Gregg Masuak, Music and Film Director – London and LA
Gregg Masuak is an award-winning director who has been working internationally for over 25 years in a variety of mediums, from music videos, commercials, multi-media, theatre and now feature films and television. He’s worked for brands such as Levis, Barclays Bank, Olay...and the music videos Masuak has helmed in the 80’s and 90s number in the hundreds, featuring an extraordinary range of high profile artists including Celine Dion, Take That, Kylie Minogue and the Spice Girls to name just a few – all the biggest artists of that time. Gregg is also responsible for the latest Aids Alliance 'Come Together' video and campaign.
As well as winning such awards as MTV and JUNO, his short film ‘The Mary Quant Masque of Death’ won Outstanding Film at the London International Film Festival – and "Born With Glasses" won the Gold Hugo Award at the Chicago International Film Festival. Now based in London, Masuak has a strong reputation for blending powerful performances with original and stylish visuals, and he always maintains an integrity that is highly sought after.
Creative Mapping met up with Gregg Masuak to find out what makes that colourful brain tick:
Gregg Masuak, Film Director
CM: How did you become interested in film?
I didn’t have a background where film or filmmaking was in the outer rings of Saturn. In the last few months of high school I saw on the school notice board I saw the list of further courses to apply to – and I saw the words Film School and at 16 it was the first time I’d even thought about the fact that films are made by people – so I applied.
CM: Gregg Masuak, what were the main skills you learned during your years as a film student?
North City Technical College was the first college that I went to and that was a very technically orientated college. It was what you call a Sandwich Course, which meant you did a year of very heavy duty technical training (you had to learn everything from sound to editing, lighting, camerawork) and after a few months you decided which of those you wanted to specialize in and I decided I wanted to train as a cinematographer.
CM: What is the role of a director?
Being a good director and being a director are two different things. A good director – it’s so broad; you have to understand politics, you have to understand human nature, you have to be intuitive and sensitive, it helps, absolutely helps, if you know how to work with actors. To be a great director it’s good if you know how to do all those touchy-feely things that we all avoid, like therapy and physical movement.
CM: What makes an award-winning music video?
An award-winning music video that deserves the award is inventive, thinks outside the box, usually involves a band who are into taking risks, doing things that are unexpected – that to me would be an award-winning video. A lot are award-winning because of the popularity of the artist; so it’s about even Stevens, as many videos are deservedly award-winning as there are those it’s favouritism.
CM: What’s your favourite music video commission to date?
The people (for whom Gregg made videos) who really stand out to date are Voice of the Beehive; they were two sisters from America, crazy, fun, wonderful, fun girls filled with personality whom I did three videos with. I’m still friends with them today, they’re doing completely different things now. But that’s the standout because we all became very good pals – and they were mental.