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The Directors: Sam Fallover


Ponder director on understanding the aim of the work, a passion for fashion projects and pushing the boundaries

The Directors: Sam Fallover

Ponder welcomes Sam Fallover to its stable of directors. Sam is an exciting, young, up and coming director based in Dublin. He has been involved and grown up in the film industry since he was very young and has a great understanding of all the departments. In a short period of time Sam’s directing has become synonymous within the music scene in Dublin shooting many music videos for various artists. His understanding of the youth and what is relevant has made him a great asset for commercial marketing. His visuals and editing style bring a fresh and energetic vibe to all his projects.

Name: Sam Fallover

Location: Dublin

Repped by/in: Ponder

LBB> What elements of a script sets one apart from the other and what sort of scripts get you excited to shoot them?

Sam> A script that excites me is one that sets itself apart from the average commercial script and has a unique and fresh perspective. As a director, I get excited to shoot scripts that have a strong visual storytelling element and challenge me to bring new and creative ideas to life on screen. Personality, emotion, and a clear message also add to the excitement.

LBB> How do you approach creating a treatment for a spot?

Sam> When creating a treatment for a spot, I approach it by first understanding the aim and goal of the client and what the target audience of the brand is. Then I dive into what the brand's visual and storytelling style is. From there, I brainstorm and create a compelling concept that captures the essence of the brand, while also being visually interesting and engaging to the target audience. I focus on bringing the script to life through exciting and strong visuals, iconic moments and a clear narrative. Communication and collaboration with the creative team and client are key to ensuring a successful treatment.

LBB> If the script is for a brand that you’re not familiar with/ don’t have a big affinity with or a market you’re new to, how important is it for you to do research and understand that strategic and contextual side of the ad? If it’s important to you, how do you do it?

Sam> As a director in the advertising space, it is extremely important for me to do research and understand the strategic and contextual side of the ad, regardless of whether or not I am familiar with the brand or market. This research allows me to effectively communicate the brand's message and target the appropriate audience. To research a brand or market, I typically start by going through the brand's website, social media accounts, and past advertising campaigns. I also research the target audience and the competition within the market. 

LBB> For you, what is the most important working relationship for a director to have with another person in making an ad? And why?

Sam> I believe that the most important working relationship for a director to have is with the HOD’s and the agency. A strong working relationship with the creative team allows for open communication and a clear understanding of the overall vision for the ad. This ensures that the final product aligns with the brand's messaging and strategy. It also allows for creative collaboration and the ability to solve any issues that may arise during the production process. In addition to the creative team, the director should also have a strong working relationship with the producer. This is to ensure that the logistical and financial aspects of the production are in line, and the commercial is produced within budget and on schedule.

LBB> What type of work are you most passionate about - is there a particular genre or subject matter or style you are most drawn to?

Sam> I am most passionate about fashion and music-related projects. The combination of fashion and music in film making allows me to express my creativity in a unique and exciting way. I find that they allow me to tap into my artistic side. In terms of fashion, I am particularly drawn to the world of high-end luxury fashion. I find that the creativity and attention to detail that goes into creating high-end fashion is truly inspiring, and I enjoy incorporating those elements into my work. Additionally, I also have a large passion for street-wear and street fashion and bringing that raw yet refined energy to life through film. Music-related work is a favourite of mine. I enjoy working with both established and emerging musicians to create visually stunning music videos that are both creative and memorable. I am always looking for new and innovative ways to push the boundaries of film making and storytelling. I am always up for experimenting with new techniques, styles, and technologies to create unique and engaging content. I am always looking to collaborate with like-minded people to create something new and exciting. I believe that these projects allow me to fully express my artistic vision, and I am always excited to take on new challenges and push the boundaries of what is possible. I am confident that my passion and expertise in these areas will allow me to create unique and visually stunning content that will engage and captivate audiences.

LBB> What misconception about you or your work do you most often encounter and why is it wrong?

Sam> As a young individual in the industry, I often encounter the misconception that I am not experienced enough to manage a large scale production. However, I have been working in the industry for eight years, and during that time, I have honed my skills in both management and leadership. I am more than capable of taking control on set, giving clear direction to the cast and crew, and ensuring that the production runs smoothly and efficiently.

I understand that experience is a vital aspect of any project, and that is why I have dedicated myself to learning and growing in the field. My passion for the industry and my drive to succeed have helped me to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in my role. In addition, my youth brings a fresh perspective and energy to the production. I'm connected with culture, what's trending and relatable to the youth which can be majorly beneficial for the creative process and final result. I am open-minded and always willing to try new ideas, which can help to bring a unique and innovative approach to the project.

I understand that trust and confidence are essential when working on a large scale production. That's why I am committed to building relationships with my clients, and work to earn their trust by delivering high-quality work that exceeds their expectations. I am confident that I can manage a large scale production with the same level of skill and expertise as someone more experienced.

LBB> What’s the craziest problem you’ve come across in the course of a production – and how did you solve it?

