Oh Boy! is a choreographic piece conceived and imagined by Antonin Rioche as a human drama, as modern as it is timeless. The only protagonist, the dancer Benjamin Behrends, is engaged in an intense and poetic experience about loneliness. The film is the result of an adaptation and collaboration with Hadi Moussally from h7o7, that reveals an intimate romance and reality about the loneliness, that we all know about.
Based on the dance-piece "Oh Boy!" by Antonin Rioche
Co-production : h7o7 & Antonin Rioche
Adaptation by Antonin Rioche & Hadi Moussally
Film Director : Hadi Moussally
Choreographer : Antonin Rioche
Dancer & Voice : Benjamin Behrends
D.O.P & Post Production : Olivier Pagny
Sound Design : Niels Plotard
Fashion Stylist : Marie Scirocco
Fashion Designers : Hed Mayner & Sean Suen
Based on the dance-piece "Oh Boy!" by Antonin Rioche
Co-production : h7o7 & Antonin Rioche
Adaptation by Antonin Rioche & Hadi Moussally
Film Director : Hadi Moussally
Choreographer : Antonin Rioche
Dancer & Voice : Benjamin Behrends
D.O.P & Post Production : Olivier Pagny
Sound Design : Niels Plotard
Fashion Stylist : Marie Scirocco
Fashion Designers : Hed Mayner & Sean Suen
ABOUT HADI MOUSSALLY
Hadi Moussally was born in Lebanon in 1987. By age 18, he decides to go study film direction in France where he acquires a first master’s degree in “Fiction Cinema” from Paris-Est Marne la Vallée University. Moussally then chooses to take on a complementary masters in “Documentary and Anthropological Cinema” from Paris X Nanterre University, in the course of Jean Rouch. In that respect, Hadi Moussally acquainted himself with reality-cinema. The anthropological and documentary approach accustoms him with the sense of keen observation of his subjects and alerts him to the importance of instantaneous shooting; whereas his fictional background gives him the urge of creating sensual, esthetically pleasing imagery universes. From 2012, Hadi Moussally shifts towards the world of fashion and directs several experimental films some of which received various distinctions in festivals. In 2014 he made his first documentary on the end of his grandmother's life, and in 2016 a docu-portrait on a senior model. In 2018 he completed an experimental project on albinism "Positive" whose photos have been exhibited at the UNESCO, the City Hall of Paris and Beirut Art Fair as well. In 2015 he founded the production unit H7O7 whose main objective is to enable the making and promotion of films and photos with "hybrid" vocation where is privileged the mixture of genres between experimental, documentary, fashion and fiction. In 2020, he founded the collective “Hybrid Wave” with around 30 hybrid artists from around the world.
FULL IntervieW Transcript
Melissa Ramos: Your dance film is based on a dance performance, 'Oh Boy!' By Antonin Rioche. Can you talk about how you met and the process of both your collaboration adapting the dance piece into a film?
Hadi Moussally: So I met Antonin Rioche in Berlin. He contacted me to suggest to do a film together about his dance piece 'Oh Boy!'. And I know him already on social media, like we already even worked one day to do a shoot together. And so when I saw 'Oh Boy!' the dance piece, I was so mesmerized by what he did about the action, about even the dancer Benjamin Behrends. And so we started together to work to adapt this dance piece into a film. At the beginning, we thought it was easy, because you just need to film the dance piece, but we wanted to make it more profound and to make the film as another entity from the dance piece.
So we started working together on how we can collaborate together, how we can adapt it. And it was very interesting because I rarely collaborate with other artists to do something. It was more like I collaborate with a designer and I have the idea and I submit it and they look at it. But this time we had to create something together. So for me, that dance piece it was very... How do I say it, for me, It was difficult to really adapt it because you have to respect the essence of the dance at the same time. You have to do it also differently with your point of view and also with his point of view. So we started working together - yeah, it was very interesting to do the collaboration.
Melissa Ramos: It's interesting how you both sort of work together in terms of trying to keep the essence of the original dance. 'OH BOY!' conveys the nature of loneliness. And you mentioned to me that you and Antonin had contrasting views on this subject. Can you talk more about the two opposite approaches and how you both compromised?
