Now that we are fully back with the Shooter’s Profile, wanted to bring to you all a very good interview with dope New York director and cinematographer, Sebastien Prudent. He goes in depth of his songs/ albums that gets him in the zone and gives some great tangible advice for people within the creative field. Make sure you check it out.
TRS: What is your name and what do you do?
My name is Sebastien Prudent also known as SP1 Films. I am a director, cinematographer and editor. I’ve done many videos trying to bring a cinematic element. If you ask me what I’ve shot? Mostly everything from documentary films to music videos.
TRS: Where are you from and how has being there affected your creativity?
Originally I’m from Spring Valley, New York. It’s apart of Rockland County about an hour northwest from the Bronx and Yonkers. Growing up there, it was very much a sub-urban area experience filled with a lot of diversity. We’re not too far from NYC so I got to experience somewhat of a city life culture. Now living in Brooklyn New York, I’m completely immersed in NYC life so I might be out at 2 in the morning just walking around midtown and riding the Q train over the bridge.
TRS: Explain what initially got you into shooting?
It all started in High School, I took one television production class my sophomore year and I was hooked. I found my calling as they would say. I loved everything about it, from writing a script to the editing. It was only one class but thankfully the teacher at the time Kerwin McCarthy became my mentor and took me under his wing. I worked with him as an independent study and he guided me all the way to applying to college. I owe him a lot for that because the program was cut in the school but he made a way for me. College is where SP1 Films emerged, I gained further mentorship from my Plattsburgh State Television Family. Three individuals in particular I give credit to are Rey Saint-Vil, Andy Tavarez and Tyre Noble, they were upperclassmen that taught me more and introduced me to DSLR Cameras. They run a production collective called CTRL (http://whoisctrl.com/) So throughout the rest of College, I did independent video work for clubs and organizations on campus.
TRS: Explain what does an average day look like for you?
Right now in my life, an average day for me is a lot of hours being awake and little to none sleep. I’ve been freelancing for the past year so I’m always on a hustle. It wasn’t until August of 2015 that I started working for a great media collective brand called Dinnerland (#StayHungry) so they give me clientele and projects to work on. If I do sleep, I’d usually wake up around 7:00am and if I have enough energy, I’d go out for a run then comeback, have breakfast and then check my emails for the day. I get a lot of inquires now that a great deal of people know who I am so I do as much as I can to sort through and mark my calendar for bookings whether it’s video or photography that I recently started getting into. If I don’t have a shoot or an event to be at, I’m usually home just editing whatever pending projects I have. Editing is a tedious process so I occasionally take a break depending on how big the project is. That includes somewhat of Netflix and online T.V. shows. That’s usually my day in a nutshell, everyday is something different, a different shoot, a different event, a different project. I’m just moving forward little by little.
Right now in my life, an average day for me is a lot of hours being awake and little to none sleep.
TRS: What things do you look at or watch for inspiration?
When it comes to this, I WATCH EVERYTHING lmao. No seriously I do, I remember drawing inspiration for a music video from a facebook video. Inspiration can come from anything at least for me it does. So I try as much as I can to look at videos from some of my favorite directors or just in passing. www.nofilmschool.com is where I spend a lot of time reading blogs and watching videos.
TRS: What camera setup do you currently use (camera, lens, other accessories, etc)?
Currently for video, I’m using a Panasonic Lumix GH4 with a metabones speedbooster lens adapter for Canon EF Lenses. I also use a Canon 7D for photography. The lens adapter gives me the freedom to utilize my canon camera lenses and ones that I rent. I have a variety of accessories such as a shoulder rig and tripods but I mostly rent depending on the type of shoot I’m doing.
TRS: What do you specialize in or what do you enjoy shooting the most and why?
I enjoy doing Music Videos. Music is my second passion, I used to DJ in college and I obtained an Audio Degree along with my Television Degree in undergrad. It’s always something that has stuck with me. I am definitely musically driven. I see music videos as a way to bring my two passions together. I’m the type of person that brings some form of film to a song, that’s really what I love about it. I love directors such as Alex Nazari who bring a story element to the music visual.
TRS: Since we believe that music is the center around all things creative, what are your top 3 music albums, and what about those albums that gets you in a creative zone?
My top three music albums…..man that’s tough but going by what I listen to on repeat…well first off I have to mention songs like my guy D.A. The Future’s “Vices” and “Dreamerz Say” He’s an artist that I work with and his music is great, I listen to him a lot.
