9 September 2021

Isobar Tastemakers: Paul Van Lierop

Paul Van Lierop, Producer at BWM Isobar – our team down under – spills on his favourite work, his array of creative influences and his go-to chess move.
How did you end up in the creative industry?


I was in a Bud Light commercial. Long story short, Bud Light ended up flying me to Tomorrowland in Belgium. I made a lot of content on the trip which impressed Bud Light's creative agency and when I returned to Toronto they offered me an internship. 


What's your favourite piece of work you have worked on?

Always a hard one! For me, having a client that is with you and is trusting makes everything worth it. In London I worked on a Virgin Trains commercial. This spot was amazing because the client really wanted to push the creative and production to be the best it could be, and really allowed us to make the best work possible. We realised Virgin Trains had lost touch with what it meant to be a Virgin brand, so we created a national campaign that went back to Virgin's original aim – to take Virgin Trains forward. The campaign shook up the transport category. We ended up with a really cheeky refreshing campaign that set Virgin apart as a brand. We also won a gold British Arrow and a gold Effie, to name just a couple of awards!


What's the one piece of work you most wish you'd done?

Never still” for Rimowa I felt was great. I love the messaging and it really resonated with me. I think luxury brands have really pivoted to encapsulate youth and this spot brings the 120 year old brand into today. On top of great craft and creative, it’s culturally busting at the seams with Virgil Abloh (Head of Louis Vuitton mens collection), Yoon (creator of fashion brand AMBUSH), Roger Federer (greatest Tennis player of all time?) and Nobu Matsuhisa (founder of Nobu) making an appearance. Watching this spot, I can't help but think of how great it would be to meeting these trailblazers whilst traveling the entire globe to get the content!


What/who are your key creative influences?

DIY artists and designers, when people overcome adversity to achieve great work. Steve Lacy was producing Grammy nominated music at 17 years old, using his iPhone rather than a computer... who said you need a million dollar studio right? When Spike jonze was just 21 years old, he revolutionised skate videos with a film called “these days” this film may look like your standard skate video but before Spikes’ treatment, skate films like this didn’t exist. It transformed the culture and after that video he got a call from the band Sonic Youth to direct their video – Cool Thing. He had no real idea what he was doing but the rest is history! Last but not least Dave Grohl – a self taught, legendary musician. He rocketed to stardom as Nirvana’s drummer. Once Kurt Cobain passed away, Dave began the Foo fighter –where he played all the instruments and vocals. His musical resume is insane!


What interests you but doesn’t get talked about enough?

Sleep and the huge impact lack of sleep has on our physical and mental health. Healthy amounts of sleep are essential to perform mentally and physical for extended periods of time. LeBron James buys into this and gets 8-9 hours of sleep a night, with naps through the day pushing his numbers around the 12 hour mark. He's actually napping as close to 30 minutes before a game!


What invention are you waiting to happen?

A fire alarm that doesn’t confuse overcooked toast with my house burning down?


What secret hobby do you have that would surprise us?

Love playing Chess, my opening move is generally the queens gambit.


What’s your favourite music / film / TV show / book / of the past year, and why?

This is a tough one but Vince Staples' new self-titled record is probably my album of the year so far. The record is a recount of Staples’ upbringing in Long beach, California. The theme through the record is him rejecting much of his past, while stripping away the glamour of a lifestyle sensationalised in popular media. I especially love the music video for the track "Law of Averages", which is directed by an amazing group from Toronto called Kid Studio.