Creative people walk among us. Most often you can recognize them because they turn up here or there, they participate in important project and usually can fulfil several roles at the same time. I meet Norbi at the Füri ZeneTér, I take my daughter and he takes his guitar. Then I ran into some events where he appeared before the audience as a director, a presenter or just a musician and to tell the truth I became curious. Luckily he immediately said yes to my request, so I could get insight into his activity, thinking and his opinion about the important things in life.
MB: During the interview, we’re just interluding, the kids are singing, so the first question is, how did you get here?
TN: Through Peti, we have been friends for a long time. About 2-3 weeks before starting he called me and told that musicians are needed with instrumental knowledge. Then I came, I listened and as shown, I stayed here one and a half year ago.
(Füri ZeneTér: an initiative launched in 2017, led by Krisztina Eőry, Emil Wagner and Peti Puskás. Pupils of the elementary schools can participate in a school in Budapest, every Monday evening completely free of charge. The specialty is, that it does not follow the traditional order of a singing lesson, but after playful, rhythmic and scaling exercises the children learn modern, today’s hits. The performances were visited already by Viki Lábas (Margaret Island), Tomi Fluor (WellHello) and Miklós H. Vecsei, too – among many other famous artists.. It was a prize winner in 2018 of Highlights of Hungary, as an outstanding, cultural, social and artistic initiative.)
MB: Why is Füri important for you?
TN: It is a quite unique program. I think, we adults, have very few possibilities to do something good for the children that is at the same time is an incredibly good entertainment even for the adults. What we do here is that we learn contemporary Hungarian pop hits as choral works and present them with musical instruments with the children, this is an adventure, I think, that we can experience very rarely in our everyday life.
Meanwhile, it is very good to see the children enjoying it and developing usefully and tangibly and that the children feel themselves well not only because of the music but also of the social experience. This is a development program series in each respect. It develops mainly the children, but it also gives much for us, musicians, and the parents themselves enjoy it, too. Each occasion is an adventure for me.
MB: I used to see you in other projects with young people.
TN: Yes, I represent a kind of a value creation approach with whom I work. So, you won’t be self-doubted, but in the present influencer marketing world be loyal to the brand and self-confident at the same time. This is also a goal in InkPanther Productions (together with my mates András Szalai and Róbert Szín). I deal with a lot of things and we work on film production and we move in the wide area of creative industry in a broader sense.
In addition to InkPanther I am the communication director of the Art Gallery and now the David Lynch exhibition is an important event; beginning from a single idea to the development of the strategy, what to do and how, to stand in front of the people, to coordinate people – these tasks all belong to me.
MB: You participate in many matters in parallel. Did you do it also before? Were you so conscious as a child, too?
TN: i wanted to be a musician from my age of 12, I learned playing the guitar and the piano, and I also played in bands. Then, later – a lot of other creative projects have found me – copywriting, advertising production and then I tended to focus on the film. This is a long story, but I would not be able to deal only with music.
Now, Füri fills up the musical part and I was found by several matters pertaining to movies and I am grateful for it.
I am trying to be a 360-degree creative person, to deal with music, film, graphics, communication, visual matter – a bit with each of them. I believe they have the same origin. Both are the same at the end of te day, no matter you are playing the guitar or the piano, you only have to differently use them, music must be understood in both cases, but if we concentrate on the essence then these are differences only on the surface.
MB: Do you think many people have this feature? How is it present, how do they become, how do they realize themselves? You can be seen in several programs for children and young people, also as the already mentioned conversation with Miklós H. Vecsei, who has very great impact on the future generation. Are values important?
TN: I don’t like to use big words, but I think is is incredibly simple to do value-creating things. If somebody does anything, the purpose is to get out something good of it, to construct something that is good not only for me, but also for others (we do not cause damage to anyone, it does not separate rather brings together and is sustainable perhaps also for the future); to create such a thing needs the same energy as creating the opposite. As to value-creating behaviour, I think that I try to approach it very simply, quasi silly, I try to construct very simply and I think that anybody can do things looking which it is immediately seen whether is it useful or not, does it create value, or not.
MB: What characteristic is value, what they say about you?
TN: In my opinion I can be activated. The common ground with most of my near friends and colleagues, whom I work with is that if somebody tells a good idea, then he/she don’t have to convince me, I say yes, right away, and they are surprised many times.
Peti is also involved in positive initiatives, I think this is a feature of him. I love working, I like what I do.
MB: How should it be imagined, like a creative expert? You write the scenario and join the concept, or just stand behind the camera?
TN: Absolutely, I am a director at InkPanther, I write the scenarios. Sometimes I also direct materials written by others, or materials adapted from abroad must be brought. Tv programmes, advertisements are on the stage, now.
MB: What is outstanding now?
TN: The David Lynch exhibition for example, now we are focusing on tv-programs and working on 1-1 advertisement.
