Thursday, October 11th, 2012 I was officially labeled a director. After a painstaking month of prepping, lighting, shooting, editing and special effects my brand new endeavor Shamar Forte’s new single “Bright Lights” on the EP “Fear of Failure” was released to the public. To say I was nervous would be a severe understatement.
I have been contemplating motion work early in 2012 and I suffer from a severe case of OCD. In my mind I had a plan mapped out as to how I wanted to approach videography. First I wanted to learn all about video lighting. Even though I constantly expound the phrase “Light Is Light,” I wanted to learn how to light video work properly. That started with my learning new types of lighting for videography/film. Then I wanted to learn how to shoot video properly and learn all there is as to how motion pertains to videography work. THEN I wanted to learn all about sound for video and followed my editing. So this was my game plan. My mind works like this: I needed to know all aspects of video work so if push came to shove I can put on any proverbial hat and do the job. In a perfect world this was going to be my exodus in video work.
Needless to say, it didn’t work that way at all.
For those of you who don’t know me, I come from a music background. I got my degree in vocal studies at the Manhattan School of Music and had a pretty successful run singing. Even then I was into photography. But because of those experiences I still have a small foothold in the music industry which is why i shoot a lot of recording artists.
Shamar Forte is an amazing vocalist based in New York and over the years I’ve photographed him for various projects. When he hooked up with the production company New World Group, he asked me to shoot his album cover for his recent EP “Fear of Failure”. Of course, I rose to the occasion. Then he said the oddest thing: “I want you to direct the video.” This wasn’t my version of events as I wanted them to play out. I haven’t studied (other than visually) anything that I’ve discussed above. I declined at first and he was confident about it. “I want to see your photographs come to life. Can you light the video?” That I was sure about.
Sean Baffort was the first camera man while I just provided the lighting schematics. After having production meetings with the group, I understood what they wanted and went about the task at hand and at the shoot I stood on the side lines watching the production open up before me.
As I stood there watching from the sidelines my eyes was seeing a different take and I took out my trusty camera and began shooting B roll footage. I did exactly what Shamar asked for. I shot video as if I were shooting stills. Before you knew it, I had enough footage the first night to create my first music video.
Working with the talented Dan Boujoulian doing the amazing edits and special effects at the Red Car Studios in Soho, we continued shooting more footage and eventually I was at the helm directing the video. The rest as they say are history.
I am officially part of the New World Group as their in-house photographer, videographer as well as video director. 2013 is going to be an amazing year. Now it’s time for me to catch up.
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