Director Ruganzu “Riggs” Howard has signed with bicoastal production company Epoch Films for commercial representation in the U.S.
Before becoming a comedy director, Ruganzu “Riggs” Howard worked as an Executive Producer for advertising agencies big and small, including BBDO, TBWA/Chiat/Day, Barton F. Graf and Translation.
Prior to that, he was an assistant editor and post-producer at Bikini Editorial where he worked under the guidance and gentle tutelage of master editor Avi Oron. Prior, prior that, Ruganzu was a Baltimore City Police Detective (no, really), where he served as a violent crimes investigator, hostage negotiator, and police department spokesperson. Prior, prior, prior to that, he was a child and had no vocation aside from being cute.
Ruganzu’s ambitious and slightly fanatical spirit for all things funny keeps him pushing the directorial envelope. His sense of comedic timing and obsession with cinematic craft always serve the script above all else, and his years of advertising agency experience make him an excellent collaborator with creatives and clients alike.
“Epoch has an incredible reputation and after collaborating with them a number of times as an agency producer, I saw up close how this reputation was well earned,” remarked Riggs. “Epoch has a tradition of fostering and developing strong talent and invested in me early on and I couldn’t be happier to join the team.”
“I first worked with Riggs when he was a producer at Barton F. Graf,” recalled Epoch director Matt Swanson. “I remember being impressed by his understanding of the job’s nuanced creative objectives, and how supportive he was in making sure we made the spot we all wanted to make. We became friends, and I encouraged him to pursue his passion for directing, understanding he would bring a unique and absolutely original voice to the comedy advertising world, which is a category that tends to be homogenous. During the pandemic, Riggs and I approached Melissa and Mindy at Epoch about the idea of bringing him into the directing realm. We came up with a plan where Riggs would join me on jobs from start to finish, exposing him to everything he didn’t see on the agency side. After observing the whole process first-hand, he was eventually able to step in and direct parts of different campaigns. Riggs is a natural — his eye for casting and natural sense of comedic timing are impeccable. We’ve learned a lot from each other, and I’m super excited to see what he does next.”
"Everyone in advertising is aware that there is almost zero diversity in comedy directing talent. Riggs is a student of film and craft, and his readiness to start directing comes at a time when the industry is opening opportunities up to new, talented voices. Riggs just completed his first directing job with FIG for Benjamin Moore. He nailed it. Agency/client happiness! Turns out, Riggs is a natural and we couldn’t be happier to be going forward alongside him," commented Mindy Goldberg, Epoch Films founding partner.