Hadi Moussally: So when you started the collaboration, the dance piece and the film talks about the difference between loneliness and feeling lonely. And for me, loneliness is something very melancholic. I need people around me. I need to feel alive when people are around me. I don't like to be lonely. And for him, it's the opposite. And it's more like you feel more strong when you're by yourself. You feel very powerful. And honestly, when he told me the first time, I didn't understand, like, how can you feel that when you're lonely? And what's beautiful about it, that we all have different perceptions. So we started to say, OK, how can we do that? How we can we convey our two points of view? In just one film. So I had the idea to do it with the format.
At the beginning, the film is around eleven minutes and so at the beginning, the format is vertical. And little by little it gets bigger and bigger to be more horizontal at the end. But honestly, when you're watching the film, you don't realize. It's more like at the end, it's eleven minutes, it's a very slow progress. So this idea of getting bigger and this frame format was more about his idea of being lonely, that when you're alone, you break all the walls around you. It gets bigger and bigger and you're more powerful and better. And for me, it's the ending that conveys more of my idea that at the last shot, the format at the end changes and becomes the beginning. And so it's really as if it reminds us that even though that you think that you're getting better. But it reminds me that the idea that you're all by yourself. So this is how we try to convey both of our ideas together. And also, it was very interesting with the last position of the dancer. It's exactly the same position of the dancer at the beginning. This work is a cycle and turning back into the beginning and repeating yourself with loneliness.
Melissa Ramos: Wow, very interesting. I really liked the way you experimented with the physicality of the screen format, like another entity so that the audience has to connect with it, even though it was going quite slow. You're thinking, 'what's happening'? You're really drawn to the space, and then retracting back. So it really did convey that sort of idea being lonely in two different types of perspectives. Do you normally work with format in your work and how did you first come up or started experimenting with the space of the format size?
Hadi Moussally: I always love, like every film I like to do, I want to do a different technique. I did a film with the stroboscopic negative positive. The film was a cinematograph, like the body is a photo. But just like one part of the body is moving. It was a trend on social media a few years ago. And I always love to experiment with a few things like the format. Because theres one director that I love a lot, Michel Gondry. He did a lot of music videos and he always had a technique in his music videos. And you always remember the music video via his technique. And so I always love to experiment to change and also to use it with meaning.
Not only use it because it's beautiful or interesting just to tell a story. And so, yeah, I use a lot of format. I also did a documentary with the vertical format because when it all started in 2015, Snapchat and all the stories was very interesting. We were used to it at the beginning to see everything in vertical and we're like all, like 'what's happening? It's like vertical'. So you have to flip to the phone to see the real story. And I'm like, OK, but why don't we use this format? Like, why don't you talk about what we always used to do, a format with a horizontal format, which is normal. The eyes are familiar to this. It's like the beginning of the history of cinema. But why don't we use this? We can do a lot. And we didn't invent this, a lot of other artists did vertical format before back in the 80s and 90s. But anyway, it is very interesting to change all this format, to use them to talk about the story. And this is why in this particular film 'Oh Boy!', it was more to talk about loneliness and everything, but I love, love to do different formats, different techniques. When you understand how the films worked and everything, it's like you love to, you know, that the image is very important. And when people watching a film, they want to talk about the technique that marked them. So people always talk about it like this after. So you want to do different things. Of course. Each film is different and I want to give a different experience. When they see all my films they know that this is about this and this is about that. So having fun with a lot of techniques.
Melissa Ramos: Going back to the concept loneliness. How much of the live dance performance change and did you have to create new choreography for it or did you stick to the original dance piece.
Hadi Moussally: No, this film we respected it, in fact all the choreography of the dance piece we had to adapt to because in the film it's inside the house and at the end it finishes in the field. So in the field it was muddy. If I'm not incorrect, I think it was just after Christmas. So it was very, very cold. And he was naked outside. And I was so afraid to see him dancing naked in like zero degrees because I'm like, I don't want anyone to die on my set. He was dancing, and he was so courageous. I was like, honestly mesmerized. And so he was on the floor. And then coming up, as you see mud on him and at the beginning, he was not naked. He was just with the outfit. And the outfit was a collaboration with the designer. So the stylist was so afraid that the outfit was going to be like all dirty because she needs to get it back. And we were like, we don't want to return a dirty outfit to our designer. She nearly had a stroke because she was afraid and we were always afraid, but h did it perfectly. But you had to adapt it, like in the way so he doesn't be all the time in the mud or anything. So we change that a little bit too because the set changed. The dance piece in the original live dance piece. Don't change anything, just the lighting different things, and that's it. And now it's on a different set, we had to adapt it a little bit, but we respect it like most of the dance piece. So we didn't change a lot in this one.
