Monday, August 20The Voice of London

Interview With “Hood Documentary” DOP

Reynold Maunze, or as he prefers, Rey, is only just starting his career but already has several accomplishments under his belt. Last month, the 21-year-old worked alongside Kayode Ewumi and Tyrell Williams to bring to life the Hood Documentary, which has been racking in viewers at a phenomenal speed.

Words: Tiasha Simon, Subeditor: Lauren Burgess

Kayode Ewumi gained popularity with his humorous Vines which spread through Twitter like wildfire. When talk of a mockumentary came into play; it was highly anticipated.

Support flew in from U.K celebrities and Twitter fans were quoting parts of the mockumentary in no time; the character of “R.S”, an acronym of “Roll Safe” having people in fits of laughter.

I sat down with the young filmmaker responsible for the cinematography in the comedic success.

When did you know you wanted to get into film-making? 

Reynold Maunze: I knew I wanted to get into film-making when I was in year 13 at Sixth form. Media Production was one of my a-levels despite having picked it to drop it, funnily enough. After I received my a-level results and not doing as well as I’d wanted, I made a last minute decision to change my degree from Advertising and Marketing to Media Production. I wasn’t sure if this was right for me at the time but I soon started to see myself loving and enjoying the art of film-making.

Tell us about your new company and how it got started?

R.M: Boxmotion is a media company. We specialise in music videos and promotional content. It’s a partnership me and my colleague Jack Dewar started in our final year of university. We figured, “why don’t we start a company?” Jack did a lot of corporate and promotional content and I did a lot of music videos and weddings. We’d worked together on non-university related projects and found that we have a good partnership. So we applied for ‘Speed Project’ which funds students and locals to start small businesses and haven’t looked back since.

Is there any director’s work you look to for inspiration?

R.M: There a lot of directors work that I look to for inspiration. I mainly follow the work of music video directors, these include: Eif Rivera, Nabil, Lawrence Lamont, Colin Tilley, and Director X. They all have different styles to their work and it’s interesting for me to see that because that helps me in understanding my own style as a filmmaker.

Source: Reynold Maunze
Source: Instagram

What keeps you motivated within the media industry? 

R.M: [It’s] my love for what I do. I enjoy my work and I’m always looking to make it better. The drive to always want to keep improving, it keeps me motivated.

Let’s talk about your latest project, how did you get on board filming the hood documentary?

R.M: It’s a funny story really; me and Kayode knew each other from university. We shared a mutual friend and studied in the same building. He was doing drama or theatre I’m not sure but it’s between the two, so I knew he was an actor. Then after university finished I started seeing Kay all over my timeline on Twitter via retweets. It was crazy. After about a week or two, I found his Twitter I just decided to message him about working together. One thing led to another, I met Tyrell, a close friend of his who is a writer and director now -we’re the producers of this Hood Documentary.

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Source: Twitter 

What was the vibe like on set of filming the mockumentary?

R.M: The vibe was chilled. We were focused and knew what we wanted to do. Of course, sometimes there were times when the humour got the better of us during the shoot; we’d then have to compose ourselves. We have a lot of fun shooting “R.S” – not just us behind the camera; Kayode enjoys his portrayal of the character.

Hearing the same joke multiple times makes comedy is one of the hardest things to film, how was it for you?

R.M: I agree. Shooting comedy at times can be difficult because you’re bound to hear a joke countless of times during takes. For me sometimes it’s difficult to continue shooting a take after hearing the thing. If that starts happening we try to move on hoping that when we do revisit the footage, the comedy is intact and that execution is good enough to make the cut.

Hood documentary gained a lot of views very quickly, were you expecting this response?

R.M: I personally would have been happy with 50,000 views after the first week but when it went over 100,000+ views during the first week, I didn’t know how to react. I knew we had something special and different to anything else out there, but I couldn’t anticipate it getting as big as it did.

How was it seeing celebrities respond to something you had worked on?

R.M: It was weird seeing celebrities tweeting the link to the Hood Documentary. It’s humbling to see that support from them, and of course that helps push the Hood Documentary even more. I think for me ultimately it just means that a career doing what I love is possible because now a number of people have seen my work, and who knows what doors this could open.

Source: Instagram
Source: Instagram

The bar has been set high, is there any pressure to keep to the same standard?

R.M: Of course there’s pressure to meet that bar, if not, exceed it. For Kayode and Tyrell there’s even more pressure for them to construct new scenes for the new episodes, as they have to make sure that the comedy is on the money and not too heightened.

Have there been any talks of the second episode?

R.M: There’s been a lot of talk. We are still in pre-production; the draft for episode two is finished so it’s only a matter of time now.

Do we get any insight of what’s to come in the next episode?

R.M: The only thing I can say is prepare to delve deeper into the world of “R.S”.

Your main focus has been music videos… do you want to do more film and documentary work such as this?

R.M: That’s true; I like music video production a lot. I definitely want to get involved in more projects that have a bit more production value. I haven’t got involved in a lot this year in terms of short films and documentary, so hopefully in 2016 I want to focus on getting myself out there through those mediums.

One last thing, what makes your work distinctive to you- do you have a certain style?

R.M: I don’t think I have a unique style of work. But I think I’m starting to grow into my preferred style of work and the things I like doing and don’t like doing so much. I’m beginning to understand myself more and that’s a key part to developing a distinct look in my work in the future.

Watch the mockumentary here:

Follow the director on social media: