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Cannes Lion Winner Suthon Petchsuwan Joins TWC(April 05, 2005)
Suthon Petchsuwan, arguably one of the worlds most awarded commercial directors, has signed with TWC for exclusive representation in the United States. It marks the first time the Suthon has been available for U.S. work.
Suthon, whose work ranges from subtle comedy to poignant storytelling, has won scores of international advertising awards for his work, including two Gold Lions at Cannes last year for spots promoting electronics manufacturer Soken and Unif Green Tea. The director also placed first on the Gunn Reports list of Most Awarded Directors for 2004. He is one of only three directors worldwide to rank among the top 25 on Gunns list every year since its inception. Most recently, Suthon took home a Gold Award for his spot Balloon promoting Twin Lotus Herbal Toothpaste (Ongoing, Bangkok) at the Asia Pacific Adfest held last week in Thailand.
TWC Executive Producer Mark Thomas said that he was attracted to Suthon by more than his long list of awards and accolades. ?One of the things that impressed me was how well his work translates, Thomas said. ?His spots would play just as well for American viewers as they do for Asian audiences. It cuts across cultures.
?Good work is good work, and great talent is great talent, Thomas added. ?And Suthon is a tremendous talent doing significant work.
For his part, Suthon said that he is intrigued by the challenge of working in the U.S. He added that he was flattered by the lengths to which TWC went to sign him, noting that Thomas flew half-way around the world to meet him. ?In TWC, I have found a home where I feel as comfortable as I do at my production company in Thailand, Matching Studio, he said. ?The chemistry with TWC feels good, which leads to good ideas and good work. Suthon added that TWCs connection to the film industry through co-founder Ralph Winter, may also help him realize his ambition to direct features.
Suthon began his career in 1983 as an art director with Bangkok agency Kenyon & Echard Company. He later served as creative director at SSC&B Lintas, Bangkok, where he worked on such accounts as Unilever and Caltex (Texaco). In 1993, he launched his directing career after receiving an invitation to join Matching Studio, Thailands largest production company, by its co-founder Thanitsaphong ?Dom Sasinmanop.
By 1997, Suthon began to attract international attention when a spot he directed for Black Cat Whisky became a finalist for a London International Advertising Award. The commercial, which includes a chase scene worthy of a Bond film, centers on a Mob boss trying to collect on a loan. Since then, the directors awards take has included more than a dozen Gold and Silver awards at the Asia Pacific Adfest, three Clios and a 2003 Gold Lion for a spot promoting Giffarine EQ-10 Skin Care out of BBDO, Bangkok. In 2003, the British trade journal Creative Review named him one of the five best commercial directors in the world.
In describing the key to his success, Suthon pointed to the effort he applies in pre-production to script development. ?I typically spend much more time working the script and developing the idea before the shoot, than I do shooting, he said. ?The shoot is easy if youve done the preparatory creative work. Its the preliminaries that are most important to my process.
The director added that he has enjoyed his best success when handed scripts that employ an original idea and given broad creative latitude by the agency, and he cited Balloon as an example. That spot, he noted, in which a black man attempts to help an Asian girl retrieve a balloon, had a daring concept that confronting social stereotypes. ?The client and the agency showed a lot of courage in pursuing that concept and in allowing me to tell the story in a powerful, direct manner, he said.
Suthon added that the spot was on the air for only one day in Thailand by engendered enormous response from local viewers by having touched a social nerve. ?Its that rarest form of advertising, he said. ?It not only sells products, it can affect peoples lives
TWC also represents directors Jeff France, Michael Fueter, David Jellison, Greg Kiefer, Seamus Masterson, Martin Brierley and Elliot Hegarty.
TWC is located in Santa Monica.
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