An exciting new addition to the NERD Productions family is Mono Ghose! He grew up playing sports, reading books and watching TV, sometimes too much. But, without a particular taste for science and math, Mono stuck to exploring his artistic side, and here we are.
Interested in football, gaming, reading, and quietly being urged to play the piano, which he never enjoyed, Mono inadvertently fell in love with the Spanish guitar.
Having Indian heritage, Mono considers Indian storytelling and film tradition a formative part of his upbringing. It’s also a source of his passion for travelling and a diverse perspective. Adding to his already colourful heritage, ‘growing up in the UK and having the experience of being an outsider meant, by will or circumstance, I didn’t have to follow the crowd, which helped me develop a sharp outside-of-the-box thinking and broadened my cultural awareness.’
Mono graduated with a MA in Scriptwriting from Goldsmiths. He studied the best filmmakers from around the globe and learned how to structure and write screenplays across various media. ‘The takeaway was seeing the film as a language for the first time, which has drastically changed how I approach the art form.’
His first industry experience fell on a two-week summer school at Publicis Advertising Agency in Baker Street, London during his Bachelor studies. It was an intensive introduction to the world of ad agencies and how to plan and manage a campaign from scratch. Focused on account management Mono quickly gravitated to the talks and sessions with the creatives, which is where he got the first insight into what was the real direction and this is where he wanted to take his career.
One of the most important lessons he took away since the beginning of his directing career was how to deal with failure and rejection. ‘Whether it’s a pitch, sale or script feedback, I learned to see it as an opportunity to develop my skill set and resilience. It’s also a good test to see how badly you want this as your career including all the ups and downs.’
Mono’s first professional project was a spot for Selfridges with BMB Agency. It was a 60-second spot he directed to advertise Selfridges’ new personal shopping ‘Wonder Room’ area in-store. It was his first big spot and he remembers how everyone waited patiently for Mono to call action, which he eventually did. It was challenging to juggle the different stakeholders from the agency and client-side while maintaining a creative focus with actors and crew. ‘ This balance is something all directors must go through and is a technique I’ve come to excel at and enjoy. ‘
Like nearly every director, Mono had his life/career-changing moment when his short film ‘Lost Bullets’ was long-listed for Oscar. It opened a lot of doors in Mono’s career and got him in front of some industry heavy hitters. The story still resonates with people today and stands up in terms of cinematic quality to other leading shorts.
In directing, Mono loves working with talented people to craft and tell great stories.
‘I want to achieve impeccable storytelling, draw tight performances and create atmospheric, stunning visuals to match the narrative.’ To keep himself fresh and caught up with everything in the industry Mono watches a lot of ads, good and bad from all over the world. Not hitting the skip button on YouTube and varying his tastes, for example: keeping up to date with exhibitions and art galleries, music, world cinema, NFTs and gaming.
The creative industry, like any other, is full of good and bad. Mono is not a big fan of the “traditional” route to becoming a commercials director. This is changing with directors coming from other disciplines and backgrounds. The industry could also take calculated risks in storytelling and casting.
On a positive note, the creative industry has never-ending opportunities to tell stories across new formats and media. ‘I’m excited about working with brands open to fresh ideas and storytelling methods.’
Everyone takes their inspiration from somewhere, for Mono, some of it comes from his favourite director Bong Joon-ho. His movies are on the list of those you want to watch again and again to see what’s running underneath (literally in ‘Parasite’) and feel like you’ve been in a filmmaking masterclass after it’s over.
Outside of work, Mono likes keeping fit, reading, playing the guitar and indie games when time permits. Apart from directing, Mono takes time to perfect his travel photography, creating his own game and poetry. He also particularly enjoys the following creations that you might take a note of:
Film: Bong Joon-ho. His stories are thought-provoking and original.
Ridley Scott. A master of blending visuals, music and story to create iconic cinematic moments.
Books: George Orwell and Milan Kundera:
They write in an accessible style which is also ironic, prophetic and timeless.
Gaming: the creators (Playdead) of the games ‘Inside’ and ‘Limbo’. These indie games show how the atmosphere and a mysterious style with little to no dialogue can carry an entire story.
Lastly, ‘I’m sure, like most artists, I’m driven by the impulse to create a great piece of work that resonates both with the audience and personally.’ We hope you enjoyed an insight into who Mono Ghose is and are looking forward to seeing what NERDy things he creates in the future.