Zaiba Jabbar is a self-taught filmmaker living in London.
Zaiba studied graphic design at Central Saint Martins but has only one love and that is for moving image.
When asked “Could you briefly summarize your career?” she answers “Liked graphic design, didn’t like graphic design. Love sound and image – found film making. Will never look back!”. One of two winners of the ASVOFF and Vogue Italia Light Series competition’s in Milan for her video for William Richard Green, Zaiba has worked with a number of commercial brands and smaller fashion labels which include Aquascutum, Mulberry, Levis, Hint Magazine, Spring69, New look, David David, Hermione De Paula, Bordelle and Charlie Le Mindu. Zaiba’s work is often featured and contributes to Vogue Italia, Vice Style, Fashion 156, Dazed Digital and i-D online.
Could you please tell us about ASVOFF and Vogue Italia Light Series competition?
I’d made a film with a young designer, William Richard Green, who I know, and just thought it would be worthwhile stripping it back to a one-minute edit and submitting it – more out of hope than expectation. Wonderfully, I got an email response a while later telling me that I’d won. Life can really take you by surprise – we did something that was going to be just for ourselves. It just goes to show that trusting your own ideas, realising them, and getting them out are really important.
What is the commissioned work that you liked the most? Why?
“Nightbus” for Vicestyle. I think it gave me an opportunity to explore an idea that I’d had in my head for a while. It reminded me of so many nights spent out, then coming home. I thought that it would be a great fashion film and that it would be something that a lot of young people can relate to. I found this synthesis between fashion, youth culture and the sexual tension that exists around those in the garish interior of transport in East London really inspiring. Different people are thrown together and it’s the perfect opportunity to show a variety of London’s tribes and the fashions they make their own.
What did, in your opinion, gave your career a twist?
I’d been working in the music video industry and had just started to direct a few low budget music videos – which looking back now were all quite style driven!
A very good friend of mine, Lauren Cochrane (a fashion journalist), had put my name forward to Fashion East MD Lulu Kennedy. DavidDavid was showing as part of Fashion East that year and had wanted a film instead of a catwalk. We had a few meetings and I had pitched an idea. It was all quite serendipitous when I think about it. I think with the DavidDavid video it is very evident of my music video background. Music was, and still is, integral to any fashion film I make. I think as a medium it is the combinations of audio and visuals colliding; making beautiful images work with cool sounds is something I get very excited about exploring. And with fashion film there is a real window to do that in. I think it’s this that makes my fashion films very different from others that are out there.
Is there a medium / technique that you haven’t tried yet that you’d like to experiment in the future?
Time-slicing. I’m dying to try it.
What is the most interesting place you’ve ever travelled to?
Mexico City, I suppose. The colors, the interiors, the strong art scene.
They’ve got some great cinematographers from there. Also, when travelling around Mexico, some of the natural beauty formed inside caves really got to me.
Create, create, create!
I like to Zaiba-fy any video I make. I like to approach each film individually and put a unique and odd stamp on it. Keep it fresh and trust my own instinct, and not get too influenced by what other people are doing.
Who are the directors who inspired your work?
Almodovar, Lynch, Burton, Gondry, Hitchcock and Tarantino.
Who is the woman you’d like to see featured here?
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