Howard made his first film “Chalk” in 1967 as a student at Leeds. Shot on the precipitous cliffs of Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire it went onto be screened at the NFT and was listed in the BFI’s Top Ten Amateur Shorts of that year.
After graduating, he got his first job as a tea boy on “Alfred the Great”, which was shot on location in Ireland. He worked for five years as an assistant director on feature films before becoming a TV commercials producer in 1973 at Perkins & Partners.
In 1977 he founded Guard & Vittle and started directing TV commercials, moving into partnership with Tony and Ridley Scott at RSA2 in 1980. Throughout the 80’s he enjoyed extensive work in America, bringing many productions back to England to be produced by his own company Howard Guard Productions which he formed in 1984. A number of his adverts from this period are in the archives of MOMA in New York.
His international career involves work throughout Europe and his advert for Fry’s Turkish delight ran for fourteen years, an industry record.
His documentary, Eton at Work was screened on Sky Television in 1995.
This graphic style was referred to by Campaign magazine as the English New Wave of which Howard and Nick Lewin were the principle proponents, and opened the way for him to work in America during the 80’s.
Much of the 80’s was spent in America and Howard’s style became more filmic.
The ad ran constantly through Ronald Reagan’s negotiations with Gorbachev over Nuclear Arms reduction
The first client exposed to the new “out of focus” style seen in the first films on this page apologized that there was something wrong with his projector, and when told that it was intentional replied “Oh, I rather like it”.