Education & Early Years

Born in London, spent 2 years in Pakistan, raised in Abu Dhabi, went to Nottingham for Uni, lived in Cardiff for a bit, and now back in London. I resented this strange upbringing that was unlike most people I saw on TV and Films, people I considered “normal characters”. In fact, I grew up making films with my friends and naturally had to act as we didn’t have the luxury of casting, so I used to write myself as a “James” or “Paul” just because I thought that’s what real characters were called.

Now, I’d describe my diverse upbringing as one of my strongest assets as a storyteller. I do see things in a different way, and I had a very different relationship with TV & Film. It was a learning relationship. It was a way of understanding the world around me, what I considered the normal world. I would watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S and learn about what American characters in their 20s did and cared about. It was more than just a passive relationship, I was an active character in every film and show I watched.

Let’s shift back for a second. When I was a kid, for the longest time, I wanted to do pretty much anything I saw in films. I saw Rocky, and I wanted to be a boxer. I saw James Bond, and I wanted to be a secret agent. I saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit and I wanted to marry a cartoon….TMI? Everything changed when I hit 9 years old, and discovered Windows Movie Maker…


So I started with cartoons. In a pre-YouTube world.

My friend Charles Gedeon and I would go to each other’s houses on weekends, and just produce stories that would make us laugh. They were bad. Nay, they were atrocious. But it was damn good fun. And it was the first taste I got of being able to imagine something, and then have others be able to see your vision. It was intoxicating. We would burn our films on CD’s (DVDs were way too expensive back then, and no body have a DVD player) and distribute them around our school.

Live Action

The first camera I ever used was a Panasonic 0.6 Mega Pixel digital camera that could only record for 40s at a time. The idea of shooting coverage was lost on us, because our memory cards were so limited. I would imagine the camera angle changes in my head, and sometimes I would cut in the middle of a sentence to achieve that. Not efficient, but it got the job done.

Starting to make "real" films

In Year 9, I tried making my first horror film. It was 25 mins long. I remember being so excited to show my friends and family that I literally invited 20 people from my year back home to view it on my TV. We started the film, and I could not wait – just to paint the image vividly in your head, this is twenty 13-year-old classmates altogether watching a film with sound you can barely hear, so dark you can barely see. Everyone started laughing. Like, laughing throughout the entire film. I felt like Tommy Wiseau screening the Room for the first time and realising that his serious masterpiece was just one big joke. It hurt, but that was the start – I knew I needed to get better.

So I started writing. Seriously. And in year 12, at 16 years old, I made TBA, my first short film shot on a DSLR, scored by a composer – it was a big deal. I was the only 16 year old I knew who was seriously trying to make films. It didn’t matter that they were so artsy and abstract that no one got them – I was going places.

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