What the most creative advertising idea you’ve seen recently?
I loved Megaforce’s Burberry Open Spaces; you can feel the power of the performance, the reality of it all, and yet it pulls you like a dream and manifests almost a cathartic response to the compressed, boxed-in uncertainty of the past few years.
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What website(s) do you use most regularly?
Newsmap. Go blow your mind on that.
What’s the most recent piece of tech that you’ve bought?
An iPad and iPencil. I know, I’m outrageously late to the game, but I can thank my incredible producer Ash Lockman, who is famous at Academy for all the gadgets he'll bring to a job. We were in Saudi Arabia shooting an Apple Watch commercial and we had so much fun I was like, ‘I can’t go on any longer without this'.
What product could you not live without?
That’s extreme! But I feel like it slipped into the previous question? I’d like to think I’m not that attached to any one product, but I don’t think I’d be here today, doing the work I am without my laptop (unless anyone wants to bring back whiteboard presentations to pitches!).
What’s the best film you’ve seen over the last year?
I’ve been watching more horror films than I’m proud to admit, as I’m researching for the feature film Grafted I’m directing next year (if anyone needs a list, hit me up). Audition is one of the most fucked up films about filmmakers I may have ever seen. Japanese horror at its best. You won’t forget it anytime soon - watch it if you dare!
What film do you think everyone should have seen?
This question is too hard! Let’s just say, ultimately, The Wizard Of Oz would have to be my no.1. but La Haine is up there too. I love ensemble pieces with defined characters. And why shouldn't you watch two? Why shouldn’t you? A crazy adventure with a talking lion and the most beautiful journey we could all go on - realising that the things we long for so deeply can be found within ourselves. I mean, come on, does it get better than that?
La Haine is just a masterpiece. Master-piece. I met Mathieu Kassovitz when I was living in Paris. I was just starting out as a director and had made this short Lynchian kind of film with a woman who ends up fighting with her own reflection. I showed it to him, not knowing who he was, and he said “oh I shot a mirror scene in my film too.” And proceeded to play me the mirror scene from La Haine. Asshole. (I mean that in the best way) - so if you haven’t seen it, see it just for that.
What’s your preferred social media platform?
Instagram. As a visual person it keeps my eyeballs engaged. But, honestly, I can’t say there aren’t days I don’t dream of my sweet youth and creativity before tech took over *realises she’s sounding old now*.
What’s your favourite TV show?
The Wire [below]. Wait. Curb Your Enthusiasm. But Breaking Bad. Sex Education. I could go on and fill this section… You can’t seriously expect me to answer with just one, can you?
What’s your favourite podcast?
I love love loved Chameleon - about the ‘Hollywood con queen’. It’s a mind-bender of epic proportions and a wonderful display of humanity (just kidding), and if you’re not into podcasts I have no doubt it’ll be on Netflix sometime soon. It's that good.
What show/exhibition has most inspired you recently?
I went to Pipilotti Rist in LA recently and she blew my mind. Only, it made me sad, because she’s been making this kind of interactive multi-dimensional work for decades now, and somehow I couldn’t help thinking how ‘Instagramable’ it all felt. I went into a deep reverie of whether art has lost some of its power because of how people engage with images nowadays, but perhaps we’ve just become more infused with the imagery as an expression of ourselves… maybe it’s a good thing. If anyone has any thoughts about this I’ll gladly meet you at the pub to discuss.
If you could only listen to one music artist from now on, who would it be?
What’s with these questions? They’re so difficult! (and why haven’t you asked me about my desert island fruit? That I know; it would be an avocado) but I’m going to say Ttrruuces because they’re mind blowingly amazing and original and I cannot wait to work with them on some spots.
If there was one thing you could change about the advertising industry, what would it be?
Didn’t have to think about this one. The lack of women and BIPOC in directing positions. I’m really proud of how our industry is working towards equality but, let’s face it, there are still production companies with, like, two female directors in a sea of men. Advertising has so much power to change and influence society with the decisions we make, right from the briefing stage. I think prod co’s should bite the bullet and aim to have 50/50 representation on their roster, and agencies should demand diversity. It’s the only way for the future we all want (well, anyone with a heart) to actually exist.
Who or what has most influenced your career?
I don’t know. It’s like an invisible string pulled me into this role and continues to pull me through all of my adventures. I’m constantly learning and pulling things apart and finding new influences, everyday, every moment. It’s what filmmakers do. We gather influence from everything we do, all of our experiences. It does help with things like break-ups and dealing with jerks. Nothing like thinking to yourself, ‘well at least that will make a great scene in a film one day.’
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know.
Nice try. Ok, Ok… I am a 100% self-taught filmmaker. Yup. Never went to film school. (But shhhhh…please don’t tell anyone).