Cheat's Toby Tomkins on the Poster for The Shining and His Work as a Colorist

Creative adventures from The End of the F***ing World to This Is Going to Hurt

Toby Tomkins is Cheat's founder and a senior colorist. 

He has a deep, impassioned interest in color and film emulation. Much of his energy and time is invested in research and development, with all efforts consistently focused towards enhancing emotion and story—everything in service of the work. Always. This fascination—nay, compulsion!—has led Toby to develop unique tools and techniques which directly contribute to the success of his clients’ creative projects. He regularly collaborates with globally respected, multi-format directors and DoPs who are the best in their field.

Over a decade of experience has earned him high-profile commercial clients from BMW and Land Rover to Lloyds and Amstel, as well as a significant role in award-winning TV shows like the hugely successful BAFTA winning, Emmy nominated Netflix/Channel 4 series The End of the F***ing World, Channel 4's BAFTA winning We Are Lady Parts, and BBC/AMC's critically acclaimed This Is Going to Hurt.

Toby also has an extensive portfolio of short and feature films, including As I Am, BIFA-winning The Machine, and Stutterer, which won the Oscar for best short. His other recent and notable projects include commercial work for Porsche, Cadburys and McDonald's, with some very exciting projects coming up with the BBC, AMC, Netflix and FX.

We spoke with Toby for our Backstory series, where we chat with folks in the entertainment industry about their creative inspirations and more. 

Toby, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in a quaint village called Kings Langley in Hertfordshire about 30 minutes from London but really I was raised on film locations around the world, following my art director dad with my mum. I now live in Clapton, East London.

Your first job in the industry. 

My first job was as a runner on Tim Burton’s Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

A breakthrough moment in your career. 

The release of The End of The F***ing World was a big moment for me. No one was expecting the international success and cult following and it was lovely to have worked on something that people actually cared about.

Three movies you couldn't do without.

Pulp Fiction for the dialogue and performances. Inglourious Basterds because it’s an amazing example of great cinematography complimented by photochemical finishing in the modern age. Finally, Homeward Bound as a guilty hangover pleasure.

Your favorite movie quote.

"Ta Da! Batdog!" Of course from Homeward Bound.

Your favorite movie trailer or poster.

The Shining poster because I had it outside the bathroom of my parents' house and it is both terrifying and comforting at the same time, which is quite interesting.

A classic TV show and a recent TV show that you loved.

The Wonder Years and Severance, for very different reasons!

A recent project you're proud of.

This Is Going to Hurt because we really pushed the look to reflect the story of a broken NHS and its haggard junior doctors in a way that was fairly groundbreaking for the BBC.

Someone else's project that you admired recently.

Succession. The subtleties between the two worlds were so nuanced, a perfect mix of creative intent and restraint.

One thing about how entertainment marketing is evolving that you're excited about. 

I’m really excited by the integration from fans and the cyclical feedback loops creating an ever-evolving marketing campaign.

What would you be doing if you weren't in entertainment marketing.

Walking dogs.

Backstory is a weekly Muse series, publishing on Fridays, where we chat with folks in entertainment marketing about their creative inspirations, favorite movies, video games, trailers, posters and more. To learn more about Backstory or our Clio Entertainment program, please get in touch.

Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a contributor for Muse by Clio. She's also a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication, and Information.

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