Adam Strange: a life—and death—less ordinary—UPDATED

Adam Strange was killed in a shark attack as he swam off Muriwai beach last night, and tributes are flowing for a great father and husband and a talented artist and TVC director. 

Fellow director Adam Stevens spoke to the Herald today as a crowd of around 200 gathered to farewell Strange. He said he was a man who loved action, so the way he died seemed strangely fitting. 

“It was a very dramatic sort of way to go. I can’t think of anything, in a strange sort of way, more fitting,” he says. “He just needed an explosion or something thrown in there for good measure.”

According to his biography, Strange, who was 46, began making commercials in 1995 and after making a showreel of test commercials and short films he gained representation from Silverscreen in Auckland. He worked there for more than ten years before starting his own company adamstrange.tv. 

He made commercials for a range of international brands, including Toyota, Hyundai, Pepsi and Suzuki. His work was mostly focused on the Asian market, but he also worked with DB and on Telecom’s XT campaign with Zoe Bell. 


One of Strange’s short films, Aphrodite’s Farm, (“a magical milk mystery”), had been in ten film festivals and last year won the Crystal Bear award from the youth jury for Best Short Film at the Berlin Film Festival. His work has also featured on Shots four times, and he has been a finalist in Cannes Lions (where he was shortlisted for a Young Directors Award) and the London International Awards.


As Paul Kayser, the “head bastard” at Clever Bastards online design store says: “I knew Adam during my advertising days as an art director. I was lucky enough to work with on several occasions and I loved every minute of it. Always cheerful, enthusiastic, buzzing with ideas and thoroughly passionate about the creative process, Adam was a pleasure to shoot and make TV ads with. I caught up with him last year to have a look at his beautiful series of photographs featuring the meeting place of ocean and Aoteaora shot at the amazing Muriwai Beach on West Coast NZ, which meant so much to him. We were keen to have him come on board and it was only his getting so busy that delayed the event. Today I’d like to pay tribute to Adam by showing these works. Click on his link to see the full series on our Facebook page. Aotearoa NZ has lost a tremendous talent. Our thoughts are with Adam’s family. Go in peace Adam…”

UPDATE: A trust account has been set up for Strange’s family. 

Donations can be made into ANZ Account as an international transfer: 

James Bell Accounting Ltd Trust Account

06  0193 0262946 03 (the suffix must be 03).


IMPORTANT NOTE: Please put in the Reference A STRANGE or ADAM 

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