Albert Hooi is a director and D.O.P (Director of Photography) based in Dublin. He has produced work for commercial use as well as for cultural institutions such as IMMA and The Abbey Theatre as well as U2 and Universal Music.

Albert Hooi. Photo credit: Andrew Holohan

Where did you spend lockdown?

I spent my lockdown at home in Dublin.

Did you have access to a work space during this time? If not, how did you continue to create work?

I have an office room where I do all my computer-related work. Most of my work involves going on location to shoot and direct so all of my jobs got cancelled and there was no real way to work, but I did pursue a passion project with a friend of mine TJ O’Grady Peyton. We made a documentary about the Covid 19 crisis in Ireland. This was only possible because we were a two man crew and some days I shot on my own to minimise any risk of spreading the virus.

Albert Hooi’s Home Office

Did you experiment with any new materials or methodologies?

I experimented a bit with animation, making some hand-drawn text and scratching into film. It was great to have so much time to experiment during the lockdown.

Given the limitations and restrictions of the last few months, did your work process change at all?  If so, do you think this will continue to change how you will make art going forward?

The biggest change was with interactions with cast and crew, having to stay a safe distance from people and figure out ways to shoot without making any contact or putting people in danger. We shot all of our shots from a distance or through a window and did our interviews online using zoom which meant we had to use footage from people’s computers rather than shoot the interviews on a camera. It also affected post-production as we had to work with our editor remotely rather than being able to sit in with him on an edit which was tough at times and a much slower process. 

I don’t think I will use these methods going forward unless we really have to, but it was a fun challenge trying to figure out work arounds with the restrictions that were in place.

Did you have any projects during this time that went ahead?

Myself and TJ made a short documentary about the Covid lockdown. It was a passion project that we funded and produced ourselves. It was great to be able to keep busy during the quarantine. Other than that all of my other projects got put on hold or cancelled. 

’Parting Us’, Albert Hooi & TJ O’Grady Peyton, 2020

Do you have any upcoming projects?

Yes, work is slowly starting to come back in. I have a couple of short films that I will be working on when the restrictions are lifted and two music videos that are with a micro crew which should be fun. Also working on a Black Lives Matter piece and another Covid related project which should be done soon.

All photographs were provided by Albert Hooi. To see more of Albert’s work visit his website and Instagram.