LIGHTS, camera, Mackem!
A Sunderland-born director is making waves in the music video world, shooting everyone from rappers Dizzee Rascal and Wiz Khalifa to pop stars The Saturdays and George Michael.
Former St Aidan’s pupil Ryan Hope spends his time jetting between London and LA, filming some of the biggest names in the business.
It’s a dream job for the 29-year-old, from Barnes, who spent years as a runner on videos for the likes of Oasis, Blur and Massive Attack, learning his craft
He’s now been directing for four years with videos for Dizzee Rascal’s Holiday, The Saturday’s All Fired Up, Wiz Khalifa’s Remember You, Bombay Bicycle Club’s Leave It and George Michael’s White Light.
His videos have been seen by millions across the globe and his visual interpretation of White Light even starred supermodel Kate Moss.
Speaking about how he became involved in the art form, Ryan said: “I got into it after doing my masters degree in Manchester. I was working in a bar and wrote my email address down for this woman whose daughter worked at Ministry of Sound. “She got me on one of their videos really kindly and then I met this producer who I worked freelance for, for ages.
“I was totally broke for two years and struggled to make ends meet a lot of the time. I got on with other producers who got me on other videos and before I knew it I was working on four a week.”
The director’s skills are now in demand and his latest video for duo Alpines which is inspired by the war in Afghanistan will be debuted on the Vogue.com website tomorrow.
Ryan, who grew up in St Gabriel’s Avenue, says though he enjoys working in a world dominated by beautiful women and luxury lifestyles, he also wanted to make a video with more meaning.
“I felt I needed to use my position to make a bit of a statement for a change, remind people of what’s going on a bit in my industry,” he said. “I have friends who died over there from Sunderland and really good mates who have been over there. Crazy stuff man. What’s the point?”
Ryan’s dad first sparked his interest in films and he says he feels privileged to being doing something he loves.
“I love everything about it,” he said. “The only thing I don’t is the hours and travelling. It can really take its toll sometimes. I work between LA and London across two different time zones which can be pretty full on, as when my London day stops, LA is waking up. The rest though is pretty much amazing. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”
Speaking about who he’d like to work with in the future, Ryan said: “I’m still waiting for Jay Z to bell me. I had an enquiry from Def Jam the other week so it’s not far away hopefully.
“I work with a rapper called Wiz Khalifa pretty closely, doing all of his videos right now, and Pharrell Williams is on one of his tracks from his new album ONIFC so that should be class.
“To anyone reading this who has any aspirations of doing a job like mine – do it. It can be done but it’s down to you.”