions, Rally, and Lost in the Garden of the World. Though not a household name himself, Williams has directed some of the most iconic TV commercials in New Zealand. These include: Great Crunchie Train Robbery, Dear John, SPOT and the infamous Bugger commercials.

In this ScreenTalk, Williams talks about:

  • Working for Pacific Films in the early days
  • Learning to be a DOP on the film Runaway
  • Technical nightmares with the feature film Solo
  • The real story behind the memorable Crunchie ad
  • Borrowing items to set dress the Dear John commercial for BASF
  • Finding the furry star of the SPOT Telecom commercials
  • How a car commercial changed the nation’s vocabulary
  • Being proud of commercials that have won the public’s heart
This video was first uploaded on 18 November 2010, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.
Interview, Camera and Editing – Andrew Whiteside