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The Directors: Ste Hinde


FMLY CRTV director on his passion for dialogue and the art of making people laugh

The Directors: Ste Hinde

Ste Hinde is a director and writer who has held a great passion for narrative comedy since an early age.

His career in comedy began as a gag writer for the hit panel show Shooting Stars whilst at university. During this time, he won a National RTS award for a comedic documentary he co-created, Confido. Upon completion of his degree he moved into television where he worked in comedy development at Princess Productions.

Ste then began creating his own content including various short films and sketches which gained entry into film festivals such as Barnes and The London Independent Film Festival. From there he ventured into advertising where he climbed the ranks and honed his craft enough to make the jump to go freelance.

He is now pursuing a career dedicated to comedy direction and writing armed with experience and knowledge of this sector. His style celebrates all things awkward and humorous within the scope of human behaviour in all of its glorious detail. He has a fascination and an eye for what he calls ‘Bleak Britain’, which shows honesty in the heartland landscapes of Great Britain and a true representation of real people.

Name: Ste Hinde

Location: London, Hackney

Repped by/in: Family Creative

Awards: National RTS

LBB> What elements of a script sets one apart from the other and what sort of scripts get are you excited to shoot them?

Ste> It really depends on what the script is about. As a comedy director I have a passion for dialogue. When reading a script I really try to get a sense of who each person is and what the tone of the scene is by what they’re saying. That way I can focus on how I would like that scene to be executed.

LBB> How do you approach creating a treatment for a spot?

Ste> Each project is different and requires a different approach. I tend to break it down and see how much involvement I have in certain areas such as the creative or the technical. Has the idea already been signed off and there’s not much to change? If so I’ll approach with more detail on execution and not spend my time altering the idea. 

LBB> For you, what is the most important working relationship for a director to have with another person in making an ad? And why?

Ste> I think an obvious important relationship is with the producer, creative DOP and 1st AD, but I feel that all relationships with people on set are important if there's a direct line of communication. It’s important that people are transparent, understanding and calm. I always like to create a relaxed environment on set and make sure that everyone's voices are heard. This is feedback I’ve heard on multiple occasions.

LBB> What type of work are you most passionate about - is there a particular genre or subject matter or style you are most drawn to?

Ste> I think comedy has to be a genre that I’m most passionate about. The art of making people laugh through film is a challenge but I enjoy the process very much.

LBB> What’s the craziest problem you’ve come across in the course of a production – and how did you solve it?

Ste> I don’t know if this falls under crazy but it seemed like a nightmare at the time.

I was directing an advert for Pepsi Max in Lisbon. Two days before the shoot, the day we arrived, someone from the council decided to pull our filming location due to a clash with the Mardi Gras festival. We needed a public square that was busy so we could do the Pepsi Max Taste challenge. Most of the busiest spots in Lisbon were now out of bounds. Another challenge was it couldn’t look like somewhere iconic or recognisable and had to be sunny. After visiting multiple locations we eventually settled on one. Mapping out where we would film we heard a tram bell go off, we turned around and saw a tram decorated head to toe in Coca Cola branding. This was an absolute clash of the titans but we had no other options left. So we made sure the client tent was facing away from the tram lines and that there was never any reason to leave the tent. It really helped that it rained on shoot day keeping the client inside their tent. But because it rained we may as well have shot in England. 

LBB> What are your thoughts on opening up the production world to a more diverse pool of talent?

Ste> The industry as it stands has a very challenging history with diversity across the board. We need to change that at the grass root level so that younger people come through into a new and improved diverse world of production that doesn’t carry any previous issues. 

I’m loving the work FMLY are doing in Hackney with the local community, introducing people to the world of filmmaking at a grassroots level! I can’t wait to see how I can be involved too!

LBB> Are you open to mentoring and apprenticeships on set?

Ste> Absolutely! I think allowing people to learn on the job is what the industry should pride itself on. I started out working on the job and I found it incredibly valuable.

LBB> How do you feel the pandemic is going to influence the way you work into the longer term?

Ste> The pandemic has improved my time management. Allowing me to take a breath and approach a project with due care and attention. 

LBB> Your work is now presented in so many different formats - to what extent do you keep each in mind while you’re working (and, equally, to what degree is it possible to do so)? 

I think whilst working on client projects and not necessarily your own it’s whether or not it is needed. The new social first approach has meant we need to consider the different formats at the first hurdle before we even think about signing off the creative or execution. Everything is achievable, it's just whether it’s justified for that particular project. 

Check out Ste's portfolio here.

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FMLY CRTV (Family Creative), Fri, 31 Mar 2023 10:31:00 GMT