The Jaguar magazine role often involved commissioning features with related photo and video shoots of high-profile brand affiliates. In one memorable example, with only a week’s notice, I persuaded The Shard’s management to shut its famous London landmark for 90 minutes while A-list actor Benedict Cumberbatch starred in a fashion shoot on its upper platform. I then interviewed him and wrote the accompanying feature (see pictures and feature intro sample below*). Jaguar magazine was then translated into a dozen languages and involved complex client and multi-agency liaison, developing tone-of-voice guidelines and layout re-designs, plus meticulous page-editing and final proofing using InDesign software.
Beyond freelance editing, I have also acted as a consultant to car brands on positioning and direction, worked with creative agencies on market research and copywriting and am involved in various judging panels, including the consumer UK Car of the Year, global Concept and Production Car Designs of the Year, the classic car Concours of Elegance design award and the dealer-focused Motor Trader Awards.
* …We’re halfway up Western Europe’s tallest building inside one of the plushest new hotels in London waiting for one of the world’s most famous actors. If we were in any doubt about the former, a brief glance out of the corner suite’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows across the Capital’s massive cityscape banishes it, while the image staring out from today’s edition of England’s most established newspaper The Times, confirms the latter.
But although Benedict Cumberbatch might be front page news – the quintessential English actor of his times was recently honoured with a Oscar-nomination for his role in The Imitation Game – when he does enter the suite of the Shangri-La at The Shard there’s less fanfare than you might expect. Casually dressed with an ‘incognito hat’ he says a quick hello all round and after a quick brush with the stylist and make-up artist jumps into the lightning-quick lift up to our exclusive photoshoot.
With the The View from the Shard platform 244 metres above ground all to ourselves – bar camera crew and staff – the open-air, 360-degree of London, can be appreciated in rare and splendid isolation. For an actor who would seem to have the world at his feet, his first visit up this already iconic building, officially opened in 2012, is still a humbling sight. “This is my home town and it’s just awe-inspiring up here. Even in this defused light you still just can’t help but be blown away by the scale of this great, great city…”