DIRECTOR’S PROFILE: Directors Think Tank Director Jeany Amir

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DIRECTOR’S PROFILE: Directors Think Tank Director Jeany Amir

Malaysian-born and Malaysia based Jeany Amir is a director at Directors Think Tank, a leading production company with offices in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. Campaign Brief Asia put 15 questions to Amir to find out more about her and her approach to directing.


1. What’s your favorite part of the job?
The adrenaline rush that comes from receiving scripts and the budget that comes with it. I normally “berangan-angan” that I’m in Hawaii while working on a treatment. My imagination is free and I can be anywhere!

2. What is your most productive time of day and why?
Believe it or not, it’s actually at 5:30 a.m.! It’s such a peaceful time—and I get into my zone when I’m blasting Sheila on 7 or the Beetles while working on my ideas.

3. If you didn’t have this job, what would you be doing instead?
I would to be a sous chef to Gordon Ramsay, picking his brain to become a better chef. And also, to one day tell him to calm the f down and enjoy cooking!

4. How early did you know this would be your path?
I knew my path from the moment my dad brought home a television back in the early 90’s. I would sneak into his room to watch it. And failing my history paper back in high school made it a little clearer, too.

5. Can you name some recent jobs?
I am relatively new in DTT, but the producers have been keeping me busy with numerous new scripts and treatments.

6. Do you put on a different hat when shooting for a specific genre?
I don’t even own a hat, but I do tend to wear clothing that is related to the genre I am shooting. Fashion victim, guilty as charged. And the shooting set is my runway! But when it comes to VFX, I would normally experiment with the edit myself. Part of my survival training when I move to Mars.

7. Have you been continuing to shoot during the COVID crisis? Can you describe that experience?
Directing remotely is definitely new to me. I’m such a people person and am used to a lot of hand gestures on set. So working remotely has had its challenges. The internet connection can be quite tricky too with the pauses and delays. I just embrace it with an abundance of humour and sarcasm.

8. Do you have a favorite piece of kit?
My iPad , Wacom and my deadpan humour.

9. Are you often asked to do more than direct? If so, what are you asked to do?
Endless brownie baking and babysitting (kids, not brownies). I am the world’s greatest babysitter (a self-claimed title).

10. What are three pieces of technology you can’t live without?
Google, Instagram (ha!) and NASA updates.

11. This is a high-stress job. What do you do to de-stress from it all?
By being in the kitchen cooking, baking. Maybe ranting to my ever patient boyfriend.

12. How do you manage producers’ expectations with the reality of what can really be done?
Being upfront about pretty much anything and everything. I don’t like my time being wasted, so why am I going to waste theirs? They could have traded Doge Coin while promising a viral video, when we both know it’s not going to happen.

13. How do you manage your time? Do you manage expectations or try everything they ask of you?
My iCalendar keeps track of everything. And also, my amazing producers! Can’t forget mum either. Saying no in such a polite way to win. How can I argue?

14. When someone who is starting out asks what they should learn, what do you recommend?
Learning how to write and draw. Two crucial elements that will help bring your fantasy into reality. And you have to try everything in life.

15. How do you take criticism? Do you find yourself defensive or accepting of others’ ideas (good and bad)?
I love bad criticism. It’s like investing in cryptocurrency, whether the market is bad (or whether your work is bad) or good, people are still going to invest and dump their money into it. And that’s what I expect from my critics, to push me so my work becomes better in the end.

DIRECTOR’S PROFILE: Directors Think Tank Director Jeany Amir