Dave Ma is a writer/director, born the son of a Chinese greyhound trainer and an Australian maternity nurse, who migrated to the UK in his 20s and began directing music videos and commercials in far flung corners around the globe.
His favourite books as a kid were his mother’s obstetrics journal and an anatomy textbook.
At 14 he got a Nikon FG-20 and began rolling Ilford HP4 through that badboy like there was no tomorrow.
Like all good Asian sons, Dave was expected to pursue medicine. But he wasn’t smart enough (or as his father would say ‘Didn’t apply himself’). Instead, he embarked on a Psych degree, developing a fascination with the field's attempt at understanding the human condition (something he sees synonymous with art and film). This desire to explore and celebrate humanity is at the heart of Dave's cinematic work.
While studying, Dave got a job at a petrol station and learnt important life skills like: breaking down cardboard boxes, rotating drink stock, emptying mechanic workshop bins, and squeegee'ing car windscreens for elderly ladies (he'll still do this if you ask nicely). Dave also joined Blockbuster and became obsessed with European cinema, Ron Fricke and the Tom Green Show.
Eventually escaping to London, he spent countless nights chasing indie bands around dank, sweaty basement bars in the East End, armed with a camera and a desire to create cinematic music videos laced with magical realism. London quickly became home and one cloudy summer's afternoon in Hackney Town Hall, Dave swore allegiance to Elizabeth the 2nd and all her heirs and successors, despite having never tried jellied eel.
As a director of commercials and music videos he has made some stuff for various bands and brands (Foals, Flight Facilities, Jagwar Ma, Bastille, Nike, Subaru, O2, Honda, Converse, Rebel Sport, and Nokia).
And some of those things have been socially validated (LAFilmFest, Camerimage, Atlanta FF, Ad Week, Axis, UK MVAs Best Director nom, ARIA Awards Best Vid nom...plus a few likes here and there on the ol’ insta).
But more importantly, how weird is it to have to big yourself up in the third person? I mean seriously, I'm sitting here writing this shit literally rolling my eyes at myself. Must be that disapproving 'Asian-Dad voice' in the back of my head? Or perhaps that wintery British self-deprecation at my core? I won't mention 'tall-poppy syndrome'. Can't help but think I should've used more words like GRAVITAS and CINEMATIC WORLD BUILDING...I think you get it.
Anyway...if you’ve read this far then maybe you’d like to collaborate and create something beautiful to put out into the world. I'm down with that. As the Beastie Boys once said about someone else once saying: “...And she said: dark is not the opposite of light. It's the absence of light. And I thought to myself, she knows what she's talking about. And for a moment I knew what it was all about...".