Director Highlights : #I
Following on from our successful Photographer Spotlight series, we thought we’d extend our exposure to moving imagery as well. This Director Highlights series aims to share some of our current favourite directors and filmmakers with all of you, with the hope that you are equally as intrigued and inspired by their work. Our first highlight features the Irish native and now London-based director, photographer and writer, Aoife Mcardle. Her emotive, character-driven videos have garnered much critical acclaim since her debut commercial for GQ magazine back in 2008, and has gone from strength to strength ever since, going on to work with high-profile artists and brands from U2 to Samsung, Jon Hopkins to Audi.
But why exactly do we, and so many others, enjoy her videos so much? McArdle’s work transports us to surroundings both familiar and distant, from suburban streets to American Wastelands. This keeps things visually interesting without overcrowding the picture, perfectly framing her beautifully organic character-led narrative, which is arguably her biggest asset.
Instead of relying on recognisable artists and actors, she favours hand-picking everyday people, the ones who represent the real stories she documents so well. Because of this, everything we see on screen is far more relatable, encouraging connections with the characters we see on screen, sharing in their most triumphant and most tender of moments.
This depiction of raw human emotion is something that many directors take years to master, but for McArdle, it seems to have come very naturally, and is apparent throughout her work. Her emphasis on facial expression is perhaps a key element of this, investing plenty of screen time on the actions and reactions of her cast.
McArdle’s storylines often portray the most fragile and tender sides of the human condition, both positive and negative, and aim to depict and quantify feelings that many of us have felt at some point during our lives. Although much of the movement and action can appear erratic and at times disjointed, it is capable of delivering an incredibly complex series of emotions that words simply could not express.
This work is clearly the mark of an incredibly talented and creative mind, and McArdle deserves the recognition she has received. As her audience has grown, so too have her ideas. More recent projects tackle the ever-present issue of gender equality, more specifically that of the pay gap and societal constructs restricting the aspirations of younger females.
Her latest project is a fantastic testament to how a talented director can impact lives by tackling important issues through the medium of beautiful content. This has been McArdle’s biggest client to date, and was created specifically for the latest Super Bowl, showcasing her work and its messages to a considerably wider audience. If you like what you see, go and check out her body of work, as there’s something there for everyone. We are also eagerly awaiting the release of her first Feature Film, due for release at the end of summer, and hope you are too.