Darling Films' U.S. Counterpart Hey Wonderful Signs Director TJ O’Grady-Peyton
Hey Wonderful, named a Production Company to Watch as part of AdAge/Creativity’s Production Company A-List this year, welcomes director TJ O’Grady-Peyton to its diverse roster of talent for commercial representation in the U.S., while Ridley Scott Creative Group’s Darling Films will represent him for the U.K.
O’Grady-Peyton first gained industry recognition in 2013 when he was shortlisted at the YDA in Cannes for his adidas “Super” film, an inspiring story of a world class young fighter in-the-making with striking visuals, surrealism and a perfect mix of drama and fun. Since then, he’s directed an array of work including a cinematic campaign for Asics, the inspirational Webby Award-winner “Footballers”for Gatorade ft. a very relatable Cam Newton and BMW’s reverential portrait of Paralympian Josh George.
Among O’Grady-Peyton’s non-commercial projects, the nail-biting documentary short film about world-class kayakers, Born on the Banks of the Nilewhich he shot in Uganda for Red Bull’s Way of the Wildcard series, Tensnake’s “See Right Through ft. Fiora,” a sultry music video about a heist gone bad and the short film festival sensation, Wave, which played at Clermont-Ferrand and picked up numerous awards since its premiere at Tribeca last year.
“TJ’s work has a truly special combination of stunning visuals and authentic performances that resonate far beyond their screen-time,” comments Sarah McMurray, Executive Producer, Hey Wonderful. “His lighting and camera movement feel so distinct and striking, but most importantly are always used to enhance his storytelling. We loved his eye and approach from the first moment we saw his film and are tremendously excited to add him to the Hey Wonderful family!”
“Everyone I spoke to had fantastic things to say about Hey Wonderful,” O’Grady-Peyton says. “Meeting Michael, Sarah and the whole Hey Wonderful team in the RSA offices in L.A. really impressed me. They had a clear plan of action and strong ideas about where my career should go while also having a great blend of professionalism, experience and personality. The roster is a lovely size and the company has that boutique, hands on approach that was what I was looking for. I am also really excited to be part of the Ridley Scott Creative Group as he is obviously a huge hero of mine. He is a pioneer in both commercials and feature films and a visionary.”
O’Grady-Peyton was invited to take part in a summer master class with another directing legend, Werner Herzog. Driven by a desire to keep learning and growing as a director, O’Grady-Peyton traveled to the Amazon jungle in Peru for what he relates was an incredibly rewarding experience. Among his learnings being mentored by Herzog, “He told us you can take a camera anywhere in the world and a laptop, to shoot and edit a film in two weeks on your own. You don’t need to spend years developing, researching and seeking finance for projects. You can go out there today and in 20 minutes shoot something that is beautiful, honest, raw, inspiring and highly memorable if you are willing to find a good story and capture it in a respectful way.”
O’Grady-Peyton grew up outside of Dublin in Wicklow county where Daniel Day Lewis shot a scene from his Oscar-winning film My Left Footin front of his childhood home, sparking his love of cinema at an early age. He graduated from London Film School. Since then, his work has drawn attention at Cannes YDA and been honored with a Webby (Gatorade “Footballers”) and German ADC Award (VW “Beauty In Every Sense”). This year he earned an IFTA/Irish Film & Television Award for Wave, as well as a prestigious Discovery Award at the Dublin International Film Festival.
With his move to Hey Wonderful, O’Grady-Peyton says he hopes to pursue more opportunities collaborating with brands on campaigns for global audiences. He’s passionate about bringing great ideas to life on both large-scale projects, and smaller, more open-ended work that enables him to keep evolving creatively. And he’s constantly developing projects for film and television he hopes to direct one day.
“Having the opportunity to pitch on projects that are varied and unique and a good fit for me, and which allow me to experiment a little so I never get too pigeonholed would be … Wonderful,” O’Grady-Peyton comments. “I want to make work for clients that is seen by audiences all over the world that people look up to and respect. In essence, to tell stories that are in some way human and relatable and that leave an impact.”
O’Grady-Peyton is currently in postproduction on a Diesel commercial and a spot for Irish Tourism.