Christian Bevilacqua: YDA Boy Done Good

9 02 2010

Director Christian Bevilacqua won Young Director Awards in 2007 and 2008 and has shot stunning mixed media ads for everyone from the Samaritans to Mastercard. When he’s not doodling or figuring out how to build video games, you can find him at production company Stink. We delve inside a beautiful mind to get an EXCLUSIVE peek at his sketchbook. We discover exactly what a man’s favourite hobby is (ahem), how to draw messy, and why the future of film is in computer games. Oh and the meaning of life, the universe and everything. Phew. Go on. Fill your brain.

Christian Bevilacqua


My name is Christian and I am here because…

Am not sure why am here.
(Very hard to answer that)

Might ask Google.

People sometimes think of me as an animator BUT IN FACT…

Maybe back 4 years ago when I had started out, people might have seen me as an animator because I was one. I was happily doing the rounds through the design houses and some post houses and on the side doing music videos.

I learnt a lot of actual practical animation skills during these times. In fact, I still conceptualise all the artwork and composite/3D on almost all my jobs and desperately try to keep up to speed with all the new stuff coming out.

Without this experience I wouldn’t have developed a style. I’d simply fall into a having a faceless show reel and that wouldn’t be nice, now would it?

Recently however, (last two years), I’ve never been seen as an ‘animator’ more a ‘jack of all trades.’ Would be nice to be seen as a Daily Thompson of the directing world.

My work is typically a mishmash of techniques. Because of this, I tend to see a broad range of projects which is good. We’d all get bored if we did the same thing everyday, wouldn’t we…and I guess challenging yourself to try different things is part of the fun.

I was worried that people would think of me as a depressed bloke who always on the phone to Samaritans until I realised…

doing the Samaritan commercials was a good thing. And may I add, I was never depressed about it. Here’s why…

Whilst doing ‘some’ commercials you can unintentionally pick up bad vibes from helping sell all this stuff to people. Helping the tide of consumerism for better or for worse, as long as you do a good spot – then – you did good. It can all get a bit self indulgent.

It’s good doing a charity job as a freebee, it washes away your sins. You think about helping other people. Cleans you up and leaves you feeling sparkly clean and nice. Like you haven’t shaved in a decade and when you do shave, suddenly, you feel all that new skin. You’re a new man.

I encourage doing them.

Things that inspire me are…

Lets face it – it’s all too easy to trawl through the net mindlessly searching for something to inspire you. This can lead to people going to the same blogs/sites and looking at the same stuff as everyone else. Harsh recycling of the same idea that’s only a couple of days old.

It’s incredibly difficult to find something that truly moves me these days – on the net. (or I just don’t know the right sites). So I’ve found recently that I’ve gone back to my roots.

A page from Christian's sketchbook

What inspires me is – a bit of paper and a pencil. (You can see my drawings I sent).

I tend to do this everyday, doodle and draw for a bit. Loosen the mind up. As pointless as it may seem, I find it an awful lot of good. It gets me in the right frame of mind for my day ahead.

Things that get me down the most…

I hate to say it ‘cause its quite obvious, but I bloody hate losing jobs. Its part of being a director,

You win some, lose some.

But I get so involved in my pitches that if I lose it, I cant stop thinking about how I would have done a cracking job and isn’t it a shame. I could see it frame for frame in my head and was living and breathing it. And now, I just have to let go. Bloody annoying that.

I think it’s the letting go that can be hard… I guess, sometimes, I don’t want to, so that gets me down.

I couldn’t live without…

The earth, the sun and air.

I guess we could live without a lot of things. We’d probably be better off not having too many possessions.

But damn, I love my tech…

Come on, you gotta admit – ‘phone and computer’, sorted.
So, so, so cool, the ultimate creativity tools. One for communication, the other for the making.

But I guess…I could live without it.

I just would not be as productive in such a overly productive world.

The thing that really motivates me to keep going is…
I wake up every morning and feel thankful that am doing what I want to do.This is my motivation.

But something else that motivates is that – I guess i like looking down new avenues in our business. I am currently exploring/learning how to make computer games. Am sure at some point directing commercials is gonna merge with some sort of gaming. The same with films and games. It’s all getting to boiling point and something’s gonna trigger.

Am interested in where this is going and whats going to happen over the next 10 years.

Some bits of software are coming out that’s making game design feel like Photoshop to learn. It’s all quite easy to get to grips with but can go real deep if you want it too.

Am sure these bits of kit will start making their way out into the main stream soon. They kind of already are with all the iPhone apps…

Spending more time in the industry has taught me…

I shouldn’t have bothered with university. What a drag. I wasted four years learning nothing. When I came out, the real world was nothing like I’ve been told and I had no idea what the difference between a design company and a post house or agency client.

Nothing was taught to me, I had to learn it all myself from the ground up. Frustrating.

I have learnt everything by being close to some amazing and truly inspiring people. I thank them with all my heart for indirectly teaching me and inspiring me. I know am young in this business. So it comes as no surprise to say that, at times, I feel like I am a sponge. Soaking it all up and feeding off being around talented people. I learn something new everyday and love it.

But then I guess we never stop learning do we?

When I’m not making adverts my favourite way to pass time is…

Obvious answer for a bloke? What would you say?

Aside from the obvious – I guess I have an insane addiction to computer games.
Love them. Just don’t find that much time to play them these days which is probably a good thing.

NOT good – 3 to 4 days in front of console. Not moving, barely sleeping. Completely locked, eating crap instant food. I used to do this all too often during my student days.

Now am supposed to be grown up and look after myself. Oh yes.
Brush my hair to the side and be sensible. Am 30 years old. Am not a child anymore. I am an adult. A gentleman.

But really…

How I yearn for the opportunity to kick back and do some damage to some of my mates on a good old game of ‘Street Fighter 2′ with a few beers.

Good stuff.

If I could wave a magic wand I would …

Find out what its all about. What ‘everything’ is about…

Come on. We all want to know what ‘it’ is all about.
From the day we are born to presumably the day we die, we ask questions.
Why, why, why?

Having written the above, I figured, the sheer computing power of Google MUST know this answer, it MUST, after having over a decade worth of experience in giving out answers to nearly everyone in the world. so i went popped in my question to Google and…

to my delight it gave me an answer.

Google it – literally Google this “the answer to life, the universe and everything”.

Google gives you the answer ’42′. Am not shitting you.

Google claims that ‘the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42′ so it must be true if its on Google. right?

Yes it’s possible,
The answer to everything might be 42. Here’s a messy quote on 42 from some website I vaguely remember…

“42 is the number you get when you add up all the numbers on two six-sided dice. This is showing that life, the universe, and everything Is nothing but a big game of craps.”
Reckon its true?

The illustrations I’ve chosen here are important to me because…

Well… I chose these pictures only because they’re from my new sketch book that I started at the beginning of the year. 2010 and all that new decade stuff… I have plenty of sketches kicking around, but they all fall into the same category of pointless, daft, surreal humour. So I figured I’d slap my latest sketch book in to give you a taster.

Sometimes I draw nice, sometimes messy. I think this year I have been a bit more messy with my lines and not so delicate and detailed as I have been in the past.


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2 responses

13 04 2010
Time running out for YDA 2010 Entries « Young Director Award Blog

[...] check out interviews with previous winners like Aleksander Bach, Ben Woolf, Kosai Sekine and Christian Bevilacqua to find out how winning the YDA boosted their [...]

31 10 2010
Interactive Whiteboards :

i like computer games that are first person shooting and strategy games .

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