Sam> One of the challenging experiences I have encountered as a director was with the owners of the brand Remus Uomo. They were hesitant about my decision to feature a female in the new campaign video that I was directing. I had to take the time to explain to them that using a female in the video would make it more relatable and bring a new flair to their content, and that we could even dress her up in the boyfriend's clothes for the scene. Despite their initial concerns I explained my reasoning and they were interested to see my approach, I continued with the shooting, but they still expressed their apprehension during the set. I made sure to address their concerns and assure them that I was focusing on highlighting the garments. In the end, my efforts paid off, as the final edit turned out beautifully and the clients were extremely happy with the outcome. This experience taught me that sometimes, when you have confidence in your vision and believe that it will yield great results, it's important to have open and honest conversations with clients to build their trust in your abilities. Another incident that occurred was while I was filming a music video for an upcoming musician in Amsterdam. We were using a 360 camera for the entire shoot, but on the first day, the camera was dropped and one of the lenses became scratched on one side. Due to limited time and budget, I couldn't obtain a replacement lens. So, I quickly ran some tests and discovered a unique method of shooting using 75% of the camera, which ended up being beneficial. This method provided a better look for the visuals and worked perfectly for the final outcome of the video. 

LBB> How do you strike the balance between being open/collaborative with the agency and brand client while also protecting the idea?

Sam> I believe in encouraging open and collaborative relationships with both the agency and the brand client. This allows for the best possible outcome for the project. However, I also understand the importance of protecting the integrity of the idea and will work closely with the agency and brand client to ensure that the idea is not compromised in any way.

LBB> What are your thoughts on opening up the production world to a more diverse pool of talent? Are you open to mentoring and apprenticeships on set?

Sam> I firmly believe that diversity brings different perspectives and ideas to the table, which leads to more dynamic and impactful productions. This has a very important meaning to me as all of my best friends and work colleagues come from under-represented groups. I am fully committed to opening up the production world to a more diverse pool of talent and actively seek out underrepresented groups to collaborate with. I recognise the importance of mentorship and apprenticeships in shaping the next generation of filmmakers and am always open to providing guidance and opportunities on set for those eager to learn and grow

LBB> How do you feel the pandemic is going to influence the way you work into the longer Term?

Sam> ​​The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards remote and flexible work arrangements in the industry. It has also highlighted the importance of being able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances and to find innovative solutions. As a commercial director, I will continue to embrace technology and utilise virtual tools to collaborate with my team. At the same time, I will prioritise the health and safety of my crew and cast, and follow guidelines and protocols to ensure a safe production environment.

LBB> Have you picked up new habits that you feel will stick around for a long time?

Sam> Yes, the pandemic has definitely influenced some new habits that I believe will stick around for the long term. One of these being an increased use of virtual tools for collaboration and communication, such as video conferencing and project management software's and a heightened focus on health and safety protocols on set, such as implementing social distancing measures and increased sanitation.

LBB> Your work is now presented in so many different formats - to what extent do you keep each in mind while you’re working (and, equally, to what degree is it possible to do so)? 

Sam> As a director, my main focus is always on the story and message that I am trying to convey through my work. However, I also understand the importance of being aware of the different formats that my work will be presented in. I make sure to keep these in mind during the pre-production and planning stages, and work with my team to ensure that the final product is optimised for each format. While it may not always be possible to take every format into account during the actual filming, I always strive to create a versatile and adaptable product that can be presented in a variety of ways  for every platform that it may live on.

LBB> What’s your relationship with new technology and, if at all, how do you incorporate future-facing tech into your work (e.g. virtual production, interactive storytelling, AI/data-driven visuals etc)?

Sam> I am always looking to push the boundaries of what is possible through my work, and new technology is a key part of that. I am constantly exploring and experimenting with new tools and techniques to enhance the impact of my productions. I believe that the incorporation of such technology not only pushes the creative boundaries but also helps to bring the audience closer to the story.

LBB> Which pieces of work do you feel really show off what you do best – and why?

Sam> My four pieces of work that show off what I do best would be the following. 

Belfast Not Belan - Remus Uomo.   

I directed a campaign video for Remus Uomo, a Belfast-based brand whose target audience is mainly within Ireland. In contrast to their previous extravagant campaigns in Italy, the aim of this campaign was to make it more relatable by bringing it back to Belfast. I showcased a montage of genuine brotherhood moments with my fast-paced editing style. This campaign proved to be the most successful in terms of online sales in the brand's history, as my combination of fashion and music expertise made it a memorable film

Glider Pop Up - FourLoko   

I created a video for FourLoko in partnership with my clothing brand, Gliders. I believe this video effectively showcases my talent as it demonstrates how I can seamlessly integrate a product into a video while still keeping the focus on the drink as the main feature. This video was a pivotal moment in my career as it opened up doors for me to work with Richmond Marketing, an advertising agency, on various projects for their clients.

Vision - Travis&Elzz 

One of my favourite music videos that I have directed is notable for its departure from the typical style associated with the genre of music it represents. I have a passion for taking what is expected and turning it on its head, and this video is a testament to that. Through this production, I aimed to showcase the significance of capturing the essence of a subject, as well as the powerful impact that a location can have in setting the tone for a film. This video was a great example of how taking a different approach can yield successful results.

Long Nights - Aby Coulibaly   

This music video may not boast the most advanced technical features, but it holds a special place in my heart as one of my top four favourites. I filmed this piece over the course of four hours towards the end of the lockdown period, and to my surprise, it received a worldwide response from several prominent celebrities and directors. It goes to show that sometimes, the emotional connection and relatability to the audience can outweigh the strength of the visuals. For me, capturing genuine and authentic moments is one of the most crucial elements in my work. The fact that this music video was able to evoke such a powerful response from people across the globe highlights the importance of this aspect in creating meaningful and impactful content.

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Ponder, Fri, 10 Feb 2023 13:37:54 GMT