"...we wanted to make it more profound and to make the film as another entity from the dance piece. So we started working together on how we can collaborate together, how we can adapt it...."
Melissa Ramos: I'm interested in how you approached looking for the locations. Did you have in your mind being in a room and in the field somewhere, what was your approach and what were you looking for in each location?
Hadi Moussally: So the idea that showing the starts inside his house, inside a room, that you see a lot of big windows, but at the same time, you know that you're inside the box and to finish outside in the field. We wanted this contrast because the idea of the field is, it could represent an imagined space. Or someone's going to see it as if it's a real field. But why not? It could be both.
The idea is that you get out of your box and just have fun, be who you are. Maybe the walls are real, but you can get out of them in your head. And this is the idea for 'Oh Boy!', that even if you're lonely, you can be happy or sad about being lonely, you're always free to be outside of this world. So I think now with locked down and everything is happening. It's good mentality to have this to know that even if we're locked down, we can do a lot of things and we don't need to have this pressure of saying, 'oh we're lonely and everything'. No, we can be outside. You can read, we can imagine. We can have fun. We can zoom.
Melissa Ramos: Interesting, because I was thinking about you when you said to me that, you know, you love being around people and I'm thinking, oh, I think they're in lockdown. I'm just wondering how you how you're coping with not being able to be around people? (laughs) But I see that you've come to peace with it. You're OK with it.
Hadi Moussally: It's complicated, I think, because at the beginning I was happy in London, because I was moving around and travelling, which at the beginning, people were like, ah, you're not happy because you're travelling like, yeah, of course, I'm happy to travel. But when you spend one day in the hotel, and you're always with a bag going. And at the end, I was trying to redecorate my hotel room, I was like, OK, that's very sad. I'm lucky. At the beginning of the lockdown, I was so happy. I'm like, I'm going to be at home, not going to move. I stayed 50 days inside the house. I didn't go out one step outside of the house because, like especially in Barcelona, it was very restricted. You can go only to buy food and come back. You cannot go for a walk. You just go to buy food and come back. So I said I'd prefer to be a prisoner inside than being a prisoner outside. So I'm going to stay inside of the house. I didn't move. And so I was so happy because I was finally, as I told you before, that I was so happy to have time for creativity. I was like looking at a lot of stuff. We had a lot of books, having fun. And I was inspired by the world, what's happening on set with this catastrophe. But I was very inspired to see how people react to this kind of thing, how people are like, oh, it's so hard. And also you realize why it was important, thats the priority. So it was so inspiring in the beginning. Even I did my birthday normally I was like planning two birthdays, one in Paris, one in Barcelona, and invited a lot of people. And we're like one hundred persons and everything was cancelled, of course. So I did a Zoom birthday with a lot of people. And it was so beautiful to have this different approach and also I did a film out of it. It's called, 'Belly-Dance Vogue'. You learn a lot about what's worth it and what's not. What you want to do, we have one life.
Melissa Ramos: I really love the way you transition the two scenes between the room and then the field, it was so seamless and at the same time I felt like I was still in the room. But in a very imaginary space with the way it is, I actually thought you were in a field of lavender. Do you work a lot with colour in your compositions approaching different scenes?
Hadi Moussally: Yes. So this field of lavender is, in fact, a field of mud and it all in postproduction. Honestly, Olivier did all the post-production and when we filmed it, it was just after Christmas and I think it was at the twenty-eight. The second day of shooting it was all mud, it was raining before we arrived. And so we looked at the field and we were like OK, it's an interesting field. But it's not colourful. But we didn't realize at the time, we were more like talking about the performance. We want to do this, because we cannot change the field, it's a little bit complicate. So we started, we shot all day, not actually, half of the day, because otherwise I think he would have pneumonia. Thank god he didn't have anything. And so when we were doing the post-production, Olivier, told me, 'maybe it's interesting just to change the field colour'. I'm like, 'can you do that?' I thought it was very complicated and you have to spend days doing it. And he was like, maybe it's going to take half a day, we did a test shot.
It was normally dark green, the mud and the herbs on it. So he changed it, the dark green to lavender. But we have to also respect because if you change this, you have to be careful not to change the colour of his skin, the colour of the outfit and everything. And we realized we could change it easily. It's funny because people think its' one click, it took half a day. And when you looked at it, it's amazing. And so we showed it to Antonin and he was like, OK, let's do this. The field could be imaginary or not, the idea of the field, it's more to have the freedom to be like a peace space, a beautiful space.
