Sam Pilling

Director, Pulse

Sam graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2009. Whilst studying he won two D&AD Student Awards with music videos for Bob Dylan’s ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ and Damon Albarn’s ‘Monkey, Journey to the West’ project. These accolades swiftly put Sam on Pulse’s radar.  

Sam initially joined Pulse as a visual researcher, whilst doing his own projects on the side. Nine months later CEO Thomas Benski was so impressed by Sam’s work that he took the decision to sign him as a permanent Director.

Sam cites storytelling as the core of his love and passion for film. To date, Sam has indulged his ‘storytelling’ desire by working with huge artists of the moment; directing the videos for Usher’s Grammy award winning single ‘Climax’ and the stand out ‘Wildfire’ from British producer SBTRKT’s first album.

Sam picked up a nomination for Best New Director at the UK Music Video Awards in 2011 and was nominated in the MTV Video Music Awards & BET Awards in 2012.

His music video for J.Cole ‘She Knows’ was screened at the Raindance Film Festival and won Best International Urban Video at the 2014 UK Music Video Awards. ‘Often’, Sam’s latest collaboration with Toronto’s rising star The Weeknd, won Best Director and Video of the Year at the 2015 Much Music Video Awards in Toronto.

Sam has worked with actors Harold Perrineau (Lost), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler), Martin Hancock (Defiance), Ian Virgo (Black Hawk Down) and Laya Lewis (Skins) and has had his videos screened at film festivals across the world, including BFI London, Berlin, Edinburgh, Adelaide, Krakow, L.A and San Francisco.

His initial foray into commercials has seen Sam work on TVC spots for Audi, Robinsons and AXE; the latter of which was nominated at this year’s Young Director Awards at Cannes.