Bernie is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning director. His recent work for Samsonite has garnered the Bronze Lion at Cannes in the film category and the Silver Clio in NY. Bernie brings more than 20 years experience in the film and animation industry with more than 200 commercials under his belt. Originally from South Africa, Bernie has lived and worked around the world, from Auckland to Moscow, Johannesburg to Mumbai, London to Stockholm and currently resides in New York City.
Name: Bernie Roux
Repped by/in: Alkemy-X in USA
Awards: Cannes Lion, Clio, D&AD, PIAF, EuroBest, ADCP, ADDY, Golden Drum, VUKA, Epica, Art Directors Club, Pixie, EFFIE, AWARD Award,, Loeries, New York Festivals.
Bernie> Scripts that have a percentage of breathing room are particularly enticing to me, ones with a place for me to not only make my mark on but also to add and layer to the existing idea. The opportunity to shoot beautiful and enticing visuals or incorporate an interesting camera technique is always exciting. Scripts that are story-driven are an instant plus.
Bernie> It’s important for me to find a seed, or angle, that will separate my pitch from the competition. Once I can visualise that seed, it begins to grow. I then simultaneously begin finding visual references while starting to sketch out a storyboard. During this time words and sentences begin percolating in the back of my head. In the final stretch, I write out the text and begin to structure the document.
Bernie> It is important, but what is crucial is that I can find a way to relate on a simple creative level, a level that will allow the idea to grow within the brand parameters. If I can understand the core of the client's need or intention then I can steer my direction in a way that will accommodate and punctuate it.
Bernie> For me, it is my wife, she is most definitely my muse and inspiration. Aside from her, there are a number of very important and valuable relationships, each for different reasons. Working closely with the agency to best deliver their promise to the client, my relationship with my EP/ Producer to ensure that I can deliver what I promised within the production parameters are both key. Then my relationship with my DOP and Art Director are crucial in taking my vision to the next level. Surrounding myself with professionals that both inspire me and enhance my vision is crucial.
Bernie> I am drawn to ideas that have a depth that resonates on a level that isn’t in your face, a script that draws the viewer in, allowing them to complete the sentence. Scripts that have characters that I want to get to know always intrigue me, characters that even if they are stereotypical, are, in a way, the ‘original stereotype.’ I like scripts that make me chuckle rather than laugh-out-loud.
Bernie> That I only shoot in slow-motion. In all seriousness, that makes up a bulk of my work, but from time to time I shoot footage in real-time too.
Bernie> They have been involved in the production but I haven't had to deal with them myself.
Bernie> The fight for the ‘craziest problem’ would be tough, but generally speaking by simplifying and stripping the idea down to its core, most often presents its own solution, often a stronger one than the big bucks ‘bells n whistles’ solution.
Bernie> I try to isolate the parts of the idea that are integral to my treatment working and fight for those, I don't always win, but I strongly believe that there is always more than one route between two points. In many cases, finding an alternative solution has resulted in a stronger end product. The key word is balance. If the balance is maintained and respected the result is always better.
Bernie> I believe learning hands-on is incredibly valuable and puts you in a position of problem solving while simultaneously seeing problems solved.
Bernie> Directing remotely has definitely had me apply a very different skill set. Not being able to walk up to an object or person and physically interact with it has been incredibly frustrating at times. I find much of my direction is a form of pantomime and I have been forced to find better, stronger ways to explain myself. I’m sure that this knowledge will open up a larger scope of how to work with cast and crew. I look forward to the end of this $@#%storm and a return to a form of normality.
Bernie> We have to constantly be aware of all the ratios the product is intended for, however it isn’t always possible to cater for them all equally. I tend to prioritise the TV/Cinema format and provide a resolution based safety-net to best accommodate the others.
Bernie> In my experience most, if not all, technology driven aspects, have roots in traditional filmmaking and storytelling. Personally, I try to surround myself with specialists who are able to translate and take my ‘traditional’-based direction forward to the next level.
Bernie> Any opportunity to showcase a slice of life that is layered with characters that are multi dimensional and slightly flawed, and present them in a cinematic light, rocks my world.