You know that moment when you see someone's creative work and you're blown away by how talented they are? Well, dear readers: meet Sami Abdou.
I got to know Sami a little over a year ago when our creative paths crossed and let me tell you: his next-level talent became apparent to me very quickly.
As a director and video genius (trust me, you guys), he has the rare ability to visualize the perfect final product before filming ever begins and then makes it happen. Genius, I tell you.
I've watched him bring some amazing work to life over the last year or so and I'm super excited to introduce him to you all!
Jen: When people ask you what you do for a living, how do you generally respond?
Sami: I generally say that I direct music videos and commercials, but it always seems weird. It's probably because I feel like I tend to do more than that.
J: When did you begin your creative venture?
S: I mean, I've always been creative since I was a kid but I didn't start pursuing film until college. Originally, I wanted to be an actor but saw the lack of control actors had over their careers so I then said, "Screw that" and decided to become a director.
J: Did you work any strange/odd/boring jobs before you started your creative work? If so, what were they?
S: YES! I'm fairly new to doing this full time. Up until recently, I did the typical LA struggling artist thing and bar tended/waited at a long list of restaurants. I hated them but I refused to leave because I hated them. I made a deal with myself that I would never take a full time job for the fear of getting comfortable. Everyday I went to work at these restaurants and went home cursing them. That was really motivating. It made me want to work hard at my creative endeavors so that I wouldn't have to spend another day in a restaurant. And well... it worked.
J: Did anyone ever tell you to "have a back-up plan" or advise you against working in a creative field?
S: No specific person has ever told me that, but I always felt that was the general feeling from society. I've been really fortunate to have a crazy supportive family, especially for being immigrants.
J: What inspires your creativity?
S: Oh man, I could go on forever. I have a thing I like to say about myself and it's basically that I'm a lover of all things good. Anything -- whether it's art, food, architecture, thoughts, acts, etc. -- if it's executed well and with strong intentions, I'll love it. It's those things that inspire me. Also, seeing people happy.
J: Are there parts of your career that provide less income than others? If so, what drives you to continue doing those things?
S: Ha! Most definitely. Sometimes I do really awesome creative stuff I'm proud of with little to no budgets. Other times I do really crappy boring stuff I hope never sees the light of day with nice, solid budgets. And sometimes I do projects that hit that sweet spot. For me, for the most part, practice is practice regardless of the project so even though I may work on something kicking and screaming, in the long run it still benefits me. Except shooting events. I REFUSE to do that kind of stuff. Haha.
J: If you weren't doing what you're currently doing, what would you be doing instead (In other words, have you ever envisioned yourself doing something else for a living)?
S: Teaching. Ultimately that's why I do what I do. I feel like my work is an opportunity to share something, whether it be a story, a lesson, or a piece of information, with the audience. That's ultimately what teachers do so I feel like it would be right up my alley.
J: Are you involved in any events/happenings in your city or on the web that we should know about?
S: Sadly, no. Basically, once I finish a project, I upload it and click "Share." That's about as eventful as it gets. Haha.
All photos in this post are courtesy of Sami Abdou.