Sebastian is a great videographer, photographer, and editor. He’s also an all-around nice guy. It’s been wonderful having him as a friend and co-conspirator. Sadly he’s been recruited by the darker side, i.e. the commercial world. I keep hoping he’ll see the light and return to us. Unfortunately the young man needs to eat so I’m thinking that might not happen any time soon. We’re here for you, Sebastian, when you need us.
Sue: Sebastian, How did we meet?
Sebastian: We met at Mike’s Tavern at one of Andrews (Assistant Director) shows with his band.
Sue: Right. What were you working on at the time?
Sebastian: Around this time I was working on a few music video projects, mostly in the Boston and NYC area.
Sue: How did you get hooked up with those?
Sebastian: With the Boston contacts that was word of mouth that originated from an A&R representative from Wyclef Jean’s in-house team. The NYC client I actually found on Craigslist! It’s amazing how when you are hungry you can find anything if you really pursue it. But ultimately once you start creating content, eventually that creates a ripple in the water which then leads to new clients and opportunities.
Sue: I remeber you getting busier and busier after I met you to the point now where you’re totally untouchable. What are you working on these days?
Sebastian: I wouldn’t say untouchable, but picky. I am currently a Creative Video Producer for an in-house agency, it’s a great gig! Great freedom with great responsibility. So this has my full time attention, however, I am still doing my creative music videos and short films here and there. There comes a point in time where you shoot everything and anything you can get your hands on to get exposure and grow, but eventually you get to a point where you can’t keep selling out, or just doing it for the money. I have always had a vision and now that I have the luxury of declining work I can just take on the projects that stay true to who I am as a creative visual story teller. I am actually working with a local artist who is getting attention from a major label, but most importantly is aligned with my creative vision to shoot a music video, which will be shot in the next few months. There is also a client from Boston who I am eager to shoot with, but we are just fighting a hurtle with funds. Once that is dealt with we will shoot. And last but not least I hear that Sue Lange is shooting another short film in the near future which I am also going to be a part of! So I am just staying true to who I am as a video maker.
Sue: I’ve always been amazed at the people you’ve worked with and the things you’ve done at such an early stage in your career. Of course you’ve told me that you actually got started in high school, so you have been at it for a while. Still, you’ve achieved a lot at a young age. As you know, I’m terribly fond of your still photography too. You have great connections in that arena too. Do you ever feel conflicted about which of the two to pursue? How do you reconcile these two related, but not quite the same, disciplines?
Sebastian: Ah! Great questions, first of all thank you for your kind words 🙂 I believe that our time here is too short to not act on our thoughts and ideas, my parents have always encouraged me at a very early age to follow my dreams which in that makes life so much easier. But funny you say great connections in photography, because I really don’t. Photography is something so raw to me, more pure than anything, I recall that I was always in love with video that photography never really crossed my mind as something to pursue, just something that was fun here and there. As a matter of fact I didn’t shoot much of anything for about four years after high school, it was always video. Then a high school buddy, Bradley Ritter, started to shoot stills and he inspired me to take on photography much more seriously, so I bought a camera and started to shoot. From there I was so determined with photography that I got into an internship in NYC with a photography agency called “The88”, from there it all started to build, that now I am in love with shooting stills, especially landscapes. I actually saw my self going into too many different directions with video and photography that recently I had to refocus into video, with video I am much stronger and I need to continue to keep building. However, I still go out a few times a week and shoot stills! In a way it serves as my healing process for my soul. It’s a spiritual exercise. This falls back to staying true to who you are. I only shoot what I love, if my heart is not into it I won’t do it. But both photography and video have their ways with me, I love both, so I’ll keep doing both and see where they lead me.
Sue: What films that are out there are you attracted to? Which ones would you have loved to dp?
Sebastian: Personally I am a sucker for Action/Dramas, so films like the Bourne series, The Dark Knight, and a few others I love. I would have loved to shoot any of those films. I personally feel that is where my heart is, action, and its funny because I have never done any of those. However, The Life Of Pi was incredible. Superb film! I also enjoy suspenseful dramas as well, like the Butterfly Effect! God I would love to shoot films like that, those that keep you on the edge of your seat.
Sue: Okay, I’ll write one like that for you!
Sebastian: Okay sounds good, please do and let’s start shooting some bad ass action/suspenseful/dramas!
Sue: I think those are pretty big budget. Have you ever thought about moving to LA where those kinds of movies get funded?
Sebastian: I gave that some thought before but deep within I feel that I am located in a great place, so close to NYC where a lot of magic is happening, and honestly you don’t need to go too far to create your own destiny. I feel that you can make it happen anywhere you are, it’s only up to you to change your ways and start within and see where it takes you. And besides I love home, being so close to my family is where my heart is. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Sue: V. cool. Glad to hear we’re going to keep some of the talent around here. I hope we can build a filmmaking community to make it worth your while to stay.
Sebastian: Exactly! I feel that the little I have lived, there is so much more to uncover and build from that the potential is infinite, we just need more positive thinkers and go getters so that we can inspire others. At the end of the day I don’t do this for the material gain, I do this because I love it. Sometimes we get into things because of the money as if it’s going to save us but in reality no matter how high the price is if we don’t have our souls and heart into things we do, we won’t ever be happy. So thank you Sue for always believing and trusting in me, let’s see what the future holds! Thank you for reaching out and asking these wonderful questions 🙂
Sue: No, thank you. And hang in there!