Before embarking on his trailblazing career in film, Darren Gordon, Executive Producer and Co Owner of They Shoot Films (they) initially studied the unlikely combination of a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in economics and law followed by film production. Soon into his legal studies, Darren recognised it was film that ignited his passion and upon completing his Bachelor of Commerce, he enrolled at AFDA, majoring in producing.
Producing has always been in Gordon’s blood, this was clearly showcased when he won ‘best producer of the year’ for 3 consecutive years during his tenure at AFDA (1998, 1999, 2000) and in his Honours year, he produced the ground breaking feature film, Soldiers of the Rock, which won numerous accolades all over the globe.
His 4 years studying were so successful that the year after completing his honours degree, he was invited to stay on and lecture, as well as head up the production on every 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year project.
Driven by a vision to create original, meaningful and occasionally controversial work, Darren Gordon has remained unyielding to his principles of producing meaningful content in all projects he undertakes. His 20-year career has seen Gordon produce some of South Africa’s most memorable commercials including the multiple award winning Ster Kinekor #openeyes campaign (4 x Gold Loeries, Grand Prix, Ad of the year, to name a few), Chicken Licken’s – Icelandic Boy as well as the controversial Legend of Big John Mohjana.
After gaining experience, under the mentorship of some of South Africas best Executive Producers, in November 2013, Darren and business partner/ director, Alan Irvin, established the production company ‘they’ and the pair have since become synonymous for collaboration and innovation in the industry.
Gordon comments: “I am blessed to have found my purpose and been allowed the opportunity to be working in South Africa’s diverse film industry. Every day is different and every job is different. The variety of people and places I’ve encountered during my career have humbled and excited me at the same time.” Darren has enjoyed a career of ‘firsts’ – he was the first South African producer to film in Iceland and the first South African producer to film in Saudi Arabia. He’s also well versed in pan-African shoots.
Darren is a walking talking encyclopedia of movies and music; he tries to play piano and guitar and prides himself on perfecting his air guitar moves and stellar miming abilities.