This week we speak to freelance filmmaker and EVCOM Board member Tim Langford about creativity, freedom and the Soviet Union!


What is your favourite thing about what you do & what does creativity mean to you?  

Reading or hearing a brief – which is an incitement to creative riot in the brain: which is like an electrical shock, a spark that creates a chain reaction through the synapse’s that fuels a process of neurons flushing through the brain – which ‘refreshes the parts other briefs cannot reach’ – which leads to an idea, a pattern of thoughts, an image and then words and then a pitch and, if you are lucky, leads to making the film of…

What is one thing you’ve learnt/ are learning from the current crisis?

Stay in touch with other humans.

As they days get colder, what TV show/ film/ book will be getting you through?

I am reading a biography of Stalin (thanks to Waterstones ‘buy 1 get 1 half price’ this was my impulse buy) who when he wasn’t being a tyrant was also a great supporter of the arts and extremely well read; he may have coined the term ’socialist realism’, his diktat for how creatives should artistically ‘interpret’ the Soviet Union, but he had a great feel for the artistic soul. Is he the kind of client you would want to work for though?!

True – Orwellian – story: From the mid-sixties to the late eighties the Soviet Union had one state owned advertising agency (so no competition) whose creatives produced thousands of commercials for products that didn’t actually exist because the State demanded that companies (e.g. the public sector) spend 1% of their revenue on ‘advertising’. For example – here’s one for minced chicken – which is like some extra-sensory, hallucinatory experience on some bad mushrooms (man):


So – why would the State create this great Orwellian illusion? In order to project a narrative of abundance onto a population that was accustomed to experiencing scarcity. Always good to know what the proposition is!

What have you missed most during lockdown?

The thing we all took for granted. Freedom. Of the mind, the body and the soul.


‘One Minute With…’ is a series of articles and films where we ask our members questions and they answer in just one minute! If you’d like to be involved in the initiative please get in contact with Amelia at to express your interest and find out more!

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