There are three advertisements which I consider absolutely special, I am very proud that I could realize them, they are not typical tv-advertisements, but much more special in my opinion. The essence of the whole is that it is the first advertisement of Axe when not a male demigod must be presented but an average person, who is sexy exactly of this.
My other favourite is the heralding made with Random Trip, 30-40 musicians of category A are involved and this was a very good experience. Shooting was performed with an Opel car, and the campaign is about that.
Great respect for Axe and Opel from brand customers. They try to communicate in a value creative way. It is not part of the direct brand communication, but – a little bit complicated – it much better supports the audience than a direct one.
The third one was the advertisement of Danone Actimel shot in 360 degrees; we could do it among the first ones here, at home, I am also very proud of it. This is a special technique because there is no backstage, it is not possible to hang a lamp or a microphone and this requires a very different way of thinking and concept.
We, as the InkPanther group, did a lot of films for Győr and Gyula, being very special in respect of urban communication. We were given a free hand, we like working with them, too. It is awesome that we can do things like this for towns, these are not called advertisements, but just the settlements can show themselves.
MB: If speak is about the profession, you mentioned the brand, the strategy and marketing – do young people, graduates contact you? What do you suggest them, what would you say for the young people?
TN: Some apply for trainee with us, it is a pleasure to see that the young people are more attentive and they would like to gain experience. Beginning from the drama, and from many other directions.
It is difficult to explain what we recommend for the young ones. We did not use to give a direct advice for those who worked with us in a project from the much younger generation, but there are some basic ideas. One, that I use as a commonplace: Don’t you show your work, your work must show you. I don’t really cultivate grandiose expressions.
Always put a thousand per cent into the work, not the circumlocution is important. If the work is good, then the circumlocution will be good, too. I can see many times in case of younger by 1 or perhaps 2 generations that circumlocution is extremely important for him/her, it is related to the social media, too, but I can see in case of a lot of talented young people that they put more work in an Insta post or just in the morning combing that into the actual work. This would be important, all the rest will come.
I try to mediate this approach.
MB: Did you always have this value-creating approach? Have you ever experienced any disappointment, you failed something or you were not supported?
TN: No, I don’t think it was. It happened many times that the project took a 180 degree turn, but I can easily adapt to these circumstances and I love to work under pressure very much.
I am afraid and weak, when I know something is coming and there is plenty of time till it arrives, but one hour before it happens I am already really calm, e.g. to be 3 months before the maturity exam is much harder for me, then to be there just an hour before. For me, when we are in a given situation, then it is much easier, than just waiting.
I was very lucky, because I could learn from very good people, from István Sas at the university and then we also worked together but in a separate field. I usually run a program at Media Hungary, I organize it the program, I work with Ákos Csermely and by him I could speak very much with professor Sas.
I could work for a period with Péter Geszti and Kepes András, too, I learned much good from them, too. I am lucky and really feel that good people are around me.
A small moment: creativity at top level: Norbi’s forearm has a note of a day’s task – he likes taking notes on his arm; I don’t deal who and what will see and the like, I try to be practical so as not to forget something.
MB: If you had a time capsule, what would you put in?
(I got the ball back, Norbi was so surprised of my question: an exercise-book, a pen, at the beginning the advise to give out what’s in, because sure that he can do huge things, then a photo frame to capture it, and I think that I would give some advice: to do, not to think too much about it, simplicity is the secret.)
Take it as an advice, a guidance for the young people.
TN: I can feel attracted to musical instruments, but the question is difficult to answer because I adhere only to a few objects. I love incredibly playing the guitar, for example I slept with the guitar. And this has remained until now, if there is some musical instrument then I am well, without any trouble. Musical instrument is something that I recommend for everyone, people can learn very much through a musical instrument about him/herself and about life through him/herself. I try to have good approach to life, but I see that many people do not do so and have consequently much stress.
MB: Does it have anything to do with self-knowledge, with value-creation, that you know what you want?
TN: Yes, self-knowledge is extremely important. If somebody knows what he believes, where he goes, what overwrites everything, what is to be protected then it automatically attracts what you don’t. I support this, or I don’t support that. So it is much easier to move in life, if you have a path in which you work. I have such a world view and I try to keep it.
MB: Is this true for your life, do I see well? Your projects reflect you, all good things find you and if I see well you can represent them with your heart and soul.
TN: Yes, they surround me and if success could be measured – although I did not used to to so – then it can be measured perhaps by this for me.
This indicates for me that what I think inside, it is understood and represented by others, too. The more ideas, people and initiatives etc. find me from the broader life, this indicates that I am on the right way.
MB: Thank you for this excellent conversation and I wish you much success in your work!
TN: Thank you!
This interview was an amazing experience. When I edited, corrected and refined our sentences – and listened to what they were singing with the children- I remembered that although I did not get an official reply what would be put in his time capsule, I am sure that Norbi is a 360 degree creative man even today. And we will see and hear this through his different projects.