Dougal Wilson named one of Adweek’s Creative 100

Dougal Wilson named one of Adweek’s Creative 100

/ Adweek

15 Ad, Film and TV Directors Who Are Raising the Standard for Storytelling

The Multitalented Masters Behind Today’s Most Innovative Work

True creatives do more than create great work. They define eras, advance new trends, dynamite the logjams holding back their industries and inspire a new generation along the way. Each year, Adweek identifies today’s advance guard of innovative professionals and honors them in the Creative 100, celebrating those who are energizing fields like advertising, digital innovation, art, literature and cinematography. Prepare to meet the icons, rising influencers and multitalented craftspeople behind some of today’s most inventive creations.

The director Frank Capra once said: “There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.” Indeed, Adweek’s picks for directors in this year’s Creative 100 are notable for the vividness they bring to their projects, whether those are movies, ads or TV shows. Each is raising the bar for their industries, while always capturing the imaginations of their audiences.

Dougal Wilson’s storytelling is slightly supernatural with a bit of whimsy. There’s his spot showcasing a Halloween party for friendly ghosts starring Ikea furniture. Then there’s the ad where a high school girl realizes her ability to unlock an iPhone X allows her to also crack open everything else.

“I like ones where there’s a little twist in reality,” says Wilson. “Where the laws of reality are slightly exaggerated or change or where something is awry.”

Wilson always seems to find a way of making every message as endearing as it is compelling. That includes his highly awarded 2016 spot “We’re the Superhumans” for U.K. Channel 4 to promote the Paralympics, which won the coveted Grand Prix in Film at last year’s Cannes Lions. Another of his Apple iPhone spots, “Barbers,” recently won top honors at the 2018 ADC Awards.

Part of his ability to predict and capture magic both on and off set comes from his eagerness to balance planning ahead with capturing in-the-moment instincts. (That includes tight storyboarding with videos instead of illustrations to understand the look and sequence of a shot.) 

“I like to get a feel before the official shoot to try and predict what the feeling of the piece is going to be,” he says. “I don’t like leaving it to the edit.”

—Marty Swant

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