On The Cusp, Longlist - Branded
Shortlist - Branded

The Pick Up

Jack Howard

Good Emperor Ltd.

The brief was to create a short film that showed the cinematic capabilities of the new Honor Magic4 Pro phone camera. I thought the best route would be to use a genre that would be instantly recognisable, finishing with a comedy twist. I aimed to use the limitation of shooting on a phone to my advantage and wrote a simple, subjective story, wherein the audience assumes a getaway driver is waiting for a bank heist before we reveal that he's just waiting for his Nan to get back from the shops. I wrote that outline fairly quickly, but it wasn't until later that I came up with the double yellow lines reveal, which turned out to be essential. That context allowed Niall McNamee (The Driver) to play the real anxiety of the character throughout rather than just pretending to be Ryan Gosling in Drive. It also justifies the genre language we're using, because it reflects the character's mindset and makes the rug-pull that much funnier.

Born out of the YouTube generation, Jack has spent years establishing himself as one of the most exciting and authentic voices in the world of online comedy entertainment. Now, as a commercials director, he’s applying his experience of directing, writing, and acting, to help brands connect with their audience in real and resonant ways. He has used his deep understanding of film language both as a director, working with brands including ZenAuto, Sky, Campari, and Domino’s, and as Mark Kermode’s counterpart on their podcast ‘Kermode On Film.’ He’s also directed big names in the British comedy circuit including Matt King, Jessica Hynes, Kerry Godliman, and Doc Brown. As a teenager, Howard, who was making YouTube videos of himself talking to camera in his bedroom, found himself on the receiving end of increasing notoriety. It was the long-running series of sketches as part of the comedy duo Jack & Dean that propelled him to online fame - with their YouTube channel accruing over 73 million views and gaining 647k subscribers. A few years and a fist-full of brand partnerships later, Jack boasts a following on Instagram of 235k (and counting), made up almost entirely of 18-34 year olds. Of his approach, Jack says: “Audiences are more media-literate than ever and can smell when they’re being sold something. When that happens, they reject it. I’ve learned how to walk the fine line of communicating with a brand’s team and executing their message in a creative and authentic way; never forgetting that I’m making something for a person to watch. Not an audience - a person.”