This is me: Director Georgia Hudson explores the human condition

This is me: Georgia Hudson explores the human condition

The director behind Nike's Bebo Vio film discusses leaving the ego behind and creating weird, wild and surreal films.

Making something like the Nike ad [which starred Italian wheelchair fencer Bebe Vio] was like finding the holy grail. It had purpose and righteous intention but it didn’t take itself too seriously. There was wild aspiration with surrealism and uncharted imagination. When I first read the script, I knew in my gut – I will fucking smash this.

I was pleased that when I met the [Wieden & Kennedy London] creatives, they were amazing and had great ideas. When you’re collaborating it’s such a treat to really respect the people you are working with and for their ideas to be even better than yours. Working on that project, I felt aligned with the universe.

It’s not all about the end product. One of the things I love about this industry is the process, that we get to meet people. Some of the greatest work that we achieve can be found in the minutiae of a conversation.

My dad’s a cinematographer and we always had cameras around. I made my first film when I was eight or nine. I’d film myself hosting a cooking show or I’d shoot my brother going for a swim.

I had summer jobs as a runner. This industry didn’t appeal to me at first because my early experiences were of being treated badly and having to make loads of tea, or trying to look busy when there was nothing to do. I didn’t get it.

I wanted to be an artist. At art school, I did ceramics and got into this concept of how to make the most beautiful feeling in the world. You make something out of clay, put it in fire and it has this independent experience under the alchemy.

Film is exactly the same: you can shoot something, put it into chemicals and something magic happens. When you watch something I’ve made, you own it – that’s your experience. That’s the magic for me in creation: how do we let go and give it back?

When I graduated, I assisted people from the south London art scene, like photographer Matthew Stone. He had this catchphrase: "Everything is possible and love changes everything." I still live by that.

Matthew introduced me to a lot of people and I started making behind-the-scenes fashion videos. I got hired by a big fashion house to shoot its catwalk show and I was just meant to document it, but I made a wild psychedelic edit that was more like an art film.

I had a reel of weird little fashion films and my agent and management team got me on to music videos. I had been making music videos for about five years when Pink’s What About Us came along. I loved that she had a fucking intention; she was trying to talk to people and make something meaningful. When you listen to the song, on one level you think it could be about relationships but on another level it’s about the intense discordance within the political landscape in America and over here, too.

It’s very difficult not to be reminded daily of your gender when you’re a woman in film. When I was starting out, I used to dress in a more masculine way so that I’d be taken seriously. I want to do emotional storytelling and I don’t want to get disregarded for it either.

It’s a big ask for the industry – to change years of social conditioning. I don’t know what the answer is but we have to keep moving forward. I feel that once I get into an industry, it’s my responsibility to help someone else get in.

I’m developing a documentary called Temper. I started it a couple of years ago during a big upheaval in my life. It was like a therapy piece, asking people how they were feeling, and it just spiralled into this exploration of the human condition and what we all have in common from birth. It’s just a 15-minute thing but it shows what my heart is made of.

When I’m spending time with people, I want to know everything about them. I don’t watch loads of films but my references are the way I watch people and the way I feel in my stomach.

These days it’s all so disposable but the one thing that’s unique is the way you process something and then pass that on to a viewer. My biggest inspiration is how I respond to something and where my imagination goes from there.

Don’t get fucking carried away with your ego, because that’s false. You will never make a good creative piece work if you’re living in your ego. Remember who you’re doing this for – this is not about you.

I can’t spend my life making work and lending my life experience to something meaningless. I love the creative feeling you get in your stomach when you’re set alight and you can make something for other people. Essentially, doing this job is being of service to society.

Georgia Hudson is a director who has created films for Nike, Under Armour and Pink. She is developing a documentary about youth culture and grief, which will be released later this year.

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