I attended last nights DandAD's 50 Years of 'Looking Forward' at The Mermaid Theatre in Blackfriars, with Lord Puttnam, Sir Alan and Bob Gill. The evening became an intimate sofa chat between three of the original Mad Men, 'Looking Back' at the start of their careers in London's 'Ad Land' in the early sixties. At the start of the evening, I met up with David who was pleased to see me and also Rosie Arnold President of DandAD and Deputy Executive Creative Director at BBH London, who introduced the evening on stage wearing a fabulous red dress.
Tom Sutcliffe writer for The Independent and presenter of Radio Four's Saturday Review, successfully guided the whole evening and as the chat went on with each popping in their own anecdotes. It was clear that each man was his own boss, with their own distinct and individual way of seeing the creative process over the years. They talked at length about the way the agency world was born and how the UK changed within 18 months and the wealth of energy that changed the world from black & white to colour.
In conversation, it was interesting to hear David and Alan's different point of view on the early rise of commercials in the UK and where this energy came from? David said it was from our history in feature film with directors such as John Schlesinger. Alan disagreed and felt it came from new emerging creative talent with the likes of directors Ridley Scott and Hugh Hudson, who made this new media their own.
I personally think they are both right... I think the energy came from both these sources. If it wasn't for our early feature film history with great technical background, we might not have succeeded so well. But it took the likes of Ridley Scott and Hugh Hudson along with Alan to take this technology and add their own unique ideas and style.
The whole evening was a great history lesson, one I wish I had at college... It was entertaining and totally backed up my own creative values.
I recommend you contact DandAD and get a copy of the evening if they release one soon, it is well worth seeing.
In the meantime, check out this collection of UK TV Adverts from the 70's: