On My Radar: Jim Owen
The Fat Lemon director reveals an addiction to Google Maps and a failed experiment to live without it...
What’s the best ad campaign you’ve seen recently?
I loved the Daniels' Apple Pay ad, Fly Market [below], and Dougal Wilson’s Unlock. Though I have to say when my other half wears her glasses her iPhone X doesn’t recognise her.
What website(s) do you use most regularly and why?
Google Maps. Have you tried living your life without Google Maps? Everyone talks about getting off social media, but try getting off Google Maps.
What’s the most recent piece of tech that you’ve bought and why?
A phone that only makes calls and sends texts. That was an experiment that failed. You cannot do without Google Maps, it’s impossible.
Facebook, Instagram or Twitter?
Instagram and Twitter. I don’t do Facebook, one has to draw the line somewhere.
What’s your favourite app on your phone and why?
Google Maps, mate.
What’s your favourite TV show and why?
I loved Togetherness, the Duplass bros show - proving comedy works very well when you don’t try to have four jokes per page (mind you, cancelled after two seasons). Wild Wild Country. The Defiant Ones. Hey Duggee is a tour de force.
What film do you think everyone should have seen?
Recently I saw Tangerine and then The Florida Project. Sean Baker is so good.
Where were you when inspiration last struck?
I think it strikes all the time. I’ve been up in Yorkshire filming young men becoming paratroopers. They were very inspiring. But the last time it struck and I did something about it was Boxing Day. That led to some writing, and you never know, that might lead to a film.
What’s the most significant change you’ve witnessed in the industry since you started working in it?
So many. We’ve all got HD cameras in our pockets and we’ve all got a platform online. That’s probably the biggest change. Anyone with an imagination can make something now and if it’s good enough, show the world.
If there was one thing you could change about the advertising industry, what would it be?
I can only really speak from my perspective, and I’m sticking up for directors here, but I was paid for a couple of treatments that I wrote this year and it makes a difference.
What or who has most influenced your career and why?
Me, surely? Mike Plante at Sundance, he programmed my short film, Can We Talk? so he should take credit, and Di Dugdale and Mads Sanderson who signed me to Partizan, that was a break for me. And now Jane [Bolton] and Cab [Hopkins, partners] at Fat Lemon for the next chapter...
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know…
I used to be a journalist.