This video is probably the most influential reason I shoot video today. There’s a unique backstory that goes into the correlation between this video and where I am today in my career.
I remember like yesterday the Saturday in April 2010 that this video dropped. I was throwing parties at least once a month with my sister CC and Birmingham’s #1 radio personality (at the time) Chris Coleman on top of working with my guy CJ here in NC, the owner of Cafe Beyond in Chapel Hill and the host of parties throughout The Triangle.
In both instances we would have solid parties (along with some duds…but that’s neither here nor there), but I was scratching my head on how to get what we were doing in front of people who were not in attendance in a better way…then I saw this video on Luther McElroy’s Facebook page, shot/edited by the crew The Club Nation.
My mouth dropped.
"How the fuck niggas making movies in the club!?!?"
(Hey…that’s what came out of my mouth)
This shit was so slick! I watched it like ten times in a row and had NO idea how they shot it. I was the marketing guy at the time on both teams, recently laid off from my marketing gig in radio. Cameras were nowhere on my mind.
Until I saw this video.
That video also made me make a bad investment, convincing Chris and CC to have us bring Lance Gross to host our Memorial Day Weekend Party in Birmingham (no knock on Lance, at all. I think we reached too far before we - CC and I - truly had enough traction in events, nightlife, etc. and that bad move was the beginning of the end of that venture. Solely my fault).
Back to the point.
I go to pick up Lance from the airport and we’re talking about that video.
"Yeh, and they shot it with a DSLR camera (note: I had no idea what "DSLR" meant when he said it), a Nikon…Nikon D90. It’s like $1500 or so," he said.
We small-talked about some other things on the remainder of the ride - we were at Howard at the same time…I ain’t get an alumni discount though…but I ain’t mad. Hell, my mind was on that camera.
I gotta get it.
My notable post on fear details how I got the camera. Five months later, the D90 was mine.
I’m about to KILL these nightlife videos!
My first video was trash.
My first nightlife video was ass.
…but I got the same camera?
I learned a valuable (but not cheap) lesson.
When I’m out shooting, I have fellow shooters as well as people without a camera in their hands ask me, “What you shooting with bro?”
Without hesitation, I tell them. Currently, a Canon 5D Mark II. Not the top of the line, but that point compliments the point of this post. Hang with me.
Around the time of getting my first camera, I met my mentor Ivan Watkins who taught me so many principles and techniques about photography that probably have helped me even more on the video side. All of my projects, photo and video, began to look a lot better (just browse my blog. Eh!).
There’s so much more that goes into working with a camera besides just the camera.
You can make whatever you shoot with work for you as long as you know what the hell you are doing. Google the Roll Royce commercial shot with an iPhone 5.
The key is to learn what the hell you’re are doing.
As much as one may try to, there is no shortcut to working to becoming a true master of your craft. Trust me, I’ve tried…
Remember that, the next time you’re moved to ask a photographer, “What you shooting with, bro?”
The proper answer should be experience, knowledge, and talent.
(Note: I’m not proclaiming myself to be a master. I’m far from it, actually, as I’m still seemingly in the toddler stage of this journey.)