NZ based Mark is a funny, sensitive director who feels deeply and relishes every opportunity to explore the human capacity for imaginative, passionate individuality.
Especially when it comes to children, the raw honesty he achieves is unrivalled. Mark’s down-to-earth-ness likely plays a big part in having kids drop their guard. With adults though, he puts a lot of faith in a cup of tea; After a cup of tea and a chat with self-effacing Mark, the stories, laughter and tears flow, and all guards disappear.
Mark has great faith and trust in a child’s innate ability to grasp an idea, then dig deep to their own experiences.
For instance, Mark describes how in his Lipton TVC when at the casting one kid presented himself as a self-confessed geek. So they decided to embrace that by calling him the Geek Lord, they even made the title into a badge of honour that he wore inside his clothes. That small badge became like a permission slip for giving him the confidence to totally own the role like they could never have imagined.
Directing commercials, Mark looks at any subject with fresh eyes. To him it’s all about bringing characters to life in ways that feel honest and unacted. Leaning into themes of light and shade he experienced growing up in small town New Zealand, Mark’s insightfulness gifts him a rare ability to tell stories full of genuine charm and bare-boned candour.