And even he changed the colours of the sky because, as you know, Paris, three hundred and sixty-five days is grey. So that's why I like the colour of the sky, to put it more like a blueish, even though it was completely grey. So yeah. It was like this was all in postproduction, the colours at the end. And I think I love to also have like bright colours. The contrast with the dark colours in all my films, I love to have colour, especially when you receive them, you remember also the colours of the films. Even the poster, you know that this colour is for this film.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah, quite distinct. And the rhythm of the film is really intimate and dynamic, reflective and fragmented. Can you comment about your editing style?
Hadi Moussally: This one, we needed to take our time in the editing, especially at the beginning, it was more like we take our time to see that close-ups. Because we don't see his face until maybe four minutes, close-ups or from far. And so we wanted to have this, as if the dancer is born, is coming out. His body is moving slowly. So the editing at the beginning was slow. To take our time to see his body and the close-ups to see his muscles, different parts of his body. And then after when he gets up and starts to look at his shadow, the shadow also represents, as if you're playing with yourself, or someone else and you're doing little tricks in your head. In this scene, we started to change the editing. And to be more striking have more cuts and to make it dynamic and going back and forth with the shadow. To him dancing as if there are two people dancing, one in front of the other. Then at the end, when he suddenly appears, the shadow scene into the field. At the beginning, we took the same idea of having slow editing at the beginning to the field. And then after more cuts editing, to make it more dynamic at the end, it gets more and more intense at the end. It stops and it gets back to the beginning.
"I finally understand, I understood who I am, that I'm hybrid. I'm mixing a lot of genres and a lot of things differently."
Melissa Ramos: I'm interested in how you started working with dance films.
Hadi Moussally: Yeah, with dance films I started at the beginning, adding dance in music videos. I always loved to dance. Especially, I'm more into Oriental dance, but how do you skew your body, how to express to talk, to tell a story with your body. And so I started at the beginning to put a little bit in music videos, that was ten years ago, I think maybe in 2011, nine years and the first we can say, dance film, was one chapter of the 12 project. The 12 project is a project I did in 2015 to 2016. It's... Get ready to hear this, 12 months, 12 films, 12 photos, 12 models, 12 designers and 12 themes. There's a lot of 12. That's why we had that idea to have the title of The 12 Project. So it was a big project and it was, each month is different and independent. But at the same time, when you put one after the other, it's interdependent. So there's was one month, the theme was men, because the first theme for me was women. For me, a woman, it's like when you get born and it's nature and Mother Nature. And six months after we said, let's have the theme men. And then I had the idea to work with a dancer and instead of dancing on music, which is the first thing that you think of when you want to dance, we had the idea to dance to a poem. And so, it was my first experience with dance films. It was on a beach and it's all about the poem. The poem is called X Y and it's all about the first letter, like expanding, never-ending before us whining. And it's X Y, X, Y, X, Y. It's a beautiful original poem that one of the team of the 12 project, RJ Arkhipov, and so he was dancing on it at the beach. And you see the tides getting up and going down. It was so beautiful to see for the first time, a whole film as based on dance. And so this was my first experience in dance film. And then after the second one, we did on a photoshoot before 'Oh-boy! With him, because Antonin was also a dancer and we did a photoshoot with him. But it's all based on dance poses. After we did 'Oh-boy!' And since I'm always interested to mix a lot of genre. Even in the 12 project, this is where I really started. I love to work in dance, mixing with fashion, mixing with experimental, mixing with poetry, because this is where I qualify, I finally understand, I understood who I am that I'm a hybrid. I'm mixing a lot of genres and in different ways.
Melissa Ramos: Yeah. I love that. You have a company called h7o7 films where all your film works are so beautifully crafted, design and produced. Fashion plays a big role in your works. So in your view, why is fashion so closely connected with dance?
