I recently had the pleasure of working with Glen Graham on the music video for Free Crib by Skuuta. Glen’s a regular name around these parts. He shot my two videos, Dark Side of the Pole and U-Need. I worked with him on DraGon, Diamonds and the Barber Battle III as his assistant and I even got to assist him during a wedding. I must say my photography and filmmaking skills and knowledge have increased ten fold since meeting Glen. Whether its the hands on experience or just business discussions, I’ve learned so much about business, art and even friendship. For that I’m grateful.
I arrived at the “Free Cribs” shoot a little out of it. I was tired and knew it would be a long day. We were shooting a music video. It was set to be a house party. There were, at one point maybe 50 “18 to 21 year olds” dancing and talking and as I sat down to say hi to the production team, I knew I needed to get my bearings. Not even five seconds after arriving, a very stylish man with a sweet smile came my way.
“Hi,” he said reaching out to shake my hand. Then he hugged me. Then he kissed me on the cheek. This was Skuuta. I was completely captivated.
Skuuta was doing 50 different things. He was prepping for his video shoot. He was rallying his friends. Keeping everyone’s spirits up. Answering lots of questions. Answering his phone. Trying to wipe up spills and make sure everyone had a soda and yet any time, any one walked through the door he made sure to look them in the eye and greet them. I loved it. He is a very genuine man. Don’t let his spiked cap fool you.
On top of that, his single, “Free Crib” is good. It always helps when you’re hired by a client and their work is actually superb. I’m not a big hip hop, rap fan and I know so little about the culture, but I know good music when I hear it. I know it because as a dancer, I start creating routines to it. I know its a good song when I’m dying to get into the dance studio to move my body to it. As soon as Skuuta’s single is released, I’m downloading that. I’m pretty sure every other pole dancer is going to want his song too!
Every time I’ve worked with Glen on a project, its been different and it teaches me a new thing about production. For this a lot of it was about crowd management and trying to figure out how to get the shot, when you’re shooting a party. How do you stay out of the way of the director? How do you keep the energy up? How do you keep things from just going crazy when you have a house full of young adults ready to burst? Glen handled his shit. He was so professional yet approachable and so was Skuuta. His friends kept me entertained. First off, they were so stylish. I couldn’t get over their “hip, easy going, I’m not really trying, but I still look fresh” vibe. I loved how they were all there to support their friend. It’s one thing to be in a friend’s music video. It’s another thing to stay half the day shooting the same scenes over and over and over again. That’s when you know your friend’s care and believe in you.
I liked their energy and vibe. From their conversations you could tell they were big into social media. If you need a fresh take or inspiration on marketing, go listen to a bunch of young adults talk. They loved style, music and pleasure. And at the end of the day they wanted to simply have a good time. That’s life.
Skuuta, thank you for being a phenomenal artist and genuine, caring and sweet. You’re incredible and have a charisma that will disarm a lot of people. And Glen, of course, thanks for letting me be a part.