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Q&A with IN2RUDERS director Naeem Mahmood

September 18th, 2019

Naeem Mahmood is a director to keep your eyes on!

Mentored by Gary Kurtz, producer of 2 Star Wars films, Naeem was in his late teens when he won the Prince’s Trust Millennium Award and teamed up with several young creatives to set up the film production company Trailblazer.

His work has appeared on the BBC, ITV and more. Named one of the “freshest new talents” in Britain, Naeem’s first feature directorial debut was “Brash Young Turks,” where he met an editor named Tatjana Rhodes. Want to learn more?? Read this excerpt from our Fan Community Q&A:

Tell us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up?

I grew up in West London. Went to the notorious Holland Park School in the 90s. It was a massive hostile campus. Think knife fights in the playground, punch-ups with teachers and the scent of weed drifting through stairwells. Yet politicians and bohemian celebrities would send their children there. It was a crazy mix of working-class, posh and ethnic students. I think it played a big part in my style of filmmaking.

Was movie making always a dream of yours?

It was both a dream and a way of escaping the daily threat of violence. I’d sneak out during school hours and shoot short films with my mates, using a crappy home video camera. Fortunately, those early life experiences found a creative outlet in filmmaking.

How did you get involved with IN2RUDERS?

I was doing an interview for a fashion magazine and got introduced to its publisher. We’re both mavericks so we clicked right away. He had access to this incredible 16th century stately home that belonged to Isaac Newton. I took one look at it and was like “I have to build a film around this location.” I had no idea what I was going to shoot except that it was going to be nightmarish and psychedelic. From there I gathered a team of young creatives and went to work developing the project.

Were you a part of casting the movie or were Bloom Twins, Caprice and Tony Hadley already involved when you came on board?

I did the entire casting. It all started with the twins. I saw their profile on a modelling agency that I’d been working with and liked the look of them. I found out they were independent music artists creating their own brand of dark pop. They kind of mirrored the journey I was going through as a filmmaker and I thought, “I’ve gotta work with these girls.” Once the twins were on board, I imagined a supporting cast drawn from all areas of the pop culture landscape that I could take into unexpected directions.

I think it’s fair to assume you met Nick via his daughter Tatjana, who is the film’s editor. How did you approach him about scoring IN2RUDERS

Nick had by chance seen the character trailers Tatjana was editing for Brash Young Turks and I think he liked the whole “seedy glamour” vibe to it. So Tatjana approached him and said, “you should score Naeem’s new film.” He watched it and was knocked out. We met and talked David Lynch, Fellini and had conversations about the In2ruders score. The rest as they say…

What was it like working with him on the film score?

Nick’s been in the mainstream music industry for decades but he still manages to push the boundaries of creative expression in a way that reflects his individuality. That’s inspiring to me. As soon as I’d step inside the studio with him, I got a real sense that anything’s possible. He’s willing to go against convention and experiment. He’s also a fantastic collaborator – always open to suggestions and new ideas.

What is up next for you?

I’m receiving a lot of interest about a Prime Time TV Series that my team and I are developing with a kick arse female lead. Think Killing Eve on acid!

Watch this behind-the-scenes featurette with Nick and Naeem here.

Watch the trailer for In2ruders here.