Hadi Moussally: To define a fashion film. There's one definition from one of my favourite photographer and filmmaker, in the fashion field his name is Nick Knight, and he said he defines fashion, as fashion and movement. For me, this is one of the definitions. Because fashion film is so complicated to define, because what is a fashion film? Because it's fashion movement, of course. But what's the format of it? Is it the campaign or is it a dance film? And is it experimental? It's very hard to define a fashion film. For example, you can see big movies, Hitchcock movies. It's also a fashion film because fashion is very important, the colours, the shapes and everything. So fashion is also very related to dance films because as I said, it's fashion movement. And so the difference between a photo shoot to see the clothes is that you see them like in the photo. But when they move, you can see how they are moving with the body. So when you add a dance to the fashion, you're going to see a movement very exaggerated and you can see the clothes in a very different way than just like walking or just sitting. And this is what's very interesting under the relationship between dance and fashion film, because fashion, you need to have the language of the body and why it's the best language to have with dancing. Dancing, I think for me is the best way to express yourself with your body. So if you have both of them, it's amazing. And this is why I love to mix both of them. I hate, hate, hate that people qualified me only as a fashion film director because I'm so happy to work in fashion. But for me, you're reducing all my work only to fashion, which is a very important thing in film, but it's not the only thing in my film. For example, 'Oh-Boy!' you can see the scene with the shadow, at the beginning, he was naked and he puts a coat on, a transparent coat. And for me, it's not only because it's beautiful, it's very beautiful, but it has more meaning than that. It's as if the coat is his second skin and him putting it on is like being like born again and having a new body. This is the idea of using fashion with meaning, the 12 project is the same thing we didn't work with the fashion designer just to be like a campaign to show and sell their films because they can do it by themselves. They have a lot of money to do it. We said we want to show your collection with meaning. Tell us more about your collection. Tell us what it talks about. And we can have the idea to create something together, to show it differently, not just to show it beautifully. Even sometimes you see the film, you don't see it that correctly. You just, you know, have a perception. Campaigns is very good. I do it for the commercial reason. I do it for clients. We have all the commercial work. I do it like with pleasure with clients. But, you know, there's a lot of marketing behind it. It's a lot of targets and everything. But for me, the artistic freedom that I do like this project 'Oh-boy!', I think this is where I want to have fun. I don't want to sell anything.
"We don't need to be formated to one thing. We can be a lot of things."
Melissa Ramos: Do you also have the choreographer, the fashion designer and you together discussing ideas? How do you guys work and collaborate together?
Hadi Moussally: It's very different in each film because it depends on how it's going to happen. Because, for example, sometimes I have the idea, I saw an outfit that I find very inspiring. And I wrote and had the idea after seeing the outfit. So you have the process of seeing the outfits and then after writing the film or the opposite, writing the film at the beginning and see which outfit work with the stylist, that's going to be like looking and where we can find a designer that can match what we're writing. And so this is more like the fashion and for the dance and the choreography, it's also different because since you're going to work with the outfit and you're going to dance with it. It depends on what the choreography, what you're doing, because, for example, if you have a beautiful outfit, but you cannot even move with it in while you're dancing, we cannot use it. Or maybe we should change a little bit in it. Maybe you can use it differently. So we really need to understand the body language and the choreography, what we need, want to do and also to see what's the fashion that we can use with this. For example, for 'Oh Boy!', it was more like we did the choreography. Since we didn't change a lot from the dance piece, we knew what's going to be. So after this, we saw what he could wear. So that's why the stylists Marie Scirocco work, seeing PR agencies, because in this one there was two designers Hed Mayner & Sean Suen and so we went and the agency started looking at the PR agency to start working with the designers, which outfits, which collection also because it depends on its collection. So with this one we started with the choreography, with a dance and with all the dance moves. And then after, we looked at the outfits.
Melissa Ramos: It's really great because I've never met or spoken with an art dance film artist, filmmaker who really gets involved in the outfits as much, and it actually elevates the story a lot more if it's crafted cohesively with the idea, the movement, the cinematic language. Really, it was just so seamless. It just worked organically together. When you watch it, you get taken away. Really seamless.
Hadi Moussally: Thank you so much. Thank you. I'm sure, especially the style is going to be very happy because for me it's beautiful product because it's a teamwork. We all work together. And for me when we're together, we're more stronger. And when you mix fashion for me, why not mixing fashion with dance? Why not mixing fashion and documentary? Mixing dance and with poetry. And it's a lot of fields. Maybe we can talk more about it now. It's how we are all hybrid and we are all different and we're going altogether. I don't want to be only a filmmaker and photographer. I don't want to be an only a fashioned filmmaker or a dance filmmaker. For me, I want to be all of this, and we live in a society where they all put us in one box. And if you're out of this box, like we're talking about the box again, 'Oh Boy!' you have to get it out. But it's like I don't want to do one thing in my life. I want to experience a lot of things. I love to do sculpture, I love to do paintings. I want to discover new things. I want to learn a lot. I don't want to just do one thing. All my life for me at the beginning, I wanted to be a math teacher. I know it sounds crazy. And then I started my engineering studies. And then after, I realized, it's not what I wanted to do. And then I changed to do filmmaking. So I did one Master Degree in feature cinema, and then I wanted to learn documentaries. So I learned documentary. And I had another Master Degree in documentary and then I worked in fashion. So for me, I'm already a hybrid and I think we are all hybrid. We just need the courage of doing what we want because we always have to stick in one thing and to do always the same thing. But no, we can do a lot of things and so on. I love to mix. If I can mix fashion with dance, with poetry, with fiction, with documentary, even sometimes I'd love to do fiction documentary all together because it's just about having fun... OK, I have to respect this or respect that. Of course, I did the studies that you have to respect this kind of editing. We don't need to be like formated to be in one thing. We can be a lot of things.
Melissa Ramos: As you said, you studied film direction in France and you made several documentaries and experimental films and crossing between fashion and fiction. And you recently founded a collective called Hybrid Wave in which you collaborate with 30 hybrid artists around the world. So can you talk more about that? And how did that start? What drove the collective?
Hadi Moussally: So this collective was so happy to finally be able to understand, I especially thanks all the artists around me, because as I said before, I work in fashion than incorporate fiction and everything, but I was more known for fashion. People always telling me you're a fashion filmmaker because all my films were mostly in fashion film festivals, but even though they were also in others. But anyway, so it was always hard for me to be, to know who am I? Because as I said, like all my studies, documentaries, feature cinema, engineer and all of this for me to know who am I, it was complicated because, for example, for the fashion field, I was too artistic, and for the artistic field I was too fashion. So I was always in between and not knowing. I said, OK, but I love to mix all of this. For example, I did a project called Positive. That at the beginning, it's a campaign to talk about an organization against the discrimination of Albinos. And because she's a model that I worked with, in the 12 project, she has this organization. And so we work together. I told her, maybe we do a photo and videos - for have more effect. So I started combining. She's albino's with the other two who has vitiligo. And so we worked with jewellery designers and a lot of accessories designers. Also the film after it was all around the fashion and more experimental film festivals, but for galleries were like, OK, but the artistic galleries. And they were like, OK, but it's too fashion. I was like, why is it too fashion? Because they say there's jewellery inside the photos, I'm like, and what and so what? And they were, yeah, you know, it's like as if you're selling the jewellery that I'm like, no, I'm not like, didn't you read my statement? Its talking about the positive-negative. And we took one part of it and we changed it to show that if you change for others, it's not going to change anything. You have to accept your stuff. But who you are and everything.."But yeah, there's a lot of accessories in the project". OK I was like, no problem. So it was around 2016. I was like, OK, but I don't understand what should I do? Less fashion in it? I'm like, and it took me a lot of time.
And I remember one time I was a friend of mine, was helping me to do my biography because she writes a very beautiful way. And she was like, yeah, but like, if you can qualify yourself in one word, what could you say. I'm like, I don't know, hybrid? She's like, 'what do you mean by hybrid'? I think I'm a lot of things because like I see myself doing fashion, I see myself doing dance, I see myself doing an experimental, documentary, all of this. And she was like, but doesn't exist as a word. Like as a hybrid artist? I'm like, I don't think so. But I think, even though we're putting ourselves in another box called hybrid. But at least this box is open for everyone. It's like literally for everyone. And even though it's just to make the society happy again that you're in the box again, but at least you're doing whatever you want. So I started like thinking, OK, but I'm not the only one like this. And a lot of people like mixing gender and all around me. So I, like all my friend artists, I was talking to them, I don't understand. You are a photographer working mostly in fashion, but I see you working also in documentary and doing things you don't want to develop other things also other than fashion and they're like, yeah?...And also other filmmakers. When you're very busy in your work and a lot of things, you talk a lot of people around you, but you don't have the courage, maybe have the courage and time to like, say, OK, let's do something together. And lockdown Covid arrived. And so we started questioning ourselves like, what the hell am I doing? I'm like, OK, I stopped my engineer studies that I was doing at the beginning to just pay my bills because my parents were like, we don't want you to be an artist and be a homeless man at the end of you. They just want me to be like a lawyer, businessman or engineer. And then we're like, OK no, I can be another thing. And I told him, don't pay me anything. I'm just going to find a student job. I don't want you to blame me, like we paid you and you didn't do anything. They accepted it. And that's perfect. At the end I looked at myself. I was doing more commercial jobs. I was doing artistic freedom, maybe once a year. But other than that, because you have to pay your bills, which is normal. I was working a lot with commercials and advertising. So I was like, why did I do all of this? And I changed to do my passion. But at the end I was doing something just to earn money. So what's the point of doing this?
