Oliver Asadi posing with his hand on his face, looking into the camera

Oliver Asadi

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a British-Persian artist who grew up in West Yorkshire, I have always been drawn to the power of creative expression in all its forms. Whether it's through painting, photography, or film, I find joy in bringing ideas to life and sharing them with others. In 2020, I completed a MA program in Film, Photography, and Media at the esteemed University of Leeds, further fueling my passion for visual storytelling and pushing me to explore new horizons in the artistic world.

What have you been doing since finishing your studies? What are you doing in terms of
your career?

Since completing my studies, I have pursued a career as a freelance artist and director. I specialize in a variety of mediums, including film, 3D, and photography, and have had the opportunity to work with a diverse range of clients. My portfolio includes collaborations with notable music artists such as Graft, Santino Browne, and Rahul Kumar, as well as high-profile brands like Footasylum/Adidas and Tokyovitamin. In addition to my day job, I remain committed to expanding my artistic horizons and continuing to produce impactful work that inspires and entertains.

What company are you working for, what is your role, and what does it involve?

I'm currently employed at Decksaver, a music equipment company based in Leeds. In my role as Social Media and Creative Designer, I'm responsible for producing a wide range of content to promote the company's products and services. This includes creating engaging videos, animations, email campaigns, photos, and other visual assets that resonate with our target audience and reflect our brand values. As a key member of the marketing team, I collaborate with other professionals to develop effective strategies that drive engagement, increase brand awareness, and ultimately, boost sales.

What experiences at Leeds do you think have particularly helped with your career?

Looking back at my time at Leeds, I believe that the opportunity to collaborate with others on various projects has been particularly beneficial to my career as a director. Working with different people with diverse backgrounds and skill sets has helped me refine my communication and leadership abilities, while also exposing me to new perspectives and approaches to problem-solving. Additionally, I believe that the multicultural environment at Leeds has given me a broader understanding of the world, allowing me to better connect with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Overall, these experiences have been invaluable in shaping my career trajectory and have equipped me with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the creative industry.

Why did you choose to study your particular course? Why did you choose the University of Leeds?

My decision to study the MA in Film, Photography, and Media at the University of Leeds was somewhat serendipitous. I was actually helping out a friend on a film project when I first learned about the course, and I was immediately intrigued by its focus on visual storytelling and media production. As I delved deeper into the program's curriculum and course offerings, I became increasingly excited about the opportunity to hone my skills and explore new avenues of creative expression. Ultimately, I chose the University of Leeds for its reputation as a world-class research institution and its commitment to providing a supportive and engaging learning environment. Looking back, I'm grateful for the chance to have studied at such a prestigious institution and for the skills and experiences that I gained during my time there.

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?

One of the aspects of the MA in Film, Photography, and Media that I enjoyed the most was the opportunity to collaborate with others on film projects. This allowed me to explore my creativity in a supportive and dynamic environment, while also gaining valuable insight into the workings of a real-life production. Additionally, being immersed in a media-rich environment was incredibly stimulating and helped me to develop a broader perspective on various issues and ideas. Whether it was through
lectures, seminars, or discussions with fellow students, I always felt challenged and inspired to think critically and creatively about the world around me. Overall, the course offered a unique and enriching learning experience that I will always cherish.

Did you work closely with a particular tutor or member of the University’s academic staff? Tell us about that experience.

I worked closely with Dr Jim Brogden and Dr Michael Schofield who I want to thank for giving me advice on the industry and a general artistic approach to the way of conducting one's expression.

What activities outside of your studies were you involved in?

I was part of the Leeds Japanese Society and the Leeds University Basketball team.

What would you say to students thinking about studying your course?

It gives you a great chance to try out industry-level equipment, when I was there the University had Blackmagic URSA 4.6K G2 which has a Super35mm sensor with 15 stops dynamic range which is almost similar to that of equipment they would use in most high-budger film productions using ARRIs or REDs!

You will encounter people from all over the world, which for me (coming from a small village) is exciting and you learn all new cultures. In addition, studying at the University of Leeds offers a diverse and multicultural environment, which can be a real eye-opener for students from all walks of life. You'll have the chance to encounter people from different backgrounds and cultures, and learn about new perspectives and ideas that can broaden your horizons in unexpected ways.

I would definitely recommend always renting out gear and studio time as much as possible. This will allow you to hone your skills, experiment with different techniques, and build a strong portfolio that can help you stand out in the competitive field of media production.