Featuring William Armstrong

Featuring William Armstrong

Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Wil Armstrong. I'm a writer and director in the film world.

What inspires you when you direct?

There's stories out there that need to be told. I think there's things we can learn from and there are messages in the way we learn about ourselves and the world that we're living in. I'm very inspired by unlocking deeper meaning and finding patterns in the way that we exist out here. I strive for finding a beautiful way to frame those stories and see something unique about a perspective of the world.

How do you find balance between the emotive tone and the commercial nature of ads?

I think there's some occasions where I'm lucky to find commercials or brands that want to be very genuine and tell something emotive about themselves or about the work that they do. If I find those kinds of scripts, I'm always very excited to get into them and do them justice. However, if it is something that is less layered or less story driven, then I'm always looking for ways to elevate the visual side of it and do something that's spectacular and eye-catching. In a way, that is another version of giving a message to an audience. Sometimes, style in commercials can be layered over substance and you can make something that people still find very entertaining.

Why is sensitivity important in your work?

I think a lot about the purpose of filmmaking or storytelling, and I think there is the straight ‘A to B’ way of reporting a story or something that's happened. But I think that it's never A

to B in reality. And there's always nuance and tiny details in characters and in how people behave or react or how situations develop. I think that's where sensitivity in filmmaking is really important. It’s to try and find the little things that actually explain the reality of our world, which is never simple and it's never a straight road to the end of a story. I think that things are always up and down and full of surprises, and that's what makes life interesting.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

I think that there's a lot of stories out there that I'd love to tell and not enough time. Filmmaking is a super collaborative process. There's so many people involved, so much talent and commitment needed, and it's a long process that takes a lot of people to buy into. So I wish that I could be churning out a film a month or working all the time. But I think it takes a lot of patience and a lot of digging to find a story worth telling. And that always means that your output is maybe not as constant as it is if you're a photographer or a composer and able to create instantly. So I think that the patience and the delayed gratification that's needed to be a filmmaker is also one of the challenges of the job.

What do you think is the future of advertising?

I wish I knew the perfect answer to that. I think that advertising is going through a transformation that we're probably all aware of. People are consuming content differently. People are more savvy and less interested in being sold to. So I think the future of advertising is more authentic, more genuine. Stories that feel real and feel like they've come from a place of purpose. Again, storytelling is king. And if you're just trying to sell something without actually thinking about a meaningful message behind it,I think that kind of advertising has already fallen away. I feel like this may be a truer, more layered storytelling that is going to take off… well, has always really been the king of advertising, but will be more and more the way to get people's attention and to make a connection with them as an audience.

What is your favorite spot in Copenhagen?

Depends on the time of year, but I love La Banchina. I love going for a little swim and lying in the sun when the sun is shining. Refshaløen is an area that just always has got a bit of a vibe and a bit of a… it is still rough around the edges, which makes it interesting.

What is your favorite family and friends activity?

I’d say again - I'm a South African. I'm always, if I could choose, I’m always going to choose to be in the sun and it's always going to be somewhere warm, which is not all the time in Copenhagen. My idea of a perfect day is some loud music, some cold drinks and friends getting together just to relax and unwind and share a kind of connection with each other.

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