David Reviews

 "You're not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems." Don Draper.

BITE SERVE UP A TASTY PROPOSITION
18 October 2021

Given the personnel involved, it's inevitable that the Bite Collective – a newly formed film production company – will cause a stir in the realm of food commercials, and we're expecting Bite to have a huge impact.

When DAVID popped in to their Islington HQ recently to have a chat with Charlie Stebbings, Gus Filgate, Niall Downing, Alex Katz and Dominic Seymour about their new venture, their collective enthusiasm was a joy to behold, and we were left in little doubt about their ambition and their capability.

The most striking thing about spending time with the key players of Bite Collective is how at ease they are in each other's company. Directors, on the whole, are a wary bunch with a sharp eye for any perceived slight, but – based on this evidence – food directors may be a breed apart. Or perhaps it's just that this group in particular don't feel they have anything to prove to one another, and even less to prove to a visiting journalist. Whatever the reason, this is a very happy and convivial collection of people, and it was great fun learning about their hopes for their new enterprise.


When asked whose idea it had been to form this supergroup of food directors, Charlie Stebbings immediately pointed at Niall Downing. The former 2AM director agreed that he had indeed "come up with this version of it", before adding that the notion of combining forces had been floating around for ten years or so.

It felt to Downing as though Bite was an idea whose time had come… and this is largely because work is as likely to be commissioned by brands as it is by agencies these days, prompting an overall shift in the dynamics of the advertising industry.

But he didn't feel the pandemic had particularly played a part in the decision to combine forces, although he conceded that the first lockdown in summer 2020 had given them time to plan the new venture.

Charlie Stebbings agrees that this was the main impact of Covid for the new company: "the pandemic provided an opportunity to examine where our lives are going, across the board really."

Alex Katz added that because of the pandemic, it felt as though "all bets were off", and there was now a chance for companies to reconsider how they operate, and what they can offer. In the case of Bite, this means being able to offer the greatest concentration of food directing experience ever gathered within one company.


It's not an exaggeration to say that a producer who failed to consider Bite's roster when seeking a food director would be guilty of professional negligence.

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For it to work as a business, each director will need to feel they are getting more opportunities than they were before, and as they are all highly successful, that's a big ask.

Charlie Stebbings says that he hopes that "the mass of talent" within Bite means that more scripts will come their way, and it's hard to imagine that he's wrong about that. After all, this is such an impressive line-up that it's not an exaggeration to say that a producer who failed to consider Bite's roster when seeking a food director would be guilty of professional negligence.

Gus Filgate and Dominic Seymour are keen to mention the company's other big aspiration as they go forward... unearthing and nurturing new talent. They already have a keen eye on emerging photographers gaining visibility on Instagram, and to a volley of nodding and other expressions of approval from the other three, they talk about how exciting and important it is to identify the food directing stars of tomorrow.

Going forward, this blend of experience and raw talent should ensure the enduring success of Bite Collective. While enthusiasm is no guarantee of success, the palpable pride in their craft which has delivered so much historic success to the directors on this newly-formed roster is already fuelling considerable momentum, and we expect them to become the major player in their realm in next to no time.

For more information, you can contact Dominic Seymour on 07973 631212 or Alex Katz on 07785 288660.

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