As part of our continuing series of interviews exploring the creative inspirations, influences and expressions of the many multi-talented people at loveurope and partners, we present Danny Coster, Creative Director of our film production and post team.
As a Creative Director, Danny combines his skills in direction and creative development with technical knowhow. He has extensive experience in planning, supervision, direction, editing, compositing, 3D/CGI, character creation, 2D and 3D animation, VFX, motion GFX and content creation for delivery across all screen-based media. It is certainly a very impressive list of production and post production expertise. And on a lighter side… If you’ve ever observed him giving creative feedback, you’ll find that he can sing the theme tune as well… but more about that later.
In addition to the editing and VFX software you might use on a video project, what are your other creative tools for expressing your creativity?
Throughout the creative process, I love to scrawl rough sketches on a pad. It helps me work through my ideas whilst discussing a brief or potential creative solution as well as to illustrate camera set ups and rough storyboards.
But, I’d have to say that my most important creative tools are my hands. Apart from the obvious need to operate a computer or to jot down ideas, I can’t seem to talk without them, and I am often seen gesticulating whilst explaining my ideas.
I also find myself acting out the characters we animate CGI like the Amigo man or bouncing oranges as well as making sound effects. When I’m explaining how I want something to look, I’ll probably say something like this graphic should come in with a psssssshhht, these particle effects need more pap, pap, pap, pfizzz… You get the idea.
When you first asked me about creative expression, I joked that I expressed my creativity through the medium of dance and movement, but I suppose that’s not too far from the truth.
When does creative inspiration usually strike?
My first creative thoughts are usually immediate after reading a brief. While they may not always be correct, I love reacting quickly. Then, I try to place myself in the seat of the client and rework, until we have a piece of creative that we are proud of whilst ensuring the clients feel comfortable that it is within their framework.
Do you do anything special to boost your creativity?
To boost my creativity, I love bouncing ideas around with my team. So, a good group chat, maybe over a pint, or cup of tea and biscuits is a great way to stay creative and enthusiastic about a project.
Briefly describe your creative place.
My creative space is typically in an edit suite or at my desk surrounded by my team. We have producers, editors, animators, VFX artists, colourists, camera operators and production assistants all bouncing ideas off each other at different stages of a project.
Who’s your inspiration?
We are lucky enough to work in such a fantastic industry that we are constantly surprised, influenced and inspired by others in this space, be it film, music, sound or VFX. I have worked with great directors and agency CD’s who create wonderful pieces of work and campaigns. However, without trying to sound clichéd it’s my kids who inspire me most; their imagination is boundless and their enthusiasm to learn and better themselves is something that constantly drives me to do the same.
What’s your hidden talent?
It’s not really a hidden talent, but I’m a football coach for my local community girls’ team. I love seeing our hard work in training come to fruition on the pitch and encouraging the girls to be brave and positive. It’s fantastic because you get immediate feedback when they do something well. You see a huge beaming smile and share in that emotion when the nervous, shy girl scores that unexpected goal or when they make a hard tackle, commit to a header or make that important save. Playing football is a great way of staying fit and healthy, but also the girls develop a bond and encouragement ethic which I think is unparalleled in other team sports.