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Rob Moggach, founder and creative director of Dashing, is an award-winning VFX talent with more than twelve years' experience that includes creative work on high-profile campaigns and collaborations with a host of legendary directors. Aside from his work as a VFX artist, Rob has produced and shot four spec films built that contributed to him being nominated for the Young Director Award at Cannes. And his directorial debut, "Levi’s Dancer" earned him the cover on Shots magazine’s New Directors issue. Prior to launching Dashing, he worked via Asylum, Method, Digital Domain, the Mill, and several other industry leading studios.

Based in Toronto, Rob continues to pursue the VFX work his career is built on, hone his skills as a craftsman for top creative teams and build his growing directing reel.

05.17.11

Using Raw Ingredients To Make Something Original

If you have a degree in what field is it? I have a BAA from Ryerson in film and photography, and studied computer animation at Sheridan College.

If you could choose one person to work with (outside your own agency), who would it be? Stanley Kubrick, if he was still alive; such an amazing filmmaker and visualist.

Who was the client for your first advertising project? The first memorable advertising project I worked on was Mercedes “Modern Ark” for director Gerard De Thame. I was a young artist, relatively new to London, and the exposure showed me how creatively inspiring and compelling ads can be when they’re produced at a high level. It’s a lesson that I hold dear to this day.

If you were to change professions, what would you choose to do? Chef. Barista. Something to do with food. I love the art of cooking— using raw ingredients to make something original and inspiring that brings joy to people. Everyone can remember a great meal or their favorite restaurant. It’s an emotional experience.

What do you consider to be the greatest headline of all time? There are too many to choose from....

From where do your best ideas originate? I wish I knew. Either as a simple reinterpretation of something that’s already out there, or they just fly out of nowhere unexpectedly. Never out of a desire to develop ideas, they usually are the result of my taking a moment to collect my thoughts... waiting for a train, buying groceries, tying my shoes.

How do you overcome a creative block? Insomnia. Working through the night, the creative block inevitably disappears. Walking away from a creative block has never worked for me (I’ve always got 30 things going on in my head so I tend to jump around a lot).

If you could choose any product to create an ad for, what would it be? Guinness. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Guinness ad that I didn’t envy not being a part of; it’s amazing that its kept such a strong and powerful aesthetic for so long.

Do you have creative outlets other than advertising? Installation art; I’m working on some interactive light pieces that use microelectronics and programming. Photography; it’s where I started so I’m always dabbling. Programming; as much as I enjoy the art that consumes my work and life, there’s something truly creative about the problem-solving that’s part of being a nerd. Family; kids force you to be creative and young in spirit regardless of stress (not taking life so seriously sometimes is the key to finding moments of inspiration).

What’s your approach to balancing work and life? I’ve never had a great ability to balance work and life. I tend to focus intensely on the work at hand and everything else falls away for days at a time. To balance that intensity I often shut down afterward. Recently, yoga and meditation seem to be the key to maintaining a healthy perspective.

What product/gadget can you not live without? My laptop. It’s an unhealthy addiction.

What’s your favorite quote? To paraphrase Walter Campbell, in reference to television advertising, “Focus on the art of making a great film first, and the rest will take care of itself.” When I think about the ads I can’t forget, there’s never an inherent sales pitch but the brand is still etched in my memory. I’m sure market research is great for consistency but visionary creative only happens when the risk associated with being truly creative is embraced. Take a leap. You can be conservative and safe when you’re 60.

Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? If your work feels like a “job,” you’re in the wrong profession. But, most importantly, it’s too easy to lose touch with the great people you meet along the way; it’s important to foster those relationships because the more diverse your network the more exciting your collaborations can be.

What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? It’s very easy to overlook the satisfaction of being a true craftsman in favor of being in charge of concept alone. I’ve come to appreciate how my skill is always improving and that pursuit takes a lot more dedication than the idea alone. We need to pay more attention to subtle detail; it’s an art and we need to cherish it and give it the recognition it deserves.