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Congratulations on winning Director of the Year; why do you think the last 12 months has been so successful?

Thank you! I’ve had some great opportunities over the past year: doors have opened, I’m backed by an incredible production company and I got into a place, personally, where I felt confident enough to just DO IT. It’s a mix of things! The industry shifting, my years of practicing coming to fruition, having solid teams of people around me. Luck and graft combining.

How would you describe your approach to directing and your directing style?

I believe that the atmosphere on set works its way into the images and, ultimately, that the intention behind the work is queen. So, I give respect and space to the teams I work with so that they can bring themselves to it and feel freedom in their unique creativity. 

It’s all about feeling, atmosphere, detail, emotional storytelling and taking joy in the process of creation.

I guess that approach means choosing more faith and less fear. I find things flow when I build a stage and then take my hands off the micromanagement of it. And then it’s all about feeling, atmosphere, detail, emotional storytelling and taking joy in the process of creation; letting go of the end result so that it can become better than I could have dreamt on my own!

Nike – Nike Italy: Stop At Nothing

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Above: Nike Stop at Nothing.

The work that you've won for is ostensibly about empowerment and recognition; as the first female winner of Director of the Year at the shots Awards, do you think that similar empowerment and recognition is also happening across the advertising industry?

It’s true isn’t it, somehow I landed in a world of empowerment commercials - which is great! It really resonates with my core values, so it’s such a treat to get to make this kind of work. It feels fulfilling to me as it is beyond just aesthetic storytelling, you get to put some heart and heat into it. 

I think there is still work to be done in making space for a more diverse range of voices.

Is empowerment and recognition happening across the industry? I don’t know the answer to that. I am benefitting from it right now, but are enough people? I think there is still work to be done in making space for a more diverse range of voices, certainly some steps have been taken but I wouldn’t say we are quite there yet. Progress.

BBC – 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

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Above: Hudson's work for the BBC.

What have been the biggest challenges for you over the last 12 months and what challenges are you looking forward to undertaking over the next 12?

Sometimes, on a very basic level, it’s challenging to keep enthusiastic in the continuation of pitching on jobs. I think that’s very real. And we build up a tolerance to rejection! But sometimes it’s exhausting investing so much into a pitch that never gets made. Still though, this is the rule of the game, and I accept that. I also find that on every pitch I learn something, and it keeps me growing even if we don’t win the job. 

I need to keep my head up and eyes open and keep invested in my life outside of work so that I creatively and emotionally expand.

This year, I want to take on the challenge of that kind of continued growth in all arenas really! I want my work to keep expanding in its repertoire, just to keep on learning and trying, to try and surprise myself, which means I need to keep my head up and eyes open and keep invested in my life outside of work so that I creatively and emotionally expand.

Zalando – Free To Be

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Above: Hudson's recent work for Zalando.

How important is recognition for the work you produce, and what does winning the Director of the Year mean for you?

I can only answer that question within the context of having experienced this recognition, which allows me to feel pretty cool about it. No doubt things would look and feel very different for me if I wasn’t getting it! I am incredibly grateful for the spotlight lent to me for this moment, and I hope to do justice to it and share it with others when they need it too. 

[Winning Director of the Year] makes me want to get more and more honest in my work, gives me a confidence to take more risks.

Winning Director of the Year was incredibly touching. It made me feel a part of our industry in a way that I hadn’t thought I ever would. It also felt surreal! These accolades are a really welcome gift, so thank you for supporting my work, it really is encouraging. It makes me want to get more and more honest in my work, gives me a confidence to take more risks and encourages me on a deeper level to be who I am, which is pretty cool, ya know.

Apple – We Are the New Colour

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Above: Hudson's spot for Beats by Dre, part of her winning series of entries for the shots Awards Europe 2019.

What are your hopes and plans for 2020?

This year my film, Temper, will be coming out. It is a real piece of personal soul work; from the cast, the stories we tell, the soundtrack that has been made for it. I’m really hyped to share it. Aside from this, I’m going to just keep on going and let more wild dreams come straight at me - life knows how to take you on a trip when you’re keeping an open mind.

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