CREATIVE DIRECTOR / DIRECTOR / FORMAT CREATOR
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I have a hybrid background in advertising (art direction & concept development) and directing. And I consult for brands in the areas of digital marketing and producing creative content — video content mostly. I manage the content process: 1. strategic development, 2. concept development, 3. treatment & directing. I also collaborate and manage other creative pros—designers, filmmakers, social media specialists, photographers—to produce content that serves a brand's strategy.
// ACCOUNTS //
OLX - Dubizzle
// CLIENTS //
Blast Radius Amsterdam
Tribal DDB Amsterdam
Draft FCB Hamburg
J. Walter Thompson Dubai
J. Walter Thompson Cairo
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I've put about 11 years of my life doing advertising, branding and digital campaigns in USA (CP+B); Netherlands (AKQA, Blast Radius, Amsterdam Worldwide, Tribal DDB, Arnold); Germany (Razorfish, Draft FCB); UAE (JWT) & Egypt (Leo Burnett, JWT). In 2014, I got into content, and started creating online show formats. In 2016, I was ready to make the move to directing; I love how it brings together everything I love to do. Now I only think about writing new scripts and building my reel.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS MISSING IN YOUR FIELD?
The acumen to combine sound strategy with creative output. I rarely see compelling content that gets me going. Instead, there is a lot of clutter, same-old and bling-bling, and it's becoming harder and harder to distinguish which brand does what. There is also a a dire need for meaningful content that doesn't just latch onto trends and fads. That's why I try to stick to briefs that resonate with what I stand for. I start by drafting out strategy, and defining how and where the brand goals and the target audience can meet, THEN I start working my creative muscles.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I just finished the treatment for my first long feature Tante Ahlam and in the process of getting it ready for submission to the Hubert Bals preproduction fund. I am shooting new interviews for my documentary series 30-Something and preparing a crowd-funding case for it. As far as clients, I am working with OLX / Dubizzle to flesh out a new web-series that promotes Storia, their real estate arm.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU TO DO MORE OFTEN?
Directing, for sure. I mean, they are all parts of how I define myself, but directing is where it all comes together for me.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
The fact that being a multi-faceted "slashy" doesn't sit well with clients and employers. If you don't fit in a box, you're easily dismissed. Oh, and flakiness: A lot of people cancel out on projects, withdraw budgets, or change their minds without accommodating the great deal of prep work you put in. But hey, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
WHAT TASK KEEPS LANDING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE TO DO LIST?
Learning Dutch :/ But I've decided to take an intensive course in a month's time. So let's keep our fingers crossed.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I could use all the help I could get to land more followers, more funding applications and more business meetings.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
Stanley Kubrick on his film craft. Xavier Dolan on how he aligns so much production support throughout his short filming career. I'd love a coffee with Ellis Jones on how she runs the VICE editorial ship. Oh, and the executives of Amazon Studios, on how they will pit themselves against industry giants.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES / PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Whatever the project, I am looking to contribute and learn. Without these two goals, it would be pretty flat, wouldn't it? But let's get specific. What I am looking for at the moment are
1. Sponsorship deals that could get some of my digital formats out to the light of day,
2. Directing videos for irreverent clients, with a powerful distribution arm.
3. Corporate social responsibility budgets waiting to be put to good use.
WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL CLIENT?
Good work ethic. Solid strategy. A vision to be something more than just a consumer good. Willing to take risks and think out of the box.
WHAT IS YOUR RATE?
That depends on whether it's a creative project or a directing project. But you'll get your money's worth :)
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Gimme a shout with your briefs at email@example.com or reach me via Linkedin. It's OK if you want to chat about possibilities or are uncertain of where you want your project to evolve. We'll iron that out together. Will travel for work in the EU & the Middle East.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
I stay hungry. I stay curious.
Special thanks to ilovecreatives.com for inspiring me with these questions.