Opinion

24 Hours With… Invisible Artists creative director Seb Guy

Sebastian Guy24 Hours With… spotlights the working day of some of the most interesting people in Mumbrella Asia’s world. Today, we hear about a day in the life of Seb Guy, creative director at Invisible Artists.

5:30am  I usually wake up early, but I’m currently in Singapore prep’ing for a shoot. So with the Sydney time difference, I’m up anyway. I quickly Skype my wife and son but she’s too busy trying to get ready for work and him to daycare so we barely have time to say three words to each other. My son is more interested in his morning cartoons than talking to me anyway. How quickly I have been replaced!

6am­ I head down to the hotel gym for a quick workout. My morning exercise is the best time for me to think creatively and workshop any ideas in my head. It’s quite important to me that I still get a chance to do some form of exercise whether I’m at home our travelling.

7am­ Back in my room, showering and getting dressed for the hotel breakfast.

7:15am Eating breakfast. I love breakfast in Asia as they have the best fresh fruit. I grew up in Singapore and Malaysia, so the fruit reminds me of my youth. I rarely have big breakfasts at home in Sydney but you can’t help yourself when you are in hotels. Too many options.

7:45am Back in my hotel room and the Sydney office is now up and running so I’m answering some quick emails re: briefs, pitches and future jobs coming up.

8:30am­ Back downstairs at the hotel entrance as we wait for our driver and Singapore MD and Producer Esther to take us to the locations for a tech recce for tomorrow’s shoot. We drive around various iconic Singapore landmarks as we work out exactly what and where we’ll shoot. The city has changed so much from when I went to high school here 25 years ago, yet it’s still so familiar to me. Along with producer and cinematographer, Mike, we walk through the locations and shots with the main heads of departments of my Singapore crew.

11:30am We go to Maxwell hawker stalls for lunch. We have great Asian food in Sydney, but nothing beats a hawker stall chicken rice!

12:45pm­ We’re back at the Invisible Artists office on Club Street to re­group and I have to look over props and wardrobe with the stylist and Art dept

1:30pm­ The selected actors come in to do a wardrobe fitting to ensure their outfits are ready for tomorrow. As they change and get fitted I answer some more work emails.

3pm  I have a Skype conference call with the Sydney office to discuss a Sydney shoot and changes the agency has made to the script.

3:45pm­ I take a walk around Club Street and up along Ann Siang to have a break, clear my head and give my family a call back home in Sydney. I get to see and speak to my three year-old son, which is the highlight of my day.

4:15pm We have a quick production meeting with the 1st AD to discuss the tomorrow’s shooting schedule. As always, all seems like tight schedule, but we’ll manage.

5:30pm­ Mike, the DOP, and I go downstairs to the bar and have some drinks to wind down the day to discuss any last minute creative thoughts we’ve had from the seeing the locations today. One or two cold beers goes down like water and by the end of it I’m starting to feel tired. We get some bar food. Feels wasted eating there but we’re both starving.

7pm­ The gang want to go out to dinner, but I pass. I’ve decided to go to see a movie! If I can, I always try and see a film before a shoot. You get so caught up in all the logistics of shooting a commercial and sometimes I forget why I became a director. But seeing a good film always reminds me why -­ to tell a story! Whether it’s a 30-­second story or a long form story, making ads can be very rewarding if I just focus on the storytelling and not let the technical aspects take over. There are plenty of ways to make an ad, but I believe if you focus on the storytelling it will end up having heart and being engaging.

10:30pm­ I’m back in my hotel room. I’m exhausted but I quickly Skype Dan, our CEO in the UK to go over a few strategic thoughts for the company and we briefly discuss some of the projects floating around in the UK.

11pm­ I’m in bed, where I catch up on watching a few top commercials that have been released around the world. I try and make a daily habit of watching international ads to have the knowledge of what’s out there and as reference when I pitch an idea or concept to a client or agency. Here’s one of my recent favourites, ‘Coleman Sweeney – The World’s Biggest Asshole’, for registerme.org.

11:15pm Lights out as I set my alarm for 5:30am so that I’m ready for our 6:30am call time on our shoot.

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