Sam Washington


Sam Washington


  • Nationality  |  British
  • Base  |  LA, USA

Sam is an award winning Director and Writer with a passion for crafting on-screen moments that audiences have a real connection with. A ‘performance director’ in the purest sense, Sam’s foundation for any piece of work is believable characters and authentic performances. As Sam will tell you, “If we don’t believe the people on screen, then non of this counts for much.”

A great collaborator, Sam worked as both a Producer and as an agency Copy Writer prior to becoming a Director, giving him a deep understanding of the whole process and great empathy for the challenges faced by agencies and clients alike. Sam strongly believes that the secret to success is actually quite straightforward. “I always say: Client, Agency and Production should all be trying to make the same film. It sounds so simple, but I’m always amazed to hear from my peers how often that isn’t the case.” To this end, Sam is a big believer in pre-shoot communication. “I love PPMs! I love pre-PPMs too and kick-off meetings. The more face-time I can get with the agency team and clients prior to the shoot, the better understanding I have of their needs, so that everyone is perfectly aligned when the camera’s rolling.”

Sam carries this philosophy through to the very end of every project and is extremely proud of his ‘edits signed off without any changes’ record (he actually keeps a written score card!) “I don’t believe in ‘director’s cuts’. My preferred edit should be exactly the same as the clients preferred edit. Everything I do in pre-production and through the shoot is aiming towards this singular goal – a final edit that we all love.”

This passion for the process has led to successful campaigns with some of the world’s biggest brands, his recent credits including the likes of Apple, adidas, Citroën, Chevrolet, HBO, Marvel, McDonalds, Mtn Dew, Netflix and Nintendo.

And it’s no surprise that Sam has garnered his fair share of silverware. Sam’s work with comedian Ricky Gervais, in particular, received global recognition, winning numerous international awards including advertising’s highest honour – a Cannes Lion, and was referred to by Google as “the most successful piece of branded content we’ve seen.”

Between commercials, Sam turns his attention to longer narratives and has a catalogue of short films that have won multiple Best Film, Best Director and Audience Choice awards at film festivals around the world, including the highly regarded Palm Springs Shortfest Audience Choice Award.

Last year, Sam was recognised by BAFTA (the British Academy of Film and Television Arts) and placed on their prestigious Newcomers roster – a select list of emerging British film talent.

tv commercials