The Directors in association withLBB Pro

The Directors: Peter Pint

Production Company
London, UK
Common People Films director on how context is everything and why it's important to never stop exploring and try out different things

Peter Pint is an award-winning director, graduated from the National Film and Television School in London. His background in theatre and acting means he is a natural at directing actors and can easily draw out an emotive performance that is driven by storytelling.  

A versatile director mixing technical virtuosity with a natural talent for storytelling. He has an eye for unique, colourful and cinematic worlds with a dash of subtle humour. 

Recently Peter has worked with recognised brands such as Google, Starbucks, Coca Cola or McDonald's.  He´s based in Lisbon, Portugal.

Name: Peter Pint

Location: Lisbon / London

Repped by/in: Common People - UK / Cartello Directors - Asia and Middle East / JOJX - US 

LBB> What elements of a script sets one apart from the other and what sort of scripts get you excited to shoot them?

Peter> I'm excited by the ones that are truly original, bold and have no fear of exploring new territories. They can be emotional, fun, dark or all those things together. 

You know instinctively what those scripts are because you simply can´t stop thinking about them.

LBB> How do you approach creating a treatment for a spot?

Peter> It really depends on the project. Normally I tend to start with the writing and avoid any references as much as possible.

I always try bringing new ideas to the table while keeping it personal, concise and to the point. I believe that’s the main reason the agency shortlists you - to see what you can add to their idea that they haven’t thought about yet.

LBB> If the script is for a brand that you're not familiar with/ don’t have a big affinity with or a market you're new to, how important is it for you to do research and understand that strategic and contextual side of the ad? If it’s important to you, how do you do it?

Peter> Yes absolutely - context is everything!

When you start shooting internationally you quickly realise how crucial it is to understand the specific nature of a brand or a market. I do some research and ask lots of questions to the agency / client whenever I´m given that chance.

I also like to revisit the conference call for hidden clues and pointers that I might have missed during the call. Reading between the lines is a big part of our job.

LBB> For you, what is the most important working relationship for a director to have with another person in making an ad? And why?

Peter> All of them. To me it´s all about creating a friendly, trusting  and open environment with everyone - the creative team, the producers, the DOP, the crew, the editor, the post team. Everyone really!

LBB> What type of work are you most passionate about - is there a particular genre or subject matter or style you are most drawn to?

Peter> Anything that has a story, a narrative or a powerful message behind, that I can help develop and shape. I started as an actor in theatre and I love working with actors, building characters, provoking emotions and look for unique angles both on performances and storytelling. 

But I'm also very drawn to finding new and singular approaches for advertising. Blurring the lines between music videos, short films, docs and commercials is something really exciting and appealing to me!

LBB> What misconception about you or your work do you most often encounter and why is it wrong?

Peter> In this industry you get pigeon holed really quick into this or that type of director. That´s really negative not only for the director but mainly to the agencies and clients - because they end up limiting themselves to the same flavours and styles all the time.

It's important to never stop exploring and try out different things. So I'm always really excited when i get the chance to abandon my comfort zone and develop work across a variety of genres.

LBB> Have you ever worked with a cost consultant and if so how have your experiences been?

Peter> Not directly but through my producers. A good cost consultant should also have a deep and practical understanding of filmmaking. I think that's crucial.

LBB> What’s the craziest problem you’ve come across in the course of a production – and how did you solve it?

Peter> The craziest and most recurrent problem is the huge disparity between the client and agency expectations  and the available budget and time to execute them. It doesn´t get crazier than that! 

LBB> How do you strike the balance between being open/collaborative with the agency and brand client while also protecting the idea?

Peter> I believe the best way to protect the idea is actually being open and collaborative. There´s no other way …

Trying to keep a fresh and creative mind at all times, establishing an  honest and trusting  relationship with the agency and being able to listen  and understand their fears and expectations is the job.

Not taking yourself too seriously also helps.

LBB> What are your thoughts on opening up the production world to a more diverse pool of talent? Are you open to mentoring and apprenticeships on set?

Peter> Yes to mentoring and yes to diversity.  Always open to new voices. The more the merrier. Ultimately  this industry  depends  on that diversity and novelty to stay relevant.

LBB> How do you feel the pandemic is going to influence the way you work into the longer term? Have you picked up new habits that you feel will stick around for a long time? 

Peter> I don’t think it will influence the way I work in the longer term. People will go back to  their old routines quite fast I believe. Nothing replaces the physical presence, the eye to eye contact. Being able to read the room while doing a presentation. Having the chance to build a personal connection with your actors or crew is so important for the final quality of the film.

LBB> Your work is now presented in so many different formats - to what extent do you keep each in mind while you're working (and, equally, to what degree is it possible to do so)? 

Peter> We´ll have to learn and adapt. But lets be frank - if you frame for 16:9 it will never look great in 9:16. So you have to come up with creative ideas for those new alternative formats. Knowing exactly what the deliverables are lets you plan and shoot with that in mind to make sure we get everything we need.

LBB> What’s your relationship with new technology and, if at all, how do you incorporate future-facing tech into your work (e.g. virtual production, interactive storytelling, AI/data-driven visuals etc)?

Peter> I find it all really exciting and the potential is huge. But in the end all the technology in the world means nothing if you don’t have a great idea, a powerful story or concept that touches people.

LBB> Which pieces of work do you feel really show off what you do best – and why?

Starbucks / Coming Home

This was shot in Amsterdam with such a great and dedicated crew! I think the film works for the blend between emotional and energetic moments. Also the mixed media approach, the vintage vibe and the combination of different textures and looks. But in this one - edit really deserves a special mention. We had the luxury of time to try out different things and play with different paces, songs and sound design. These days the time allocated to the editing is crazy short. Edit is where the real magic happens. You need to give yourself some time, distance and perspective.

Baltika 7 / Welcome to Russia

We had an amazing time shooting this in Moscow during the winter. Most of the shots that make that film were shot in a guerrilla style which i love. That brought a unique look, energy and spontaneity to the film. 

McDonald´s / Lighthouse 

We shot this in Lisbon. The timing was crazy. We had less than two weeks for the from award to delivery! I think it´s heartwarming and magical story in which the the casting and performances really stand out. That and the amazing cinematography.

Merry Krypton

This was such a fun project to do. No agency involved. A very minimal crew and 2 days to experiment and try crazy ideas. A little less talk and a lot more action!

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