Don’t miss our brothers Esperanza at the Inman park festival this weekend. Should be great weather and a chance to hang out before our events on Fri-Sat
Archive for April, 2011
For those of you not familiar with Dustin Chambers… he is the man behind all of our recently released videos with Aleon Craft. And he has a new website, CHECK IT OUT HERE
I caught with one of the young guns in music video directing, SMKA affiliated Dustin Chambers, and all around top notch dude. One of the guys that I’m expecting to see a lot from this guy in the future so good to drop into Dustin Chambers & The SMKA Experience.
Was directing always where you felt you wanted to be?
Yes and no. When I was a kid, I really wanted to be a director, then in college I wanted to be a documentary photographer, and at this point I do about 50% video and 50% photojournalism. They’re two very different types of storytelling, though I find that my documentary photo style seeps into my music videos quite often. I’ve always connected less with directing narratives and more about creating rhythmic visuals.
Where are you originally from?
Has your hometown/how you grew up affected your outlook on filmmaking at all?
I grew up in a very visually literate family; my mom is a painter and my dad is an advertising photographer, so I was always around it. As I got older we would pick apart commercials and photos as we saw them in passing, so I really learned what a successful visual was, what an unsuccessful visual was, and most importantly, what elements made them each that way.
Who inspired you to get into the field?
It’s hard to say. I of course have my favorite directors, but in terms of music video, I really got into it when I got iMovie in Junior High or maybe even earlier. My first video was some stuff I filmed at a July 4 parade in a friend’s neighborhood; I cut it to Born In The U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen, and it was really magical to discover the power of making a cut as a beat in the song hit. Great editing is still the most important thing to me. Also, a huge inspiration in music video editing is a little movie called Interstella 5555, an anime set to Daft Punk’s album Discovery. It’s unbelievable. Every single movement, flash, cut, blink, etc. syncs with the beats of the album.
What has been your greatest tragedy and triumph in the business thus far?
Hmm, tragedy? I generally avoid tragedy at all cost. I guess as I still feel like I’m starting out, budgets are very low, and there’s no money to rent lighting equipment. This is fine, fortunately cameras these days allow to shoot in very low light while still looking pretty damn great, but it’s definitely a crutch. Directors, including myself, aren’t learning to light their scenes, and I feel that’s really crucial to the next level. So. That’s relative tragedy.
Triumph. I guess being lucky enough to be affiliated with and respected by SMKA. They’ve definitely got a huge movement going on in Atlanta and I wouldn’t be anywhere near it without them. If you’re trying to learn how to come up in the game as an artist, producer, or manager, watch them, they’re smart and tasteful.
I’m also very thankful that Aleon Craft was the first artist I got to work with extensively. It meant a lot to fall in with someone who was willing to have fun, be weird, and try stuff that most rappers wouldn’t. Don’t get me wrong, Craft has got swag, but he’s not afraid to let his guard down and be human. I’m tired of rappers trying to fit into that tired old bling mold. It’s not about that anymore.
Favorite 5 movies & why?
This is always tough. Excuse most of these answers being based on the visual aspect of movies:
City of God – For all reasons good movies are good. Cinematography is gorgeous, but the kicker is the editing. Just watching the opening scene, from the sharpening of the knife to chasing the chicken in the alley, it’s all perfectly executed.
Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark – Childhood favorite. Like all older Spielberg, the cinematography is epic and unlike most movies today, it’s all real! No shitty green screen and CGI backdrops.
Barton Fink – I’m a Coen Brother fanatic. This is a weirder one, but all the performances are great.
Chicago – What? A musical? Yes, a musical. I love this every time I see it. Great actors, great music, great choreography. I like most anything that feels like a really long music video.
Spirited Away – Hayao Miyazaki is in another world.
Favorite 5 albums/songs & why?
“Babylon” – OutKast – Ultimately my favorite OutKast song. The humming on the beat. Big Boi’s coming-of-age verse. Incredibly relaxing.
Grizzly Bear – Yellow House – A great album to put on and tune out. One summer I listened to this and played Earthbound, my favorite SNES game as a child, a whole lot. Now when I hear it I see little flashes of the 16-bit characters walking about. Maybe that’s bad?
Pixies – Doolittle – Nonstop jams.
The Roots – Phrenology – This was my first Roots album, lots of high school memories attached to it.
The Beatles – Rubber Soul – My childhood jam. I listened to a lot of Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, and Beatles when I was little thanks to my pops.
Where do you believe your strengths are in this game?
My strengths…I’d say my strengths in terms of video is editing. I can polish a turd pretty well. In terms of “the game”, probably just practicing good business. Communicating well with others.
To up and coming directors what advice can you give them about focus, how to get into the industry, etc?
