Ross Tinney


Book Review – John Ilian

John Ilian – Sharper Pencil  

Amazon Review August 12, 2014

The famous British graffiti artist Banksy, once wrote

‘A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to.’

Happily, Ross Tinney isn’t one of them.

What little I know about making films, I learned mainly from people like Ross. Unlike other places in which I have worked – London, America, India – and other parts of Australia, the film industry in Western Australia is not unionised and comprises freelancers in the main. What Ross does not say – at least, not in as many words – is that it is the generous nature of freelancers – grips, gaffers, focus pullers, boom swingers, best boys and so on – to offer more, to think more and to do more – because their future depends on it. Today, it would be called ‘value-adding.’

Many years ago, in the UK, I once saw a union shut down an entire film set because the talent connected and switched on an electric heater – a task that so enraged the best boy (electrician), he called the film crew out on strike for the day. [Of course, he was right. Only the best boy knew how the circuit was wired and what load it could tolerate]. Having read his book, I can’t imagine that such a thing would ever occur on one of Ross’s sets.

Besides the gracious sharing of more than thirty years knowledge and experience, his book throws a deserving focus on communication, understanding and re
lationships – how to get the get best out of crews, talent and post production personnel. Plus, he provides valuable advice on working out the difference between what is said and what is meant. But above all, like any commercials Film Director worth his salt, he honours the idea above all else – something that every copywriter I know, holds dear.

I wish his book were around when I started out as a lowly copywriter, (something which I remain to this day).
I may have made fewer errors, better commercials and happier clients.

When I read his book, I could hear Ross’ voice complete with his Kiwi accent and idiosyncrasities. It made me wonder why nobody had written a book like his before. Over the years, I have been privileged to have worked with – and learnt from many of those he interviewed – Matt Eastwood, Simon McQuoid, Murray Edwards, Kim Buddee, Glen Dillon, Greg McNeill, Andrew Rowlands and Tim Count. I count myself fortunate to know Ross personally.

‘War And Peace,’ his book is not. But if you’re starting out in the advertising or film industry or you are a student, you could read My P.O.V twice over in the time it takes to fly from Perth to Sydney. It is such an easy read. And you should because knowledge is precious, experience is priceless and blokes with initiative like Ross are rare.

Categories:   My Book


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