My Inspiration – Huse Monfaradi (badman director pon de floor)

My name is Huse. I am 37. I live in Kensal Rise. I have no pets. I am single. I have no children. I have very soft hands. I own a bronze bust of Burt Reynolds wearing a Fez. I am a director. I started in TV, then moved into music videos, then commercials. I am currently directing a documentary film about the DJ David Guetta. I once hung out with Paul McCartney for a week. That is all you need to know.

What’s your favourite of the things you’ve done?

This is my favourite video that I ever directed. Arctic Monkeys “Brianstorm”. We shot this at Pinewood Studios on the night of the Brit Awards in 2007 when the band had won pretty much everything. We had a big TV in the studio and stopped filming every twenty minutes or so that they (and the film crew) could watch their pre-recorded acceptance speeches where they were dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz and The Village People. It was my favourite filming experience of all time and the third shoot I had done with them.

The starting point for me when doing videos is always the track. The drums were insane. I wanted to do something almost tribal and superfast cut and I wanted to mess with the rock genre. I took inspiration from ghetto fabulous RnB videos and we got a fuck of massive LED backdrop with visuals created by United Visual Artists who are genius. I then shot the band entirely from behind. Everyone thought I was mad but I just knew it would work and the results speak for themselves. It was edited by the legendary Sam Sneade who edited all of Jonathan Glazer’s videos.

Okay so we need three things done by other people that inspire you
I struggle to find inspiration from anyone or anything but there’s definitely “stuff I like”.

Mark Gonzales was my childhood hero. He was a skateboarding legend. His style was effortless. He did whatever the fuck he liked. I even like his art, some of which is definitely questionable. I still want to be him. Here he is in the seminal skateboarding film “Video Days” directed by non other than Spike Jonze:

Neil Young’s “After The Goldrush”. I never tire of it, particularly the track “Don’t Let It bring You Down”. His lyrics are phenomenal. Here’s a live version:

I recently saw a film that went straight into my top twenty of all time – Close-Up (1991) by Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami. I’ve never seen a film like it before. Here’s a scene from it which will make no sense unless you watch the movie in its entirety:

Why, when and how did you start getting into directing?
I studied Spanish with Business Studies, ironic considering I’m pretty much numerically dyslexic and don’t really know anything about money. I had no idea what i wanted to do with my life. One minute I was doing GCSEs, the next A-levels, then before I knew it I was at college. All I did was skateboard. It was all a blur. I had no forward vision whatsoever. When I left college I was unemployed for a year, sleeping in til 2-3pm, and then a friend told me about he he got a job as a runner on a TV programme and I thought “hey, I like TV and film…”

What was your first job like then?
My first ever job as a runner was on a children’s road safety programme for Channel 4. They were re-creating traffic accidents but obviously couldn’t use kids so we worked with a team of stunt midgets. To this day some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. All they did all day every day was fall off bikes and get hit by cars. They didn’t complain once.

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?
I love being on set. I love seeing my vision, something which rattled around in my head come to life. In general my attitude in life is to always expect the worst, so when I look at that monitor and see something that looks amazing I’m always pleasantly surprised.

And what’s the hardest?
Stress. Anxiety. Rejection. I constantly try and remind myself how fortunate I am to be doing what I do. I have had some amazing experiences over the last 13 years. It’s not made me rich by any means and sometimes months go by without a single penny coming in….but I don’t know what else to do and I think I’m pretty good at what I do and I’m going to stick with it.

One top tip for the aspiring artist?
It has never been easier to make films. Technology now allows anyone with even half an idea to grab a camera such as a Canon 5D, shoot something and edit in on Final Cut. This doesn’t mean everyone is a film maker but why the fuck not give it a go. If you have an idea act on it, rather than intellectualising if its any good or not for too long. That’s pretty much why I don’t do videos anymore because I’m over critical and over analytical of my ideas.

What do you do in your down time?
Surfing in North Devon.

BMX, skateboard or snowboard?
Skateboarding turned into Snowboarding and then surfing for me. Some of the most incredible and emotive times of my life have been spent in the mountains and in the ocean with my nearest and dearest friends.

Who do you work with?
I work alone.

What’s your dream project?
I would like to direct a feature film before I am 40. It might kill me but I’m ready to give it a shot. I’m currently working on a documentary film and I’ve come close to punching someone on at least three occasions.

Who would you most like to work with?
Gene Hackman

What’s your favourite saying?
Not so much a saying, but a line from a film – Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. Gene Wilder – “We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams.”

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