David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

CHRISTIAN BEVILACQUA IS BACK IN TOWN.

On a cold February day, DAVID joined director Christian Bevilacqua in Hunky Dory's cosy greenhouse to talk to him about his career and his hopes for the future.

His Scottish accent has been tempered by a nomadic existence which has seen him work all over the world but he's recently decided there's no place like home and is relishing the opportunity to concentrate his attention on the UK market.

Bevilacqua's boyish looks and adorable shyness belie his experience as a director. He switched his focus from graphic design to motion graphics while he was still at university and - as luck would have it - he graduated just as the internet was providing opportunities to a new generation of filmmakers.


Largely self-taught, Bevilacqua's animation skills caught the attention of promo commissioners and before he knew where he was, he was making commercials for Malcolm Venville's company Therapy Films.

This brought about a calmer period in Bevilacqua's life as he adjusted to a better working template than one that was threatening his sanity: "The type of work I was doing at the time was very difficult. I was trying to animate, as well as direct, and it was just killing me. It was self-destruction."


His first TVC was a film for the Samaritans which won a Craft BTAA and a pencil from D&AD. This followed a viral he'd made with veteran actor Alan Ford which won him the Best New Viral Director at Cannes and was followed by a third commercial - Bevilacqua's first US film - which enabled him to pick up another new director prize at Cannes.

"Those three combined just kind of threw me out there, and I managed to just get a nice little momentum"


I almost want the drama sometimes, because it gives you a little kick, and when you get that kick it gives you the momentum, and the nerves kick in, and you end up fighting with it, and wrestling with it.

 ”

With Malcolm Venville - now a friend, then a mentor - by his side, Bevilacqua went from strength to strength. He says of Venville: "Although our styles are very different, I think he has a talent that I can really appreciate. Very minimal, very pure."

But Venville felt Therapy could only take his young protégé so far and he introduced him to Anonymous Content in the US. And - at the same time - Bevilacqua joined the roster at Stink.



Asked which piece of work he's most proud of from his time with Therapy and Stink, Bevilacqua ums and ahs a bit before revealing it's very often a memory of the challenges he faced that makes a particularly piece of work something he favours.

He is a director who likes to push himself and he cites an example: "Most recently it was Comcast. It was an American job I did towards the end of last year... It was a frozen world, but I had to have people still moving.

"It sounds so simple, but it was so hard. It really was. It was such a head spinner. There was so much thought that went into it."



Warming to his theme, he identifies a second example: "There was another spot that was a big technical achievement for me, which was for the American Heart Association. That was where we had to have people flying. The floor would break off, and push them through the ceilings. That was another real head spinner."

As he remembers what it was like trying to solve these problems, he seems almost to be back in the agony of the moment. Challenging as it is, it's clearly something he relishes: "To be honest, if it doesn't happen then the job's not exciting. I almost want the drama sometimes, because it gives you a little kick, and when you get that kick it gives you the momentum, and the nerves kick in, and you end up fighting with it, and wrestling with it. Eventually, and always, you get to the finish line."

For more on Christian Bevilacqua check out his reel at Hunky Dory's website or contact Anthony Baker on 020 7267 5000 or via email at anthony@hunkydoryfilms.co.uk.

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David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.