David Reviews

 It's the work, stupid.

THOMAS THOMAS ADD HADI TO THEIR ROSTER
3 September 2018

Thomas Thomas are notoriously careful curators of their roster, so you know a director has something about them when they get added to their line-up.

A few weeks ago, DAVID sat down with Hadi - their latest recruit - to find out for ourselves what appealed to the Thomases and their trusted lieutenant Trent Simpson... apart from his impressive reel, obvs.

Hadi is originally from Nigeria but acutely attuned to British sensibilities after being brought up in this country, including a stint at a boarding school in Somerset. With a wife who is half-Indian and half-Basque, Hadi considers himself a citizen of the world, which - in the current climate - is a pretty astute way to hedge your bets!


After Somerset, Hadi made his way to film school in London where his real education came from shooting whenever he could: "The best way actually to understand this madness and this industry is just to shoot. You get a camera, you shoot. You have a story in your head and you think, 'It's gonna look like this. It's gonna look like that.' And then it looks nothing like that what you imagined."

He laughs at the memory of it: "But it's fantastic, because you learn to manage it and try to get it to where you want it to be."



The best way actually to understand this madness and this industry is just to shoot.

 ”

His must have got the hang of it because he was offered a place on a film production company roster on the basis of the films he made as a student. After a year and a half with a company called Chaos - part of Oxford Scientific - he jumped ship to join Karen Cunningham's company Pink.

After stints at Radical Media and Outsider, Hadi decided to go it alone: "I decided I didn't wanna be anywhere for a while, because I didn't see a home that I wanted to be in."


His self-imposed exile recently came to an end after he spoke to Trent Simpson: "Most companies have thirty or forty directors and they pretend they can service all of them all... but it's not true."

According to Hadi, the much smaller roster at Thomas Thomas offers a more grown-up relationship and he has a sense that each director has a distinct niche: "Kevin [Thomas] does what he does. Karen [Cunningham] does what she does. Mark [Denton] does what he does. We're all different in our own little arenas, so it's fine. I do what I do. I'm very excited by them."



Most companies have thirty or forty directors and they pretend they can service all of them all... but it's not true.

 ”

Hadi enjoys the challenge of finding a way to elevate any script he's invited to look at. The question he asks himself is: "how can I make it into a bigger story and tell it more interesting and just make it feel more epic?"

Given the constraints of modern advertising, is he really able to elbow the room for this expansive approach? "It takes a bit of battling, but once they realise that it's not going to cost them anything extra, and that I'm quite self sufficient... they leave me to it. And very often, the extra material ends up in the edit. So everybody wins."



Hadi exudes a calmness not often associated with directors, does he think his laid back demeanour has helped him to handle the tricky characters he encounters on film sets? He describes how important it is to let stars know that he "understands their challenges" because that's the best path to getting them to understand the challenges he faces to get the best work made.



Part of being a director is to see the storm ahead before the storm comes.

 ”

He goes on to stress how important it is to gauge the mood and head off any trouble: "Part of being a director is to see the storm ahead before the storm comes." As an example, he recalls a situation where a celebrity was starting to grow impatient with an over-zealous make-up artist: "sometimes, it's as simple as saying: 'let me see your face... you look great!' And, suddenly, everyone's happy again."



Because of the cinematic quality of his work, it's surprising that he hasn't yet made a feature and he describes how a creative director he was working with recently made that exact point, telling Hadi that his "whole shooting style and approach is very long frame."

Was he flattered? "Yes, of course," he nods, before adding through laughter: "but I suppose he may have just meant: 'why the fuck don't you just get on with it?'"

For more on Hadi, visit his David Reviews profile, then contact Trent Simpson on 020 7437 1112 or via email at trent@thomasthomasfilms.co.uk.

News

STRAIGHT 8 WILL MAKE YOUR CANNES EXPERIENCE WORTHWHILE.

