PHIL LINTURN, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER AT GLASSWORKS
Phil was a graphic designer working at GQ magazine when he saw Björk’s seminal “All is Full of Love” promo directed by Chris Cunningham. He quit immediately and got a job at Glassworks. In 2010 Phil became the Managing Director of Glassworks Amsterdam, transforming a small satellite office into the success it is today: a market-leading and multi-award-winning team of artists creating work for the world’s biggest brands. In becoming COO in 2014, he is now in charge of holistic management of the group.
You say that the video for Björk’s “All is full of love” changed your destiny. What was it that struck you so much about the video?
It was a perfect blend of great music, Chris Cunningham’s imaginative genius, and beautiful, flawless execution. It just made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, and I realised that my job at the time never made me feel like that. I wanted to be involved.
What do you love about your job?
I’m fortunate in that I work with an excellent team, and have been blessed with some of the most talented and fun clients I could have hoped for. I love seeing great ideas crafted into beautiful films, apps, installations, etc. Happy clients at the end of the project are of course a bonus!
What’s the coolest project you’ve been involved in?
I would have to say Heartworks, Glassworks’ long-running initiative creating both digital and physical training tools for heart surgeons around the world. It’s interesting for me on many levels, but primarily because it’s something that is wholly good and beneficial to society (a rarity in adland). From a technical, R&D perspective, our real-time, anatomically-correct, and fully interactive human heart was a true trailblazing achievement.
What was your worst job and what did you learn from it?
Any project where you can feel the decisions being made are not in the interest of quality can become a worst project. It’s harder to motivate a team to work every night and weekend when they can see the end result just ‘getting different’ rather than better. We learned to be much more confident in our creative opinions.
In percentage terms, what’s more important in advertising, the idea or the execution?
Ha. In percentage terms, I’d say roughly 100 % – 100 %.
Describe briefly the worst kind of client you can come across in the industry.
It’s the same as in life: bad people make bad clients. At Glassworks, we start from a position of 100 % enthusiasm and energy on every project. This can be eroded by rudeness, selfishness and a lack of grace. Fortunately I can count on one hand the clients that have fallen into this category during my entire career.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Prioritise listening to people who combine extreme skill with extreme hard work.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?
I’d probably have been that despondent ‘Mac Man’ seen in The Apprentice, trying to dissuade Alan Sugar’s protégé’s from using ‘giddyup’ font in corporate literature.
You cycled 5.000km of the Andes, from Bolivia to the Beagle Channel. How long did that take and what was the definitive highlight of your trip?
The cycling itself took just 53 days, but we broke this up with rest days and a lot of hiking in between. It would be a crime to simply cycle straight through places like the Atacama desert or Patagonia without stopping to enjoy it. Many highlights of course, but the simple pleasure of waking up on a chilly desert morning to pack away your tent in absolute peace will be hard to forget.
What do you like the most about Berlin?
I have been to Berlin a few times and always loved it. My last visit was for Ciclope 2013 actually, and this time I expect to beat last year’s record of 5 back-to-back currywursts. Then I expect tummy ache.
MEET THE COMPLETE JURY!