The Next Wave: Erik Van Wyk, Harry Nash

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South African director Erik Van Wyk has had little time to settle into his new headquarters at Harry Nash in London. The 34-year-old had directed out of Velocity Afrika, prior to which he was a CD at TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris. He's been globe-trotting on jobs that have flooded in since his move less than three months ago. In Spain he shot his first job for the U.S., out of TBWAChiatDay, a launch campaign for a new Nissan vehicle, and today he's back in Cape Town for Olympus through Saatchi/Sydney. Despite all the traveling, he now feels very much at home. "I love the fact that London allows me to be diverse," he says. "Every job is so different it needs to be treated for what the job needs." That often means combining sensibilities, a key component of Van Wyk's MO. His reel opens with serious Top Gun action that takes an oddball turn, in a spot for Virgin Atlantic. It goes from in-camera shots of helicopters swooping down, to a quiet barbershop where the resident trimmer is giving the GIs the latest trendy 'dos. Apparent on that spot is the the discriminating eye for talent that further defines his approach. "I'm mad about casting people that I find interesting," he notes. Style and character also weave nicely together in his docu-style charmer for Cricket, in which a boy sets out to attend his sister's wedding in his finest threads - his cricket uniform; and in a clever seatbelt PSA featuring a road-raging driver who avoids injury when his seatbelt prevents him from whooping a Goliath parking spot thief.
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