12 December 2019

Creative Talk with Phil Newman, Head of Production at BC&F Dentsu

Phil Newman is kept busy with his role as Head of Production with BC&F Dentsu.  Located at their Sale Street office in Auckland, they are part of the busy larger Dentsu team.  We chat to Phil about his day to day and agency integration.



What’s your career background?

Like most, I fell into advertising. After spending several years at Colenso figuring out what Advertising actually was, I joined the line for the next ferry to the UK to get my stripes. In-between pints and learning how to queue correctly, I worked at some great agencies with great clients on both UK based and international clients. Finally finding my way back to NZ, I freelanced around a couple of places until I found enough dirt on someone to hire me. That was when I met the guys at BC&F Dentsu four odd years ago.


Busy man right?  Tell us about your role.

Many heads, many hats. With my core focus looking after all elements of production from running our studio; digital; & edit suite, producing stills; content shoots; TVCs and anything in between. I also look after our creative teams and workload and generally try and keep things running smoothly and reasonably in the right direction. I also offer support across our group with studio or production related talent resource, and also producing on behalf of them.


Now you are part of the larger Dentsu group – how has this change impacted BC&F.

The obvious answer would be that it’s opened us up to new opportunities etc etc. But it’s also allowed us to tap into all sorts of technology, people and resources that didn’t exist in our agency previously.


Do you do a lot of work together as an integrated group?

Yes. A lot. DAN have done a great job of having a good complimentary mix of agencies without much overlap. It’s not really a matter of organizing a meeting and paying for other agencies time, all we need to do is wander over and start chatting. We’re all on the same systems, so to kick off a project is no more effort than how we currently do it within just BC&F Dentsu.


Is your day to day work focused on bespoke projects for your clients, or is it mostly BAU work?

BAU is amazing to have, it helps us streamline through some great work which allows us opportunities to focus on some of the interesting projects as well. Trying to blow a beer drinker over with a fan backed by a V8 engine, waging a war on Norway, blowing shit up into beautiful colors in slow motion, having a song composed to sexually motivate birds…


What are the highlights of your role?

Working with great people. Both those at the agency, and our suppliers. Sounds cheesy, but when things are busy or stressful, it’s the ones around you that can keep you sane. I also remember my first ever job interview, wearing an oversized shirt, and baggy dress pants - I was told that working in advertising is great, you never do the same repetitive task twice. Which is a small lie, but overall, most projects bring on the unknown challenges to keep things nice and fresh.


What is the most memorable project you have worked on?

A health and safety briefing advising that if the armed defenders squad turn up, don’t try and be funny – you might get shot. Needless to say, I started to think of some great one liners…


How do your creative teams work – are they integrated, or do you have digital specialists working alongside?

Digital is no longer a separate tacked on element of advertising, our creatives are expected to understand all aspects from TV, print, OOH, digital, etc. There doesn’t seem to be any point in separating that out when trying to come up with a core idea. In saying that, we have our digital developers, innovators and our wider Dentsu talent that share all the latest and greatest ways to integrate interesting ideas into our work, whether digital, media or other.


Future visions?

Apart from a hot, dry (but not dry to the point where farmers get upset) summer… Future vision? Getting back to good interesting content that people want to engage in. Or maybe that’s just a dream of mine.