As far as Albums, top three would be:
Logic – Under Pressure
Logic – The Incredible True Story
J.Cole – 2014 Forrest Hills Drive
Logic’s Under Pressure Album and The Incredible True Story Album gets me up and going in the day time. I never get tired of listening to them because some of those songs speak to me and reflect my life. I go through tough times as everyone does but his music helps to keep me inspired on what I’m doing and drives me to never stop. The production on his albums are amazing and he is a true student of the rap game. He is one that tells stories in his music, The Incredible True Story was an entire story! lol a film I can see. “Never Been” is my favorite songs off that album because he raps about the individual that doesn’t want to fit to society and wants to live their dreams, that’s me all the way. His first album “Under Pressure” I listen to the whole album but more often I listen to 3 tracks: Intro, Under Pressure and ‘Till the End. Either I have these songs as my ringtone or alarm clock. They speak his story and tell how you can stay positive even in the worst of times. “Under Pressure” is one of those tracks that just gets me hype! Whether I’m working out or on the go. If I’m writing ideas down or thinking of errands to run, I’m most likely listening to that.
J. Cole? Man! What can I say about Coleworld?! He’s one of my favorite rappers ever since I first heard his verse on “Looking for Trouble” that verse is what solidified me as a Cole fan, I know that verse from beginning to end LMAO. But let me not get off track “2014 Forrest Hills Drive” is an album I listen to mostly at night, when I’m coming home from an event or wrapping up a shoot. That’s my down time music, that’s the album that I’m listening to when I’m walking around midtown at 2 in the morning. Cole is a storyteller and I can close my eyes and see what he’s rapping about. That album was personal to him and what he does rap about is knowing where HOME is, your family, your friends, your loved ones. It makes me think about why I do what I do, why I have to keep going. It also reminds me that your happiness lies within those elements. No matter if I end up on a red carpet or have a movie in theaters, I’ll always be humble and know who truly loves me. I’ve met Cole four times, one of those times being outside a club and I gave him my card. I joked with him saying hopefully I’ll do a video for him in the next five years, he replied “We’ll see” I knew I needed a plan to make that happen, I needed to build myself up and get better so that would come true.
TRS: Who are some shooters that you follow and what do you admire about their work?
Some shooters that I follow, Jakob Owens (JOP/TheBuffNerds) is someone I follow religiously lol. My best friend Brian and I have been following him since 2011. He is one person who’s work is very unique and he takes his time to show how we as independent filmmakers can be better. Ronald Reid (@TheReidTV/White Cobra Films) is another person I follow, I first came across him when looking for inspiration for a fashion film. His creativity level is 100! I enjoy his projects and like how he markets himself.
Dinnerland! I have so much love for my Dinnerland family. I first met Shake and Sunny through my best friend Jordan at The Earwaxx Sessions, a music showcase and expo that runs every Tuesday in Amityville, Long Island NY. If you’ve never been there, you need to be! So yea, Dinnerland is the collective I work for where we put out urban media content. We work with popular media personalities such as Taxstone known for Taxstone season podcast, Bizkit of It’sbizkit, a popular Hip-Hop blog and Chadlaw of We are the Inner Circle. We also do music videos, event recaps, interviews and more. I knew immediately that I wanted to be apart of this brand. It’s a place where I could grow as an individual and represent a team. For anything in life it takes a team and I saw how Jordan, D.A. The Future and Alex Yake were running things with Earwaxx. They move like a unit so I was with it all the way. Check us out at www.dinner-land.com Stay Hungry!
There are so much more people I’d like to mention: WhoisCTRL, Twisted Pyramid, Kolin Mendez, Jean London Dia, Maine Wes of Emerge Visuals, TommyT, TyMoore Mula. These are fellow creatives that I’ve worked with and draw inspiration from. It’s not always about working for yourself, you have to collaborate, you have to work with people to learn and build each other up. I’m proud to say a majority of us are Black businessmen, brothers that strive for better.
You’re going to be terrible at first, you just have to keep going, keep shooting!
TRS: What is one tangible piece of advice that you would give somebody who has just started shooting?
One tangible piece of advice I would give to somebody who’s just started shooting is this: You’re going to be terrible at first, you just have to keep going, keep shooting! Everyone is an amateur when they start, but consistency and hardwork will prevail, you just have to be willing to learn the ropes and find your creative eye. I keep my early works as a reminder of the progress I’ve made and why I picked up the camera in the first place, hold on to your Why.
TRS: What is next for you?
What’s next for me? Well I just finished a documentary film that will be released late May/early June. Other than that, just continued work with Dinnerland and growing my brand.
TRS: Where can people find you?
My website is currently under consruction, but folks can find me on Vimeo and all social media networks