I first started filming in New Zealand in the early 2000s, skating with friends and one of my crew had a video camera. I was already shooting photos, so he asked me to film some tricks. After a couple months using his camera, I hustled one of my own, an old 3CCD Panasonic DV cam. An uncle was studying broadcasting and taught me the basics of editing. We'd get high and watch Stanley Kubrick films on repeat, studying the cinematography.
I filmed skating and, because of my love for hiphop, started filming music videos, shows and rap battles in NZ.
Fast forward two years, an unexpected move to Australia. 12 hours notice. One of the best moves I ever made. Working in a camera store, Michaels, in Melbourne, I was able to get a bank loan to buy my first proper set up, a Sony FX1. Absolute workhorse of a camera, Over 300 shows with it, countless rap battles and even some skate videos. I was the official video guy for the South Dragons NBL basketball team, filming all home games, and producing a promotional DVD for fans which included videos like 'A day in the life of Joe Ingles'. I kept networking and meeting rappers from all across Australia.
I'd bluff my way backstage at shows by flashing my big camera to security guards (pause), then I'd film the show and bounce.
The first international hiphop artist I filmed was Rob Swift of the X-Ecutioners. Growing up in NZ, I bought a few copies of their album X-pressions, so was a big fan. I filmed the event, got a shout out from Rob for a Zoo York Mixtape tribute, then went to meet him the next day to drop off a copy of the footage. Being a little starstruck, I figured I'd be showing up at the hotel, handing over the DVD (yeah, that's how long ago this was) and bouncing. I got there and Rob asked if I was hungry. We went to Nandos and ended up sitting in the restaurant for nearly 3 hours, talking about hiphop, philosophy, politics, culture... It was an inspiring and enlightening conversation!
That gave me the belief that I could really do something with my love of filming cool shit.
Over the past decade, I've filmed and edited skate videos, countless live shows, interviews and literally hundreds of rap battles for GrindTime Now Australia, 1OUTS, and Don't Flop Aus. It's been a wild ride.
I filmed and edited the fastest viewed rap battle at the time, 360 vs Kerser. It was cool seeing it hit a million views in under two weeks, and has since gone on to over 2.5 million views.
Love good music, skateboarding and the occasional clip of something else? I've got plenty more videos coming soon for you to enjoy.