Jesper Ericstam, a director at Mighty Film Co, has a deep-seated passion for storytelling, choosing his projects solely on the strength of the script and then adding heart and soul to the words with spot-on casting and character work. In the tradition of Swedish filmmakers, he has a slightly off-kilter worldview and his body of work is a brilliant blend of great humor and emotionally resonant drama.
Ericstam has worked in Sweden, the UK, the US, Cuba, Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Uruguay, Argentina, Japan and South Africa, helming spots for McDonald's, Continental, Citroen, Honda, Nissan, Audi, Toyota, Jeep, Mazda, Hyundai, SAS, UNICEF and Swedish National Railways. He has collaborated with top agencies around the world and he's garnered multiple awards and landed on countless shortlists.
Especially Long Swedish Summer Holidays
If you have a degree in what field is it? Scriptwriting at Berghs School of Communications in Stockholm.
If you could choose one person to work with (outside your own agency/company), who would it be? José Mourinho could be interesting; he’s a bit of a prick, but he certainly finds new ways in the narrow world of soccer.
Who was the client for your first advertising project? Ramlösa—Swedish table water.
If you were to change professions, what would you choose to do? Architect.
What do you consider to be the greatest headline of all time? “Who? Why?” —Aftonbladet, Wednesday 12 September 2001
From where do your best ideas originate? Real life. But lately I have slowly started to discover that I rewrite my history/experiences and mix it with fantasy. For example, I thought that a scene in my last commercial, where a kindergarten teacher on duty leaves her children in the hallway while shagging a stranger, was self-experienced. It’s not though; it’s a fantasy I had on the bus a few years ago.
How do you overcome a creative block? I go to sleep or go out running.
If you could choose any product to create an ad for, what would it be? Any sex-related item or organization. (So far I’ve done one—LAFA—and it was great fun.)
Do you have creative outlets other than advertising? I sold a couple of paintings and photos but prefer to keep them myself.
What’s your approach to balancing work and life? Hard one since I’m “all in,” but my trick is to be “all off” during vacations with my family and the especially long five-to-six-week Swedish summer holidays.
What product/gadget can you not live without? My camera. It’s my diary. At Christmas my relatives get a personal iPhoto book with the year in pictures and a few one-liners. I also give myself a book; it’s my favorite Christmas present each year (and, obviously, a well kept secret).
What’s your favorite quote? “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” —Sir Winston Churchill.
Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? Suck it all in and enjoy. It will never be better than your first “pure” years.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? Nothing. I wouldn’t have been able to learn from my mistakes.