Award winning filmmaker Gregory Rood studied Fine Arts and Lighting design in his native country of New Zealand. In New Zealand he designed lighting for the theatre, dance and rock concerts. He then began directing pop videos, network news, film documentaries and drama for television.
Gregory then came to London and produced and directed documentaries and was a co-founder of the award winning art, design, and filmmaking collective ‘Tomato’. Tomato’s work includes television and print advertising, corporate identity, producing and directing films, music composition, art installations and photography. Tomato built up an international reputation for working across different media, creating work for all manner of clients such as, Nike, Adidas, Levis, Sony, BBC and Underworld. For every Tomato project they created a unique visual and often musical language, helping to define and bring added value to the brands. This is something that has been central to Gregory’s work and can clearly be seen, for example, in the commercials he wrote with Philip Starck and Dirk Van Dooren for Thomson Electronics, and for the ‘Perfect Day’ campaign and marketing strategy he developed for the BBC. The chairman of the BBC said that the ‘Perfect Day’ campaign was responsible for winning an extra two billion pounds in funding for the BBC. Before the campaign an application for increased funding was flatly rejected - after the campaign approval ratings went sky high and the extra funding was immediately agreed to. The title track went to number one in the charts and raised one million pounds for ‘Children In Need’. Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony No.3 went from being almost unknown to reaching number one in the classical music charts after it was featured in Gregory’s award-winning documentary film on the contemporary Catalan artist Antoni Tapies, and went on to become the largest-selling classical CD in history.
The art design collective Tomato won every possible award in advertising and Gregory personally has won twenty awards, including gold awards at D&AD, BTAA, Clio and The Creative Circle. ‘Perfect Day’ won numerous awards including Best TV Commercial of The Year and the Marketing Societies Grand Prix for Marketeer of The Year.
In a recent review of Gregory’s photographic essay ‘La Chacarita’, the British critic and writer, John McEwan wrote, ‘Rood’s award-winning films – on the Brazilian footballer Romario; on the Spanish painter Antoni Tapies; on the flaming oil fields after the first Iraq war, to name but three – are always epic. Like all the few true artists he pitches himself against the eternal. His photographs of La Chacarita demonstrate the point with great emotional depth and delicacy of feeling. . . But ultimately one is reminded of cinema: the foreboding mood and detail of Orson Welles; the abstraction of Godard and, especially, of that manipulator of sound and silence, that connoisseur of the monumentality of insignificance, Tarkovsky’.
Gregory’s highly visual storytelling can also been seen in the documentary films he has produced and directed for the BBC, NHK, Channel 4, PBS and TVE, among others; including ‘Camp Durado,’ A film about Brazil’s football genius Romario, his rise from the grinding poverty of Rio’s favalas to become the number one footballer in the world. In a nation where football really is more important than life or death, Romario receives the mind-altering adulation reserved for Gods. This film was narrated by Stephen Rea.
‘Tapies,’ An intimate portrait of the life and work of Spain’s greatest living artist, Antoni Tapies, was narrated by Bob Peck.
In ‘Addicted to Aid’, award-winning reporter Sorious Saniora looks at the impact of international aid on Uganda and Sierra Leone and how individual generosity and aid from Western governments has shaped the political and economic future of the African continent, for better or worse.