Did you attend film school?
I didn’t. I actually spent most of my college and university years studying photography, but always had a love of film since childhood. Eventually that love caught up with me and I started studying filmmaking again around the same time I was still in university.
Was there one particular film you watched that inspired you to begin making them yourself?
Yes! It was Star Wars. I enjoyed the fantasy of it all, being able to tell stories and build a world that these stories inhabited. As if nature called, I wanted to do that too.
Your film Kimono: Kyoto To Catwalk for the V&A was beautiful. Fashion and film work so well together, why do you think this is?
Thank you! The only explanation as to how I was able to do that was through the platform Reform The Funk and the Head of Content, Derrick Kakembo, an amazing photographer and creative in his own right, so I have him to thank for that.
Kimono: Kyoto To Catwalk was a great project to work on because the objective was bringing the most recognisable Japanese garment for western culture, the Kimono, into a world that made it accessible, illustrating its wearability in a contemporary setting. I should stress that it was also due to diverse talents both on screen and behind it, and that will never fail to produce beautiful work.
Fashion and film work so well together in my opinion because it’s almost like this instant gratification of accessibility that is being met through film. Fashion, like music, is at the helm of popular culture, and when fashion is understood as more than just products for our consumption but rather one of the driving forces that communicate where we’re going culturally, it becomes a harmonious affair when you can illustrate fashion in its living, breathing and ever-changing state through film and motion.
you can illustrate fashion in its living, breathing and ever-changing state through film and motion.
What kind of stories do you like to tell through your films?
What I’ve become accustomed to recently is that essentially, it’s not about me, and I find the most engagement when it isn’t about me and what story ‘I’ might like to tell. Sure, I can and will always pull from personal experiences like any and every other creative does, and whichever story I like to tell are through the filter of music or fashion. Being able to bounce between both these worlds has kept me most engaged in what I do, and I think it will do for a long time to come.
So far I haven’t shot a dozen just yet but I think that’s why I enjoy music videos so much, that it’s not about me, and I can use my skills and personal experiences in service of something that isn’t necessarily for me. The same applies in fashion, and the common desire to ‘express yourself’ through fashion. I’m kept constantly on my toes with the question of how I can best do that and challenge my own methods of approach and what stories can filter through, and I love it.
I find the most engagement when it isn’t about me and what story ‘I’ might like to tell.
When you first started out, where did you see yourself in 2020?
I’m sure that everyone would agree that it wasn’t in the middle of a global pandemic!
I started shooting quite early on, again from around college years, and to be honest, I still feel like I’m just starting out. I’m highly grateful that I’ve been given the opportunities from those who have seen what I can do with minimal resources, Reform The Funk, The Rake Magazine and a number of artists whom I have collaborated with. But as of right now, given the current circumstances, the question of where I saw myself in 2020 will obviously have to be put on hold.
What is your biggest goal in your film career?
Damn, that question came with some weight to it! Admittedly it changes as I get older, but right now my biggest goal would be to make more music videos with more artists, growing with them as they grow with me. I’ve learned that there’s a special relationship that occurs between the artist and the director when collaborating on music videos, and it is in keeping that relationship that I hold especially important, because it focuses your lens so to speak, on the development and growth of the artist and to be selected to capture that is a blessing. I hope that in my film career I get the chance to build relationships like that and continue to do so.