Continuing to broaden its roster of commercial filmmakers, Accomplice Media has signed comedy director Ben Whitehouse for exclusive representation in the United States. The British-born director launched his career in 2009 and since then has established himself as a master of character-driven comedy through work for Subway, Amazon, Enterprise, KFC, Specsavers, Phones 4U and others.
Starting his career as a researcher and treatment writer, Whitehouse collaborated with many top commercial directors including Traktor, Jonathan Glazer, Tom Hooper and Ivan Zacharias. This work was international including many U.S. jobs for shops like Anonymous Content and Smuggler.
Whitehouse credits these early experiences working with top directors for his ability to transform concepts into successful ads. “I learnt from the best how to structure an argument, how to focus on the core idea and how important it is to be brave and wholeheartedly commit to an approach.”
His directing career began through Joy@RSA, a division of RSA films, before joining Agile in trendy East London who continue to represent him for UK projects. While versatile, Whitehouse has developed a signature cinematic style combining elements of visual humor, punchy comedy and character-driven narratives.
His latest multi-campaign work for the insurance company Royal London is a classic example. The British obsession with talking about the weather is brilliantly observed through unlikely mundane moments in history ranging from Medieval witch burnings to Napoleonic battlefields.
“Ben is a fantastic talent with a great career in front of him,” says Accomplice Media executive producer Jeff Snyder. “His work is extremely cinematic. His visual style, conceptual sense and casting are impeccable. We are very excited to introduce him to U.S. agencies.”
“I like making good looking, truthful comedy ” says Whitehouse. “The two things I look for in a script are clarity of concept and strong characters with a humanity and emotion. For me this is the modern comedy way.”
Whitehouse’s brand of humor is also distinguished by its high production value. The director often elects to work with cinematographers, production designers and other crew with feature film experience in order to invest his work with “big screen” depth and visual quality.
“Observing Ben’s dedication to production value was an important consideration to bring him on to the roster,” adds Executive Producer Mel Gragido. “He creates an environment for the actors to play in that really grounds their performances, which in turn allows the humor in each of his films to spring up naturally.”
Whitehouse was attracted to Accomplice Media by its track record in helping European directors break into the U.S. market. “Jeff and Mel have worked around the world and understand the market that I come from,” he says. “They know how to work with directors with a British or European sensibility and how to make that fit the American market.”