Ehab ‘Eazy’ Ismail AKA Eazy World Peace
When did your passion for filmmaking/directing begin?
Honestly it was so far back that I can’t put a concrete time period on it. Growing up I was obsessed with the idea of moving images. Yea photos were cool and all, but being able to capture movement and things happening as we experience them (in motion) was something I just thought was so cool. I remember we got our first camcorder around maybe 2001-ish and the way I saw it, there were no more barriers between me and a Hollywood director. I could just press record and theoretically create the same stuff I see in the movies, so I would gather my friends and we would do movie reenactments, skate videos, and even school projects when I got the chance . This sort of sparked this passion I have for filmmaking, however it wasn’t until I turned 20 that I actualized this childhood fantasy and started taking the craft seriously.
You've created short films and music videos, which do you enjoy being a part of more?
This is a question I get asked a lot and its a hard decision between the two. Theres something special about creating a film & telling a story through characters & narrative, and on the other hand music videos are more experimental and give me a certain freedom that creating a film doesn’t.
This is why I try to merge the two when I create a music video. For my first ever music video project “Feelin Different” (2016) I wrote a script for the beginning & end parts to kind of give the video a narrative/film element. And in my other music videos since then, I’ve gone more the route of merging a story into the music video rather than disconnected scenes separate from the music. For my next major project I want to collaborate with an artist and shoot a proper short film that features all or most music from an album/EP. I sort of dabbled in this idea on 25th Hour with Kosher - where we did three songs in one video telling a single narrative from start to finish. So building on that idea, I want to expand the concept to an entire EP and have it lean more towards being a film rather than music video.
You've filmed Menon's latest music video, Regula, which is coming out very soon. Could you give us a little sneak peek as to what to expect, what the filming procedure was like, and what the inspiration behind the video was?
Well…I would say this is my most ambitious project to date in terms of the sheer manpower behind it. We shot the video in the mountainous regions of Ras Al Khaimah & Hatta with a very small crew since it wouldn’t be practical otherwise. And we really had to fight the elements to make the vision come to life. I’ve been fascinated lately with the idea of nuclear war. With North Korea constantly threatening, the possibility of nuclear war has felt (to me) very real. This has thrust me into this Cold-War Era feeling of not knowing what could happen next, and I suppose in feeling this, I wanted to bring that out in Regula. I sort of married the ideas of divinity & all-out destruction together, giving Menon a larger-than-life presence on screen. Considering the subject matter of Regula along with Menon’s resurgence in the music scene, I think this Atomic-Era theme is fitting.
'Regula' music video is out now!
Do you find it challenging being a filmmaker in Dubai in terms of freedom of creativity, number of locations, and the HEAT?
Yea I guess so, however I’m not the type that succumbs to limitations. A lot of the restrictions people think exist here are self-imposed since people generally don’t want to attempt to experiment with new things. Now of course it would be difficult to film a movie set in New York here in Dubai for obvious reasons, but its important to work around these things and try to tell stories that are relevant to Dubai as I did with Screen 13. Basically everywhere in the world will have its benefits and its limitations, rather than complain about one or the other its important to make the best of what is here and don’t ever be a victim of circumstances. I always prefer warm climates over cold ones but I could definitely do with a little less heat & humidity haha - The weather is no joke and its actually a real factor I have to take into account when shooting outdoors, which can be a sort of limitation in and of itself, but its nothing that can’t be worked around.
Oh and by the way, if someones excuse for not “creating” is because they live here, and “its not a creative place" then I guarantee you they won’t do shit even if you took them to the heart of New York or LA. These people like to consume, not create. Limitations are mental.
How would you describe your creative approach in 3 words?
Visualize, streamline, execute.
Do you have any advice for aspiring filmmakers?
Honestly, just go out and DO IT. Theres a lot of aspriring filmmakers out there who are actually going out there and creating stuff, and to them I say keep it up, always experiment, and do not be afraid of your own imagination. Humans have been blessed with abstract thinking, don’t waste it.
To the aspiring filmmakers who are not creating anything. You need to just get up, go out there, and do it - don’t be embarrassed. Trust me, having the right equipment & tools is not your barrier. We can literally make a movie with our phones, there is nothing stopping you from doing what you want to do but yourself. If you don’t know where to begin, go read a book. Read a book and find inspiration in the stories. When you read you’re literally directing the story inside your mind, then take these visions and manifest them into a short film - even if its for practice.
Finally, what's your favourite type of cake?
I’m not really a cake eater but I enjoy chocolate cake (do brownies count?). Cheesecake is dope too.