Post Mag: How Pros Got Their Start

When you look back at what inspired you to do the job you have today, what do you see? Last year when I first tackled this story, Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark came up often. This year, it’s a bit different.

While some people believe they were born to do what they do now, others sort of found their way there. Regardless, they all have a passion for their work that goes beyond learning. It’s something you have to feel.


How did Ben Hampshire get from the English countryside to Los Angeles, where he is currently managing director of commercial house The Mill LA ( Well, it involves William Hurt, Liam Neeson, and a random meeting in a pub.

But to be more specific, it likely all began for Hampshire as a child. Looking back, he points to watching TV with his dad. “He was 50 when he had me and my twin brother, plus there were five other kids, so some of the only bonding time I had with him was watching TV. We would watch cricket or boxing, all the things he liked.” In between his dad’s favorites, there were, of course, commercials. “There were a couple my brother and I could sing along with. It was the ‘70s, and the ads were full of jingles, and we would sing them. There was one for this Cadbury bar called Cadbury’s Caramel with a slightly sexy female bunny. We loved that. It struck me years later when I was working in commercials that it must have had a big influence on me because that was the one thing we used to recite and test each other on — commercials. That was probably my first influence.”

Hampshire’s path to The Mill began after college, where he had studied economics and social history — back then it was more about traditional education. After school, his path brought him into the entertainment industry, working for three years as the assistant for film actor William Hurt. “He flew me all around the world. I worked on Michael with him, John Travolta and Andie MacDowell. It was about a road trip, so I got to see the States.” read more...

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