Nathan Youssef (aka NAFA) is a rising filmmaker. We took five with the cinematographer to talk about his unique take on music videos and his big ambitions.
that of Sydney Nathan Youssef started his career as an assistant camera and in five short years he has built up an impressive portfolio. Spanning commercials, short and feature films, documentaries and music videos, his style is effortlessly poetic. And while some of her portrayals reflect life to the extreme, you can still feel her guiding hand, artfully framing the provocative imagery.
With his head full of fresh ideas on how to create music videos, he is raising the bar for this particular art form. We chatted with Nathan about the essentials of his craft, how he got into the game, and his dream collaborations for the future.
HAPPY: This video is quite special! How did you first meet Nes Afara?
ANFA: Ah thank you! We were on the same football (soccer) team a few years ago. Then one of the guys on the team also did some haircuts in his garage, and Nes was kind of like Andy Richter and would just be there to talk shit and make it all go well.
HAPPY: Walk us through the first steps in setting this up – did you have any main points of inspiration?
ANFA: Well, we didn’t both want to make a generic hype video, and I’ve always been more inspired by music video makers like Nabil and the Young Replicant. So the first ideas were to do something visually interesting with a few different techniques. Hence the floating cart and the falling steadicam shots.
HAPPY: What did you want to achieve with the video?
ANFA: I guess I just wanted to do something really cool to show people where my work is and my style is, and where I’m trying to go.
HAPPY: When did you start making videos?
ANFA: I used to make silly videos with my cousins ââwhen I was a kid, but I really started doing a few things about three years ago when I was still assisting on camera and filming occasionally. Then I decided to work more with talented people to learn a few more tips until Nes and I made this clip.
HAPPY: Who would be the artist of your dreams to make a video for?
ANFA: Difficult to choose just one! I would say Vince Staples, Kendrick Lamar or Brodinski. They always push the limits with hip-hop videos and I’m always so inspired every time they release something new.
HAPPY: What tools are essential for your job?
ANFA: Laptop and camera. Really, you can do anything with these two. There were days on this clip where it was just myself with the camera filming Nes playing. And we still have some really decent footage of it used in the clip.
HAPPY: What are you going to work on next?
ANFA: I’m working on a short film actually, a unique little story about a woman from West Sydney. I’m also doing the finishing touches on another clip!
To learn more about Nathan and his work, visit his website.