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Adrian Prospero: Master of Many of Trades in Asia and Beyond
Award-winning Australian director Adrian Prospero has built a reputation as an excellent filmmaker by working in the entertainment industry for over a decade. A number of reasons could be gathered for why Adrian could be profiled by Merinews.

For one, he directed crucial films for multi-million dollar company Archipelago Resources in Indonesia, leading to his appraisal as a “director at the top of his field” from CEO Colin Loosemore.

On this occasion though, we’re featuring his compelling story on innovative film directors who also succeed as directors for commercials in the Asia-Pacific region, serving as a valuable example for the ways in which Australians continue to punch above their weight and make huge contributions to the world stage.

Adrian, who played an integral role in Archipelago’s sale for millions of dollars, recently won Best Narrative short at the New York Film Awards. He has become known as Australia and Asia’s answer to Michael Bay or Ridley Scott: a director who’s highly adept and experienced at entertaining audiences with action-oriented storylines and tense narratives, but also helps brands succeed by carrying over this story-telling technique into big-budget commercials for multi-million-dollar companies.

As stated in Variety, all movies sell their viewers something — and not just the awkwardly placed commercial placements so prevalent in superhero blockbusters.” More fundamentally, audiences are required to buy into a narrative, a character, a universe: If the viewer isn’t persuaded, the movie is never going to pay off. Just like other top directors who preceded him, few filmmakers can sell a story world like Adrian Prospero.

“Lots of people have said when I started out I had to focus on one thing, but luckily me working across all areas of film and TV as a director is what’s continued to get me opportunities.”

Adrian claims that one important question he asks himself is: “What message am I communicating?”

While quick to identify as an artist, Adrian is a most definitely a practical realist when it comes to recognising that his industry of communicating visual messages is at the end of the day, business and commerce, not art.

“I love being an artist, but being commercially driven is ultimately important, and what helps create jobs.”

Such is the high degree of Adrian’s success, he built a highly-regarded partnership with WIN, one of Australia’s leading TV stations, as their go-to-guy for commercials, shaping the network’s brand and reputation around the country. In addition, Adrian’s communication with the companies whose brands are advertised on the network has propelled him to the top of his field as a person who not only communicates messages to viewers, but communicates success to clients. Some of those clients included huge companies like Hino, AFGRI and REIWA, leading to WIN securing multi-million-dollar contracts in the highly competitive advertising space of network television.

“I’ve most definitely appreciated by jumping between mediums, that I can learn about process is the most important thing. You can talk and listen to lectures at film school, but you’ll never really earn and become an expert at something until you go out and do it.”

Ridley Scott once said a great quote: “You can converse all you want about the mountain, but till you get on it, and start climbing, you don’t know shit.”

It’s clear that Adrian knows a lot; as someone with many years in the industry, his collaborations have reached beyond his critical relationship with WIN, and extend to narrative filmmaking too where he retains status in the industry as an expert storyteller.

“There is something I love about commercials – they’re fast-paced and you get to experiment with different visuals every other week.”

It’s perhaps appropriate to identify in this context that films are great too, but they’re somewhat like a marriage – a director has to be prepared to commit to them for many years and know that’s the only visual style they’ll be working with for a long time.

Another example of Adrian’s ability to parlay his talents across different mediums is his work as a director of music videos, helping solidify star singers and songwriters’ online presence and aesthetic to millions of listeners and fans around the world.

Case in point, Adrian’s work for X-factor contestant and Australian starlet, Veronica Bravo. For her music video “Talking in Colour”, Adrian executed a mini-film that helped launch the song to a fervent fan base around the world, and the video reached more 60,000 viewers in the process. Adrian’s keen understanding of how to keep viewers hooked from moment-to-moment, with impactful pops of colour, and an engaging story to boot. In the video itself, “Neighbours” and “ANZAC Girls” star Ben Hall is the object of Veronica’s affection, and a chase for his romantic interest begins in a way that’s more reminiscent of the best romantic comedy films rather than music videos.

“That was a fun shoot, and everyone really enjoyed the process. I felt very fortunate to be a part of it.”

The upbeat conclusion of the video, coupled with an effervescent lighting design that signifies Adrian’s filmmaking style as one that stands out, is a memorable inclusion in Adrian’s varied portfolio of directing work which proves his ability to tailor execution to client interests.

“I love entertaining people all over the world, so I think that’s required of me to develop a really broad skill-base.”

Audiences take note: look out for Adrian’s feature film work in the months to come, with projects like Market Place and The Clairvoyant in active development to have him direct in the US.

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