I grew up in the kitchen.
My mother is a chef, and, like any woman who cut their teeth in a 1980s New York Kitchen, she is tough as nails. She worked the line until she she was seven months pregnant; she only left because the other cooks couldn’t squeeze past her without also getting burnt by her cutting stare. She taught me that great cooking is about detailed control, experimentation and simplicity. And filmmaking is no different.
I left Singapore and moved to New York, moving from my mother’s narrow kitchen to overpacked studios. Line cooks became focus pullers and electricians, but my process stayed the same as hers. Our environment is in a constant state of flux; tastes change. A good cook is nimble and can adapt. As a director, I think its so important to recognizine that. There are innumerable new ways to serve images, and each medium is constantly reinventing itself. I thrive on a digital landscape, where every project needs a tailored approach, just as every dish needs the right cut of meat.
- Ahad Mahmood