Who is Richard Vilensky?
The year is 1992, a young boy switches on the television and sees a jaundice-yellow family with overbites that are as severe as their dysfunctionality. Unlike other cartoons, this one doesn’t seem to be talking down to him or trying to sell him an action figure – the cartoon just wants to share a well-told story and make you laugh along the way.
This was Richard Vilensky’s introduction to the world of serious comedy and has made an indelible mark on him. In fact, if you ask him today to name his biggest influences, he’ll cite The Simpsons without a moment’s hesitation (although he will clarify “Season Three to Season Ten, after that it gets decidedly average.”)
This early passion for funny stuff led him to cut his baby-teeth in the world of direction by making stop motion short films and comedy sketches on his dad’s Hi-8 camera. He started consuming the works of comedic luminaries like Wes Anderson and the Coen Brothers which further expanded his perception of what comedy can be: “the Coens made me realise that comedy can still be cinematic and beautiful, rather than look like a sitcom. You can have genuine, nuanced performances that aren’t cartoony and over-the-top. The only real rule is it’s got to make you laugh.”
It didn’t surprise anyone around him when he left Perth at age 22 to move to Sydney and study at Australia’s most prestigious filmmaking college, AFTRS.
Since graduating AFTRS, Richard has received two AFI nominations for his short films and collaborated with Sydney’s top advertising agencies on some high profile jobs, including NSW Transport’s viral hit ‘Get Your Hand Off It’. More recently, his local work for Golden Eggs has featured on ABC’s Gruen Transfer.
Richard is the latest addition to Sandbox’s growing stable of award-winning commercial directors, which also includes Ben Young (when he’s not in LA making films with Hollywood stars) and Stevie Cruz-Martin. He’s available to bring his keen eye for meticulously crafted, performance-based comedy to your next production.
You can see some of his latest work here.