Feature

My Creative Inspiration

1. I like those men who stand on busy street corners holding up signs that point to a "golf sale".

I've always imagined following the directions, only to find another man holding the same sign pointing in a different direction. And this leads me to another man, and so on, until I'm led back to the first man. These people are in cahoots. Their only role is to suck innocent shoppers into an endless cycle of pointlessness.

2. I love the music that soundtracked my youth. Punk remains the most exciting cultural revolution I've ever experienced. It destroyed everything. It was dangerous and sexy at the same time. And it happened in my mid-teens when you're at that "defining yourself" stage. I've got punk records all over my office wall now, in a kind of homage to the great record sleeve wall at Rough Trade records. Looking at them every day gives me huge inspiration. I like the idea of sharing an office with such a bunch of irresponsible people. People who back in the 70s preached freshness and innovation and media reinvention. All the things I strive for today.

3. I like augmented reality. I'd like to do an augmented reality musical Christmas card. When you hold it up to your webcam, Mary and Joseph burst into a chorus of Shakin' Stevens' Merry Christmas Everyone, while the shepherds and wise men do the twist. I'd pay a lot of money to see this.

4. I loved art college. My foundation tutor, Jack, was 68. But he didn't act like it. He used to come down to London to see The Clash. He used to run the course on artistic temperament. He'd confiscate rubbers if we were being too deliberate with our pencil lines in life drawing. He used to rail at anyone who held back on expressing themselves, once verbally attacking some poor girl for protesting that she "just wanted to be normal". He was a huge inspiration to me because he was the first adult that told me rebellion was a good thing. The first person who encouraged me not to be a boring git.

5. I like those numbered tickets you get at delicatessens in supermarkets that tell you when your turn is. I think we should have that system in life. The whole planet holding little tickets, tickets that determine when you fall in love or when you become famous, everyone waiting for their number to come up on giant digital screens suspended from giant airships. Are you listening Hollywood?

6. I like signs on the backs of vans and lorries that say "How's my driving?" and a phone number. They've got an Orwellian weirdness about them. The drivers of these vehicles must go through life totally paranoid.

7. I get inspiration from my children. Once my young daughter proudly showed me her new wellies by holding them up to the phone. Perfectly logical, I think. The phone was where my voice was coming from. In her own free-thinking way, she'd accidentally invented video-messaging.

8. I like unfinished haircuts. That moment when the hairdresser has only cut half your hair and you're sitting there, staring at the mirror, looking a bit compromised. I want to write a film where the protagonist takes an emergency phone-call halfway through a haircut. He jumps up, runs off and spends the rest of the film with "work in progress" hair.

9. I like the writer David Mamet. You like David Mamet? Yeah, I like David Mamet. So you're telling me you like David fucking Mamet? Yeah, I'm telling you I fucking like David fucking Mamet! I wish I could write like this.

10. I like films where nothing happens. I like watching Martin Sheen kicking a can along a dust track in Badlands and John Wayne riding for miles and miles in The Searchers. I like films that mess with narrative structure like Psycho and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. Our Barnardo's film "break the cycle" began life as a digital banner. But because we shot it on HD, you could blow it up and watch it like a traditional film. But a film you could affect. The narrative structure to this film was a loop that had to be broken. It was a cool thing to write.

11. I like records that start quietly and then go BANG BANG BANG BANG. I like records that I don't actually like. I've got an Aphex Twin record that sounds like a blender and records by Atari Teenage Riot that sound like a saw-mill. I've got Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music, which is a double album of uninterrupted white noise. It's unlistenable, but I wouldn't part with it for the world. I just like the fact that he did it.

12. I like Glastonbury. I get quite emotional there. I look at all the beautiful, creative young people and I believe that the world is actually in very good hands. I once cried my eyes out during David Bowie's performance of Life On Mars. Partly because I couldn't imagine life getting any better, and partly because I was a bit indisposed.

13. I like my five-year-old son's jokes. They make no sense whatsoever but he tells them with such conviction that they're absolutely hilarious. A great example of the importance of craft skills.

Topics