With actress Chelsea Smith
Born: c. 1969, New York City, N.Y., USA, as Malik Hassan Sayeed.
Education: Howard University School of Communications, Washington, D.C.
Career: 'Sayeed was the son of an actress and a sometime filmmaker who directed documentaries. Moving frequently between New York and Los Angeles [his parents separated after his younger brother was born], Sayeed says his parents were both very creative, but "as an actress, my mom knew what a struggle that life could be. She always tried to protect us, and in fact wanted us to be doctors." While his brother eventually took her advice [he's now a surgeon in L.A.], Malik studied pre-med at Howard University for two years before turning toward the creative arts. It was the need to help pay for his college education that provided the impetus. "My uncle helped me get a job, and my godfather was a lighting designer who wanted to pass on what he knew. Both of them were in the Washington, D.C. theatre union. I started working as an electrician at the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, and on the set of whatever productions came to the area. I watched people working on the set and thought, 'I like what they do,' and then I found out how to do it. So that became my focus. I started by working on graduate students' film projects." He graduated from Howard, and applied to film schools, but didn't get in. He enrolled in some photography workshops in Maine with working DP's. Then he returned to New York and got his first break. He landed a lighting job on 'Malcolm X'. Meanwhile, he was shooting whatever he could, especially music videos. "I was gaffing for Spike, a time when he was in between 'Crooklyn' and 'Clockers', doing other things including a lot of commercials. A spot came up that Robert Richardson, Spike's DP, wasn't available for, and his producer knew I was shooting by then, so he gave me a shot at it. He was hinting that I was ready. And then they asked me to shoot 'Clockers'." [From article by Nancy Bernstein, 2002.]
Met Rhea Rupert, president and executive producer for Little Minx. Joined that company and started directing commercials for Allianz, Canon, Texas Instruments, a.o. Ph commercials dir by John O'Hagan, a.o. Ph music videos. Directed music videos [see below].
Awards: As doph: Independent Spirit Award nom  for 'Belly'.
As dir: Teen Choice Award nom  for 'Ex-Factor'; MVPA Award 'R&B Video of the Year' [2002; shared] for 'What's Going On'.
FILMS & TELEVISION
1995 Clockers [Spike Lee] c
1995 Girl 6 [Spike Lee] c
1997 Eyes Wide Shut [Stanley Kubrick] c; ext ph New York; ph: Larry Smith; filmed 1996-98
1997 The Players Club [Ice Cube] c
1997 Cold Around the Heart [John Ridley] c; 2uc: Geary McLeod
1997 He Got Game [Spike Lee] c; Chicago ph: Ellen Kuras
1998 Belly [Hype Williams] c
1998 [John Leguizamo's] Freak [Spike Lee] tvm
2000 The Original Kings of Comedy [Spike Lee] c; comedy show/115m
2000 Life and Debt [Stephanie Black] c; doc/80m; cph: Richard Lannaman, Alex Nepomniaschy & Kyle Kibbe; addph: Chris
Browne, Talawah Levy, a.o.
2000 Frailty [Bill Paxton] c; co-2uc; ph: Bill Butler
2002 Just Married [Shawn Levy] c; co-2uc; ph: Jonathan Brown
2005 Africa Unite [Stephanie Black] c; doc/?m; cph: Arthur Jafa, Kyle Kibbe, Axel Baumann, a.o.; filmed 2005 (Ethiopia)-06
1989 Avalon [Barry Levinson] ?; ph: Allen Daviau
1991 Malcolm X [Spike Lee] electrician; ph: Ernest Dickerson
1993 Crooklyn [Spike Lee] best boy; ph: Arthur Jafa
1995 The Doom Generation [Gregg Araki] co-gaffer; ph: Jim Fealy
MUSIC VIDEOS AS DIRECTOR OR CINEMATOGRAPHER [Selection]
199? Holiday [co-d: Stephanie Black; a: Witchdoctor]
1996 Street Dreams [a: Nas; d: Hype Williams]
1998 Ex-Factor [dir; a: Lauryn Hill]
1999 Jigga What, Jigga Who [dir; a: Jay-Z]
1999 Think About You [dir; a: Blackstreet]
1999 Meeting in My Bedroom [dir; a: Silk]
1999 Left & Right [dir (as Willie Lynch); a: D'Angelo]
1999 The Greatest Romance Ever Sold [dir; a: Prince]
2000 Birima [co-d: Andrew Dosunmu; a: Youssou N'Dour, featuring Wyclef Jean]
2000 Baby U Are [dir; a: Gerald Levert]
2001 What's Going On [co-d: Jake Scott; a: MTV All Stars/Artists Against AIDS]
2003 Flying Without Wings [a: Ruben Studdard; d: Erik White]
2005 Golddigger [a: Kanye West; d: Hype Williams]
2005 My Humps [co-d: Fatima Robinson; a: Black Eyed Peas]