Kahn's Comics Connection

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Only 30, director Joseph Kahn is a music video superstar, having directed clips for everyone from Britney and Christina to the Wu-Tang Clan and U2. He's turned George Michael into a crustacean, stuck Moby in a spacesuit and he directed Eminem's "Without Me," which took multiple honors at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year and Best Direction, and also won a Grammy. Last month, in the midst of editing his feature, Torque - a motorcycle action flick starring Ice Cube - he transplanted his production outfit, SuperMega, from the recently shuttered Palomar to Stavros Merjos' HSI, where he's poised to take on the commercials world. Kahn's shift seems a wise move considering HSI's track record for propelling MTV talent into commercials stardom - witness Paul Hunter and the Nike "Freestyle" phenomenon. But the deciding factor that put HSI over other contenders is the fact that Merjos "is a huge comic book fan, and he used to have one of the largest collections in the world," Kahn says. "When it came down to figuring out what we had in common, which were a lot of things, he cinched it with the comic book speech. A guy who understands that will understand where I'm coming from. I know that sounds really absurd, but when you talk with creative people, sometimes you've got to speak their language, and he definitely spoke mine."
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