Clearview Film's 8ight tha Sk8 on his approach to making music videos and what's next
Clearview Films has come a long way since filming its first video in 2009. Shooting over 150 videos since its inception, Clearview has been working hard to make a name for itself in the video game. We tapped Antonio Valenzuela, who's worked with Clearview on various projects, to catch up with founder 8ight tha Sk8 for a chat about his approach to making videos, his new movie Grit City and what other projects he has on deck. Keep reading to see what this promising local video director has to say.
Westword: Where did the name Clearview Films come from?
8ight the Sk8: Originally it was Killabrew Screenworks, and I took a little hiatus and came up with a professional name, Clearview. I ran across it at the job, [and it represents] moving from being ghetto to give more professionalism. Clearview was kind of a double meaning, turn your life around a clear view out of your eyes, and it worked for a film reference, too.
How did you get your start in film?
I do music, as well, so I would always video tape with the camcorder, and I started layering music over the footage with windows movie maker. Then I started rapping my own stuff and synching it with music, but I never had the right equipment. Then I started with a Sony Handycam -- that was the first time we actually got some guys together to do a shoot.
It was called "Slapperino" with Me, Frank Teezzi, Ten Terintino and a guy named Gotti. Around the same time, Youtube, Myspace, and Facebook started popping, and I actually worked on a Julox video called "Nothing to a Boss," and the phone just started ringing. In 2010, I did 26 videos with a flip camera and editing with Adobe Premier Pro. So Now I have done over 150 videos.
What aspect of making music videos do you least enjoy?
The organization by artist, as far as creative sense. If they don't bring a creative sense to the table, its kind of hard for me to work on numerous projects, and I have to come up with a treatment for each one of them. Every once in a while, I'll be feeling a song and come up with a good idea. But if we set up a shoot and you come with nothing to the table, it makes us all look bad. We have to get our creative minds going.
An artist with two or one videos a year should have a creative sense of what they want. That probably happens one out of five times. Scheduling is also hard for people to start and end at a certain time. It's always around this time or that and dealing with so many people from around the city, different backgrounds, it can be an obstacle working with people from different walks of life and balance out the differences.
Do you write story boards, or is most of the shooting impromptu -- or does it depend on the artist?
It depends on the artist. Out of 150, I probably wrote a handful of them. Some videos just go. The visual impact on screen just makes it go easy sometimes. I'll come up with ideas and structure of all of them, but treatments are not really my forte, exactly.