For Australian director Luke Farquhar, it all started with a dream to become a pro surfer. He grew up on Australia’s beautiful Gold Coast, south of Brisbane, with inspiration to make his mark in the subtropical region that’s home to some of the most popular surf breaks and beaches in the world.
“I wanted to be a pro surfer,” he said. “I was super competitive and tried my hand at Air Shows, but I just could never perform when I needed to I guess. I got sponsored and was able to free-surf instead, which I enjoyed more because it allowed me to make videos with my friends and take pictures and be creative. The Gold Coast is the best place in the world to learn your surfing craft. There is so many good surfers there so it pushes you to surf good…or else you just get pushed to the side!”
Parlaying his wave riding experiences, Farquhar gained momentum and the sense of his foremost passion – filmmaking. At the age of 19, he began making surf films. “They began getting some traction and I was asked to make them properly,” Farquhar said. “I decided to focus on my love of film and have never done anything else since.”
The career decision resoundingly turned out to be the correct one.
Farquhar, known for his stylized, unparalleled and imaginative execution, has directed his way to a coveted position at the pinnacle of filmmaking. He’s directed commercials, spots, promos and outstanding branded videos for Fox Sports, Land Rover, Channel [V]’s hit music video show “The Riff,” Billabong, Schweppes, Insight51, and the Brit Music Awards, to name a few. Talent Farquhar has directed includes surfing icons Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning, Australian football star Callan Ward and MMA legend Ronda Rousey. (Check out Farquhar’s work here: http://www.vimeo.com/lukefarquhar)
Farquhar’s metamorphosis into a directorial auteur was a journey that saw him attend the Gold Coasts’ Bond University, a period during which he directed short films and TV commercials for a year and a half.
Leaving academia behind prior to graduation, Farquhar went on to direct for Oyster Magazine, a leading quarterly Australian publication that covers pop culture, music, fashion and beauty. His freelance appointment with Oyster was fruitful as Farquhar was nominated for the Harpers Bizarre/Peroni Creative of the Year Award for his 8mm short fashion film.
Riding the success, Farquhar assimilated into directing for FashionTV, a fashion and lifestyle broadcasting channel that airs to global audiences spanning North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Farquhar engaged his talents for the network for two years and directed a bevy of content including televised and esteemed fashion week events.
His services were then sought after and acquired by Channel [V], an Australian MTV equivalent for music enthusiasts with a nationwide cable audience. Farquhar directed the rebrand for Channel [V], which spearheaded the repositioning and marketing strategy for the channel. His animated spot – “For the Love of Music” –artistically shows a story that begins in the depths of hell and scrolls up vertically to the heavens, intermixed with live action placement of music figures such as Marilyn Manson, Daft Punk, 2pac, Notorious B.I.G., Kanye West, and others, finally ending with the Channel [V] logo.
“This was one of the most stressful jobs I have ever been a part of,” Farquhar said. “Overseeing an army of talented designers can be incredibly tough, but in the end, we did a lot of great things in capturing the spirit of Channel [V].”
It was during Farquhar’s four and a half-year tenure with Channel [V] that he met his girlfriend, Carissa Walford, who hosted for Channel [V]’s “The Riff.” The pair would collaborate on promo spots for the show with Farquhar directing and Walford lead acting. Farquhar exercised his profound creativity and demonstrated an uninhibited, sublime directing approach within his spots for “The Riff.” The director dispatched in the spots an array of sensory components including narration, bold imagery, grainy cinematography, dark undertones and striking messages that resonate with viewers.
“Luke’s directing is characterized with a grandiose, epic sensibility,” Walford said. “It’s a bold style that pushes the boundary, while also being representative and effective. His messages are original and memorable, and drove viewers to our tune into our show.”
Farquhar thereafter directed for a period for Television New Zealand, a 36-year government-owned national broadcaster, and later advanced to directing for Fox Sports Australia, including the network’s expansive “I AM” rebranding. Fox Sports is the foremost sports broadcaster in Australia featuring six sports channels and a dedicated news network.
Keeping true to his surfing roots, Farquhar directed the Fox Sports “I AM Surfing” promo, along with other inspiring personal narrative tales from Fanning, Ward, Rousey and boxer Jeff Hornet, as well as “I AM UFC” and “I AM a Fanatic” spots. The “I AM” campaign was recently selected into the Promax Awards in June in New York City.
“The ‘I AM’ spots were a tremendous opportunity to champion the Fox Sports rebrand,” Farquhar said. “My goal for directing and working with our featured talent subjects was to present their personal stories of triumph, in their own words. The campaign collected multiple awards and we achieved our goal for the extreme sports banner.”
Most recently, Farquhar has directed spots for Necro Surf and is currently working with DD8, a creative international company that designs, produces, directs and shoots incredible branded content. Farquhar and DD8 co-founder Jean-Christophe Danoy are planning forthcoming expansion of the firm with a Los Angeles based branch.