Will Nash – Purveyor of Exquisite Directing, Photography and an all-around good guy. Essentially a triple threat. Not too bad a CV if you ask me.
Born in Bristol, UK, Will grew up in Southampton before becoming an adopted Londoner. Late last year though he swapped old Blighty for barbeques and beaches as he moved to Melbourne, saying goodbye to winter and hello to warmth.
“I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to come out here and I’m hoping it’s a change in tac with my career,” Will explains. “It’s been pretty crappy for a lot of us back in the UK over the last few years and I needed to breathe new life into what I am doing.”
As a multi-award winning director, who has had films screened at BAFTA qualifying festivals amongst many others, Will’s background was in the camera department which helped him improve technically as a director and to develop a language with colour and sound; two aspects he is passionate about.
“I made my first short film in 2015, Ice Cream. It starred the legendary Daniel Ings, still one of the best people I’ve worked with. We did another short not long afterwards. He’s an incredible actor and brilliant all round. Then slowly after that, I began directing commercials, music videos and more shorts as well as some mini-series.”
Will’s work has also seen him direct commercials for some of the world’s biggest organisations, such as Amazon, Coca-Cola, McLaren, Primark and John Lewis. Amongst the short films he has written and directed are the fantastic, The Welsh Werebit, Lady, Obscenities and Somatic. He has also worked alongside the likes of the excellent Laura Jean Marsh, Hellie Fenton and Chloe Partridge-Reeve
His love of photography came from his dad, and his interest in filming peaked when he began experimenting with Super 8mm. He grew up watching classics, such as Flight of the Navigator and E.T. and being inspired by the likes of Richard Linklater.
Will’s short films are wickedly funny, and dripping with his trademark dark humour. His photography as well is a pastel dream, fresh, exciting, inventive and creative. You can tell that everybody who works with Will is genuinely having fun – it comes across in every. bright, bold image.
Since arriving in Australia, his work has been in demand as ever, and 2024 looks bright, “So far things already seem to be ticking over nicely, with a few projects already in the pipeline which is excellent for this time of year. My ultimate aim is to finally get that one feature film made. There’s a couple of things up in the air with that and maybe one will land.”
Will’s been involved in photography, film and TV for 20 years now and it was a pleasure to sit down with the man himself to talk about his admirable taste in movies, his love of food, and what inspires his photography and directing.
DO A NICE FACE DAD
My love of photography came from my Dad I think. I remember him always being told off for not posing and doing a “nice face” for family photos. But he hated posing and how awkward it felt. That’s where my love of getting a shot in the moment, something more candid came from. You’re going to get a much better sense of what was happening at the time of the photo when you get shots like that rather than posed and ridged.
Then in college and later Art College I was given the opportunity to do photography. I loved being in the darkroom afterwards and developing the photos. It wasn’t until much later that my passion for film reignited when I started shooting films on Super 8mm and visiting the labs developing my films.
Film-wise, I started pretty much as a runner on shoots and then quite quickly became a camera trainee. A lot was still being shot on film (35mm, 16mm) for commercials and TV dramas so that was my training ground.
I was taught that if you can produce one good still image then you can produce 25 of them in a second. As I progressed in TV and film I always kept an eye on photography, but it wasn’t until 2020 that I bought a Canon AE-1 and starting shooting stills.
I HATE PRETENTIOUS SHIT
I think, in a non-pretentious way (I hate pretentious shit) I do see a lot of things in my day-to-day life that I constantly draw ideas from. With my stills photography though it was a cross-over of my approach to directing. Keep it fun and loose so that moments naturally happen as easily as possible.
It might look like I’m deep in thought before taking a shot but sometimes it’s just thinking what joke to make next or how to distract my subject from posing.
I made my first short film in 2015, Ice Cream. Starred the legendary Daniel Ings, still one of the best people I’ve worked with. We did another short not long afterwards. He’s an incredible actor and brilliant all round. Then slowly after that, I began directing commercials, music videos and more shorts as well as some mini-series.
I’d say my style includes humour…. dark humour!
Ok, I love a story. I particularly like weird and wonderful facts that sound unreal but are true. I like to mix those up with made-up stories, so people sometimes don’t know if what I’ve said is entirely real or not. But the response from people when I did it was amazing. The fascination on their faces! That’s what I love doing and directing and photography are good ways for me to express and mess around with that.
Welsh Werebit was a huge amount of fun and I constantly need to thank Hellie Fenton and Holly Fry for being utterly brilliant and going along with it.
I’d say my style includes humour…. dark humour! With so many multiple layers to everything I made, they’re all like onions! I try and put in so many easter eggs and extra titbits so that every time you rewatch them there’s more to unravel.
Visually I’m a big one for bold and bright colours. Every character and location gets colour-coded in my head and I try and get that across on screen.
I get told I need to remind myself more of this when I get down hearted and I really do, we all do!
As a teenager, I’d probably say my favourite movie was something like Bill and Ted’s (Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey). Gladiator was the epic movie that I saw at 16 that made me want to make movies. But classics from the 80s/90’s are probably up there, The Goonies, E.T., and Flight of the Navigator. I think it’s good to have favourites from different parts of your life.
Director-wise, I’d say Taika Waititi, I love his balance of humour and emotion. Greta Gerwig for sure -Barbie is in my top films of all time but I also loved Little Women! Richard Linklater! Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly! And Boyhood! 12 years to make a film and love it.
A short film I made “Lady” smashed it at festivals at a time when I was over the whole festival circuits. I’d made such a hard go at a previous short and didn’t get what I wanted from it festival-wise (a good lesson though). So, I just sent ‘Lady’ out everywhere and she did amazing!
Then less of a singular moment but I am proud of how much I’ve done in 20 years of being in film and tv. I get told I need to remind myself more of this when I get downhearted and I really do, we all do!
I’d say one of my biggest challenges to date is getting my foot in the door as a director in TV dramas/films. It’s still going on but I’m going to keep at that one!
If I could just solidly eat delicious food and not move for a day I would
Paul Rudd pops into my head when I think of someone I’d love to work with – maybe I can steal his elixir of life! Also loved that last Ghostbusters, a proper boo up at the end moment (no plot spoilers but if you haven’t seen it, come on!)
Awkwafina would be great to work with too, really loved Nora from Queens and Quiz Lady was very funny.
Away from work, eating, that’s my main passion. If I could just solidly eat delicious food and not move for a day I would. No side effects, just doing that. I like cooking and making food too so if anyone wants an amateur on their cooking show I’m here to embarrass myself.
All our thanks to the wonderful Will Nash