Xpanse man Ashraf Ghori is featured on The Dubai Egotist as ‘Creative Cool Guy of the Day’ and we simply cannot stop repeating that phrase since.
The Dubai Egotist is a creative blog highlighting the best creative work and talent in Dubai, the Middle East and beyond. Read the full story here:
Who are you, What do you do, and What’s it like?
I’m an artist & filmmaker. I’ve been a resident of Dubai for over 35 years. I run my studio Xpanse CGI, a digital creative agency as its CEO in Dubai Media City. Xpanse is a small team of talented individuals producing creative content such as animation, branding and web sites for a multitude of clients.
Xpanse and my other actual family keeps me fairly busy. Apart from this, I get to do the artsy stuff like digital painting or CG film-making mostly for fun. Even though it is demanding work I enjoy what I do.
Anything notable that you’ve done?
I’ve done a few things which have put me on the map so to speak. I’ve created the first CGI Sci-fi film from the UAE ‘Xero Error’ which had a successful run at film festivals, even got me on the red carpet at Cannes and garnered a few awards. I’ve produced artwork for comic publishers including Dark Horse Comics & IDW Publishing and regularly get featured as a ‘celebrity’ guest at events like IGN Convention, MEFCC Comic Con among others.
So, You’ve been successful…
Although I’m grateful and flattered by this sort of attention, I certainly do not count myself as successful – not even close. I work hard and continue to do so. I am not particularly proud of anything I have produced or achieved so far and I just know my best is yet to come!
That’s a great philosophy. My philosophy is stupid people shouldn’t exist. Do you ever get asked any stupid questions?
Does this one count?
Probably. But let’s say it didn’t……?
After Xero Error was launched as a short film at film festivals and I had to shelve the dreams of doing a feature length version (owing to lack of millions in cash). I still to this very day get asked by everyone I bump into: ‘Hey how’s the film coming along?’ which puts me in an awkward spot. For people who follow me online on Twitter / Facebook etc, I post all my work and work-in-progress online on my website (www.ashrafghori.com) and believe me if a feature length Xero Error film was in the works they’d know about it already
There are other cool projects in the pipeline though & I’ll surely pick up where Xero Error left off sometime in the near future.
What’s the one thing you learnt when you got started as a filmmaker
Being a naive first-timer in the film industry I was expecting support and sponsors to fall out of the sky for quick fame and fortunes, but as I quickly learned that without doing the hard work and going through the motions you won’t get anywhere. This is where just about all aspiring filmmakers get caught in only to find out that if you want to do something you are better off doing it with whatever means you have at your disposal. The fame and fortunes will follow if you keep at it.
In 5 words or less, tell us your creative philosophy.
I always try to better myself and not rest on my laurels. Which is why this is Xpanse CGI’s official slogan too. Give it your 110% and it comes back ten-fold.