I’d say practice like hell. I know I keep going back to the editing bit, but it’s so important. Filmmaking is relatively very very cheap these days; you can be a one-man studio. It’s what I do. To be able to edit in Final Cut efficiently, so you can translate what you have in your head to your sequence as easily as possible, is imperative. This will also teach what works in terms of flow and what doesn’t. Find people to make free videos for so you can keep practicing. Setup a website with WordPress or whatever you want that showcases only your content. Be a nice guy, people like nice people. Call people back, respond to emails quickly. Reach out to people you want to work with, more likely than not, they’ll be down for at least a beer.
What are the craziest moments you’ve had on set?
I can’t say there have been really crazy moments on set. Shooting Aleon Craft’s video for “Sunday” was just a crazy two days of driving around in a Bronco. We would find ourselves in someone’s neighborhood, pick them up, drive around for a take or two, then move on. It was a blast. There was a moment when I was like, wait, is this my career I’m carrying out right now?
Where do you see your future leading you? What is the endgame for Dustin Chambers?
I honestly have no idea. I have a lot of very different things going on. I’ve come to the realization that I’ll eventually have to choose a path and stick with it, but for now I’m just working really hard and having a lot of fun.
This is the 3rd Annual Project from SMKA… The 808 Experiment: Vol 3 (Enjoy!)
The 808 Experiment is an annual compilation produced and released by SMKA. In just three years the series has become a popular, and anticipated, project in the hip-hop community. The strength of the series rests on the range of the artists, as well as the quality and variety of the music. Each year SMKA attempts to work with a new collection of artists who have consistently produced quality music. The 808 Experiment: Vol 3 is the continued evolution of the series, and more than ever showcases a cross section of hip-hop music. The free compilation features nearly 40 different artists, and truly demonstrates the range and talent of producer 808 Blake of SMKA.
In the past 2 years The 808 Experiment series has featured over 50 artists, including: Yelawolf, Pill, Tanya Morgan, Nappy Roots, Shawn Chrystopher, Playboy Tre, Outasight, Stanza, Joe Scudda, Kyle Lucas, El Da Sensei, Fat Tony, Supreeme, Fresh Daily, Tom P, Hollyweerd, The Canz, Senor Kaos and many others. The project has also been featured in many of the top hip-hop blogs, sites and publications from around the US, and abroad.
Executive Produced by SMKA
Produced by 808 Blake of SMKA
Engineered, Mixed & Mastered by: Robert Earl McDaniel ll of SMKA
Guitar Provided by 7King of SMKA & David Feldman
Base Provided by Chris Price
No Shit Taken by Mike Walbert of SMKA
Art Direction and Design by Esperaza-ATL
1) In The Laboratory
2) Laws ft. Thee Tom Hardy – “Live My Life”
3) Spodee – “Who Run It”
4) DaVinci – “Slide Through”
5) Aleon Craft ft. Grip Plyaz & Tuki (of Hollyweerd) – “My Girlfriend”
6) Donny Goines ft. Bobby Creekwater & Mikkey Halsted – “For The People”
7) Nesby Phips ft. Phil Ade – “Do Re Mi”
8 ) STS ft. Tony Williams & Freddie Gibbs – “Cloud of Endo”
9) Sam Dew (of Cloudeater) – “District in the Dark”
10) Jack Preston ft. Spree Wilson – “Mechanical Love”
11) brandUn DeShay ft. Young Lyxx & RE – “Quite the Fiasco”
12) Scar ft. El Prez & Aleon Craft – “Smoke & Ride Out”
13) Jackie Chain ft. Rittz, Jarren Benton & Young Scolla – “Certified Shit”
14) A-1 the Supergroup ft. Raye Rich (of FKi) – “After Party (Hotel)”
15) Casey Veggies ft. Young Scolla & Skewby – “On Everything”
16) Mike Schpitz ft. XO (of Diamond Distrcit) – “So Cruel”
17) PRGz – “Rocks & Rolls”
18) Goines ft. K.Sparks – “Less Than Zero”
19) 4-ize – “Four 16s”
Cover Cheat Sheet
1) Aleon Craft
4) 808 Blake
6) Thee Tom Hardy
7) Brandun DeShay
8 ) Jackie Chain
9) Mikkey Halsted
10) Grip Plyaz
13) Freddie Gibbs
14) Raye Rich (of FKi)
15) Jack Preston
16) K. Sparks
19) Jarren Benton
20) Mike Schpitz
21) Phil Ade
22) Spree Wilson
23) Tony Williams
27) XO (of Diamond District)
28) Young Lyxx
30) Nesby Phips
31) Sam Dew (of Cloudeater)
32) Young Scolla
33) Casey Veggies
34) El Prez
35) Dawgy Baggz (of PRGz)
36) Bobby Creekwater
37) Mata (of PRGz)
38) Chris Price (a.k.a Space Bass)
39) Tuki (of Hollyweerd)
40) Donny Goines
41) JT (of A-1)
42) Gee (of A-1)
43) Gunt (of PRGz)
We are in the process of mixing down our album “Young Scolla meets SMKA: Seconds Away,” which is coming out soon. (Date TBA)
DL: Round & Round