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The Essential List

The Essential List: Ilya Naishuller

The director behind high-energy Biting Elbows and Leningrad videos reveals a surprising passion for chocolate…

The Essential List: Ilya Naishuller

Since he burst onto the scene and smacked us around the chops with his frenetic, first-person Biting Elbows promo, ‘Bad Motherfucker’, Ilya Naishuller has been keeping our adrenaline levels topped up with each successive sucker punch. Who knew, then, that the director (signed with Great Guns) had such a sweet tooth? We caught up with Ilya for his ‘Essential List’.  


◦Place of birth: Moscow
◦Hometown: Moscow/LA
◦Vacation: India
Vacation destination - India

◦Place of work: Home office or hotel rooms 
◦Place of workout: Umm, the nearest gym?
◦Mode of transport: Range Rover/Moscow subway 
◦Miscellaneous Travel Essential: International adaptor


◦Artist: Morrissey
◦Musician: The Clash, The Smiths, Misfits 
◦Commercials director: Spike Jonze
◦Film director: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Wes Anderson, Park Chan-wook

Ilya's idol, Morrissey

◦Photographer: Vivian Maier
◦Film: Usual Suspects, Pulp Fiction, Royal Tenenbaums, Oldboy, Zodiac
◦Series: Breaking Bad, Arrested Development, Fargo (season 2)
◦Commercial: 'Double Life' for Playstation
◦Music Video: Beastie Boys - Sabotage

Can you spot the influences in Ilya's Leningrad video 

◦Book: Papillon by Henri Charriere
◦Newspaper (off or online): NYT
◦Magazine: Empire
◦Miscellaneous Art: Slinkachu

Food and Drink

◦Restaurant: Uilliam's in Moscow
◦Cheap bite: Apple Pan (burger place) and Greenleaf Chop Shop in LA
◦Working lunch: Chai Latte
◦Dish: Sweet and Sour Chicken in any Chinese place whatsoever
◦Snack: Starbucks' Yogurt parfait
◦Guilty Pleasure: CHOCOLATE!!!
◦Tipple: Vodka
◦Soft Tipple: Mojito

He's a total chocaholic

◦Miscellaneous food: Can I say CHOCOLATE again?
◦Miscellaneous Beverage: Soy milk


◦Phone: iPhone 
◦Computer: Macbook Pro and a Frankenstein PC 
◦TV: Panasonic PT-RZ470EK Projector
◦Headphones: The iPhone's
◦Camera: I've got a rare Soviet 'Krasnogorsk' 16mm camera but I use the iPhone camera on a slightly more regular basis. 

Soviet gadgetry

◦Soundsystem: Whatever car I'm in
◦Where you document an idea: In my mind, if I forget it, it's not worth it (or so I hope)
◦Watch: Qlocktwo by Biegert & Funk  
◦App: Waze and FB Messenger 
◦Website: all the way

Favourite website

◦Work program: Premiere Pro
◦Analogue work tool: Alan Gordon Viewfinder 
◦Miscellaneous Kit Essential: Producer
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