Creative Lives Podcast — From skateboarding to social anthropology: Oscar Hudson’s route into filmmaking
Oscar Hudson is a London-based director whose work spans music videos, documentaries, short films and commercials. In the last year alone he’s received over 15 notable awards – earning the title of UKVMAS’s Best Director, Creative Circle’s Silver award and Rotterdam International Film Festival’s audience award, to name a few. With a distinct style and approach that often champions unusual and trippy techniques, he fills us in on his process and an unlikely route into filmmaking.
BA in Social Anthropology, Sussex University (2009–2012)
Brought up in London, Oscar first tried his hand at directing and editing in his teens, shooting skate films. Going on to Brighton to study Social Anthropology at the University of Sussex, he soon found he missed filmmaking as a creative outlet, and began picking up small jobs for fellow students. It wasn’t long before he fell in with i-D magazine through a family connection, at a time when short videos were increasingly in demand for online platforms.
Starting out capturing interviews and work for events, Oscar was putting multiple skills to use, freelancing as an editor and videographer – a period he credits with providing valuable contacts, opportunities and knowledge; “At the beginning you support yourself however you can. I was able to make a living doing the same thing as I wanted to [creatively], and was able to be available for the good stuff.”
After working independently, Oscar first signed with an artist management company, before joining Pulse Films. He tells us how this relationship plays out, and how he balances his own personal work with music videos and commercials for brands such as booking.com and Ikea.
“I get excited by the idea that we’re doing stuff you don’t see very much.”
Oscar’s work for music includes a brilliantly surreal video for Bonobo’s track No Reason, a gravity-defying video for Young Thug, a piece set entirely in an elevator for Radiohead, and a moody video for Young Fathers – making ingenious use of a military thermal camera. With tightly choreographed sequences and intricate sets, his films often feature mind-boggling physical effects that don’t rely on post-production trickery. “I do favour experimental approaches,” he shares. “I get excited by the idea that we’re doing stuff you don’t see very much. In order to do that you do have to go to areas most people don’t usually go, because it’s ridiculous or risky.”
Along with his favourite parts of the process and how he balances his time, we hear Oscar’s thoughts on the most essential qualities in a director, plus the importance of sharing your work and ambitions with those around you: “It’s never too early to want to be, or pretend to be a director. The sooner you pretend to be that something, the quicker you will become that something and people will believe you.”