At this year's Festival of Creativity in Cannes you can make your whole experience worthwhile by attending the marvellous Straight 8 Industry Shootout.


A ROGUE MOVE FOR LISA GUNNING.

Home is where it's at for Lisa Gunning as she returns to the UK with Rogue Films.


YOOMIN LEE MAKES THE GRADE AT MPC.

MPC have added another canny operator to their midst by signing colourist Yoomin Lee.


IAN ROBERTSON ARRIVES AT TANTRUM.

tantrum's recruitment drive continues to yield results as the company unveil new signing Ian Robertson.


RIC CANTOR IS A FRIEND INDEED.

Friend London have brought experienced comedy director Ric Cantor into the fold as they target a productive second half to 2019.


KODE SIGN SARAH CHATFIELD.

Kode say it is a "sincere pleasure" to welcome Sarah Chatfield to their team of directors.


THOMAS WEBB LOGS INTO MILL+

Experiential artist-cum-director Thomas Webb is the latest to join the digital-savvy roster at Mill+.


REBECCA LUFF JOINS CUT+RUN.

Talented editor Rebecca Luff has crossed Soho to join Cut+Run after a highly successful stint with tenthree.


TANTRUM ENLIST BENNETT JOHNSON AND TOBIAS.

tantrum have bolstered their commercial offering with the double signing of directors Bennett Johnson and Tobias.


CHANNEL 4'S DIVERSITY IN ADVERTISING AWARD RETURNS.

Channel 4's Diversity in Advertising Award is back and this year's theme is how the LGBTQ+ community is represented on our screens.


PARK VILLAGE WELCOME KATIE SWAIN.

Seasoned director-cum-cinematographer Katie Swain has become the latest addition to Park Village's commercial roster.


BIG BUOY UP THEIR CG GAME WITH KRISTAAN CAIN.

Big Buoy's signing spree shows little sign of abating as the post house add CG whizz Kristaan Cain to their ranks.


STEF COLOSI JOINS OKAY STUDIO

Okay Studio have signed colourist Stef Colosi to their roster.


VISION TAP RISING DOP IGOR SMITKA.

Vision's Emerging Talent wing are delighted to announce the signing of Igor Smitka, one of Slovakia's most promising cinematographers.


NO.8 SCRAMBLES INTO EXISTENCE.

The increased ambition and scope of services at Scramble has been signalled by a change of name.


LEMONADE REPS WELCOME FOOD HALL.

Culinary specialists Food Hall have become the latest addition to the roster at Lemonade Reps.


BEN TRICKLEBANK JOINS FURLINED.

Furlined believe their new signing Ben Tricklebank has what it takes to become "one of the greats" as he joins the company's US and UK rosters.


ANNEX FILMS SIGN NADEZNA RADCORE.

Annex Films are pleased to announce the signing of Nadezna Radcore for UK representation.


ACADEMY ARE TWO UP.

Academy have added two new directors to their stable: Luke Davies and Fiona Godivier.


STINK LIKE THE TASTE OF FOODFILM.

DAVID doesn't usually cover porn directors for obvious reasons, but in the case of FoodFilm, we're happy to make an exception.


STACIA AKABA REJOINS BIG BUOY AS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER.

Big Buoy are pleased to announce the return of Stacia Akaba as their new Executive Producer.


OBJECT & ANIMAL UNVEIL ANDREW THOMAS HUANG.

Object & Animal say they have signed a "true polymath director" in the shape of Andrew Thomas Huang.


LUZIAN SCHLATTER JOINS MAD COW FILMS.

Swiss director Luzian Schlatter has joined the fold at Mad Cow Films for commercial representation.


JOE WALTON JOINS WHITEHOUSE POST

Whitehouse Post have bolstered their London roster with the signing of editor Joe Walton.


FIONA MCGEE LANDS AT BOLD.

BOLD's global talent search has led to Australian director Fiona McGee joining their compelling roster.


News

David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.