When it was lockdown. I had a lot of time. So I contacted all my friend artists that I've already talked about this, artists that potentially can be interested in this and said, OK, let's do something that's very simple. The Hybrid Wave is just create and have fun. And their like ah that's what we do. 'Are sure this is what we do? Or this is what you think you do? Because we always think about the audience. We're always thinking about what they like. And I was like, maybe lets start to do what you like and don't care about the what the audience will like and if they're going to like it's good. And if they don't like it's good too. You don't care, just have fun, create experiment. And we were all in this together. We can help each other. Because maybe I'm good at this and maybe I'm not that very good in this, but maybe you can help in this thing that I'm not good and maybe, you know, and it's just about sharing knowledge and creativity and maybe collaborate together. We never know. So we just have fun. We don't have competition. You have the right not to like what he's doing. But it doesn't mean it's bad. It just you don't like it, which is normal. I'm not going to like all the other the artistic works of all the artists, why they would be like, oh my, I like my work. It's not possible. It's human being not to like or not like. So it's all about respect, it's all about being together and we're together, we're stronger. And especially in this beautiful artistic field. It's all about contacta too. So if you need a contact, maybe I can help you. But that's what I said. And I don't want it to be an elite like we're all in this together and we're against the others. No, it's something that we have, it's a personal work. Because we have to work on yourself and how to be a better human being. If I can help you on something, just giving you contact its not going to make me any less thing. Like you know, and say it's for me. People are always afraid of me. I understand. Especially in the artistic field. People are afraid that if you get them the contact, maybe they can hire you. But this means you that you don't trust what you're doing because you have a problem with your yourself. And I think you have to know that you are different. Everyone's unique. There's no competition. And if you can help someone, it's perfect because I hope someone will help me one day when they need it. And this is the idea of hybrid and it's from all around the world. I think it's 30 cities at 22 countries. And it's artists like, honestly, it's so beautiful. And each three-month, four-month we will vote for a theme and we start working on it. And it's so beautiful because it's like you can work by all by yourself, you can work with another artist, you can ask for help and you can work with another artist from outside of the collective. You don't need to be always in the collective, but it's interesting to show how one theme each did. It's completely different work from the other and that's why it's beautiful. And so we're going to do it. We do the work each month and then after we change and we start at the beginning of work in our selves. So the first theme was a self-portrait and how would we see ourselves? Who we are? And then after we develop the teams, the teams we work together. And so the idea is just to have fun. It's something that we really tend to forget.
Melissa Ramos: Without the expectations to be a particular output or anything like that. Yeah, it's such a great space to be in and collective. Wow.
Hadi Moussally: And everyone is welcome to this. You just need to have the same idea of the hybrid going back to how to create to have fun. It's not an elite. It's like it's open to everyone. You just need to be like, yeah, just want to have fun and everyone's welcome.
Melissa Ramos: Oh is this on your website that you can find out more?
Hadi Moussally: It's www.hybridwave.art We send you a form with just questions. There's no portfolio. We don't need to see what you're doing. It's just the idea of like literally what's your vision, what's hybrid to you? How do you see yourself? Because it's not as I said, I don't want to be a competition. I don't want to select your portfolio. And saying he's interesting or not, no, it's not about that. It's not a competition. It's just you have to have the same vision like us. And that's why I call each one of us an element of hybrid wave. And we have to be all in this together. So there's a bad element. It doesn't mean you have to get out. You should be all cohesively together. So that's why I like each new artist to come. I don't want to be like ninety-nine percent with men and one percent women. I want to be at least, you know, cohesive like it's how we're all in this together. Not like for example, ninty-nine percent men, maybe one percent women, maybe women are going to be afraid to join because it's the majority of men. You know, I want it to be open for everyone. We don't care if you're a man, women, trans, or anything. It's all about having fun and cohesive together.
"We all work together. And for me, when we're together, we're more stronger."