How (if at all) is the subject you studied useful to your current role?
I went to university at LCC [London College of Communication]. I did a degree called Media Practice, which was essentially a two-year degree with an option of third year. I decided to turn down the third year to pursue working in advertising and music videos. So I essentially did a foundation degree, which I have never used.
The decision to leave university came from a desire to make stuff, without the lacklustre university approach. I realised a lot of people I admired were people in the industry, and I decided to speak to them and ask what would be the best thing to do, and they told me to just do it. Just go out and make your own films and pursue your goal.
One guy in particular, a lighting technician, said something interesting. He said, "You want to be a director? Well, you have to start from the bottom. Do every job in the film industry to realise what those tasks and roles are, and then you'll become a director." That made me decide to leave school and become a runner, learning every job on a film set.
What were your first jobs?
Once I left university and became a runner, I started working for a really big production company. On my first day they sent me to a studio to paint the floor with just a roller. I remember that to this day and I was like, “I really don't ever want to do this again,” but that kind of pushed me to keep going.
The company were helping to fund a competition called ADCAN. So when the opportunity arose, Filmawi and I took part, and it kind of started a career for us, because we won the first year. We then had the chance to direct professionally, so it helped us get a leg up.
What would you like to do next?
I think, for our partnership, I feel our next goal is to bridge this gap between filmmaking and creative. We want to be both: the people that write the creative and direct the creative. We want to make the next Guinness ad, but we want to write it and direct it. That’s our goal. Sometimes it’s good to have a definitive goal, to set it on the wall and say, “I want to reach this level”, because then, once you get there, you can then set up another one. It’s like setting milestones.