Simon Cooper

MD / EP, Academy Films

The British Arrows (and the BTAAs as they were) have always felt like OUR awards. Right at the heart of the British advertising industry. Celebrating creativity and craft and absolute excellence throughout the whole industry, not just as far as the agency's doorstep.

After ignominious spells pounding Lewisham’s pavements dressed as Mr Wimpy the Beefeater for £1.30 an hour, and being paid to steal cassettes from John Menzies Record & Tape Department, Simon fell into production 30 years ago, covering for a runner friend on 2 weeks’ holiday for a tiny company called Simpson Gower. 

He tried escaping, wandering the globe for 4 years with a stills film camera just as the world turned digital, but was drawn back to Ms. Gower by the prospect of regular income and of working with a young emerging director called Jonathan Glazer. 

25 years later, having produced award winning commercials and music videos with Jonathan, Frederic Planchon, Seb Edwards, Martin de Thurah and helping to develop the careers of many of the directors on Academy’s formidable roster, Simon now runs Academy with Lizie, 30 years after she gave him the 2-week runner's stand-in job.