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Ninian Doff

Writer, music director

in director, mac, writer

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Ninian Doff. I'm a writer and director of music videos (Run the Jewels, Chemical Brothers, MF DOOM, Miike Snow), various commercials, and my feature film Get Duked! won the SXSW Midnighters Audience Award and came out on Amazon Prime this year.

What hardware do you use?

I literally just got the new MacBook Air and my previous MacBook Pro no longer stayed on when it wasn't plugged in. This interview is the first thing I've ever typed on it. I'm a bit scared of it right now.

I also have an iPad with the Pencil (for storyboarding, mainly), which is a very expensive way to scribble crappy drawings but I keep justifying it to myself that it's faster that scanning in things?

I bulk buy Pilot Fineliners (1.2mm tip) and have them on every desk, pocket, bag as I slowly lose them all then rebuy more boxes to slowly lose again. They're my favourite writing things down and doodling pen.

Years ago I took the wrong pad of paper out of a stationary cupboard at an old job and let out an audible gasp when I wrote on it. It was "layout paper" which I'd never heard of but is basically super thin. Anyway for reasons I can't explain it gives me deep pleasure to write on it, so I have lots of pads of that even though I'm not laying everything out or whatever it's designed for.

I think I should include "shitty bike" in my hardware as 90% of my ideas have been generated riding around on various shitty old bikes over the years listening to music.

Aeropress and £30 milk frother for coffee.

And what software?

Final Draft for film scripts - mainly as that was THE scriptwriting software when I first started trying to write. I've heard lots of great stuff about Scrivener but can't be bothered switching now.

WriterDuet - this year I've been writing a TV show with a writing partner and thanks to Mr. Covid we've done the whole thing remotely working on the same script doc in real time through WriterDuet. I've had some horrible buggy attempts at using shared online script software in the past but this program has worked really well. It's not perfect but it's pretty close.

All other writing is in Google Docs.

I used to do a lot of motion graphics so occasionally dip my toes back into After Effects as I love it, but it's less and less needed for me - but I do use Photoshop a lot still.

I lay my storyboards and mood boards out in Pages.

I procrastinate daily on Lichess - free and amazingly well made online chess site.

What would be your dream setup?

Early morning. A great view in a window in front of me. A good desk. Just peaking on my first coffee of the day. A great idea in my head.