How did you get started? Tell us your story!
What's up! I'm KC (Kevin Cruz). I started filming and working with video production in my sophomore year in college; it was 2016. I literally asked a friend of mine if I could shoot a music video for him. I said, "Aye bro let me shoot a music video to one of your songs." He was up for it and we made it happen. The video turned out pretty good for it being my first time so I was like, "Hmmm. Let me stick with this for a bit." Before I knew it, I was investing a ton of time into learning the craft, shooting videos for upcoming artists, and other clientele. I found myself enjoying the process as I learned and figured everything out at the same time. I was just doing. What is your experience in the music industry? Do you have any formal training or schooling? If not, are you self-taught and how did you learn your craft? What is your learning style? What are your favorite educational resources (ex. college, Youtube, etc.)?
I'm all self-taught! It's funny because I went to college and got a political science degree but here I am deep in video production. YouTube was my biggest asset in learning and just getting started. It still is honestly. There's a ton of tutorials to learn from. The key is just being able to filter through the videos and decide what brings YOU the most value. I do this by learning or hearing about something that may bring me value and applying it in real life just to see if it actually does bring me value. If it does great, if it doesn't cool, I keep it moving. It's pretty much a learn and apply process over and over again. Learn and take action! As far as resources go, any resource that can bring me value is a favorite whether it's God, YouTube, Mentors, Friends, Family, Books, or Meditation. You get the idea.
What are some credits and achievements that you have? Who have you worked with? Who have you collaborated with?
Hmm. I'll just list things that I think apply. I've worked as Head Director for DOLO Records. I've worked with Boominati/Republic Record's signed artist Swavay. I've worked with Emmy Award Winning Music Composer Matthew Head. Honestly, everyone I've worked with has been great. I'm grateful. Some names are Hadi, Jahnai, Cam The Artisan, Dysfunctional Ron, Korry Richards, Apodcastabout, Vic Blends, Austen Taylor, Jabari Jenkins, and a lot more! Also, I run my own freelance video production company Kev Cruz Productions and I'm a Co-Founder of DOLO records.
What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve encountered or faced in this industry?
At first, it was believing in my talent and getting paid for what I do. It was just part of the game. For the most part, I think anyone starting out at anything will go through that. The cure to that obstacle/problem is to keep doing the work, make sure you're continually improving and value yourself. Be your biggest fan and the things you want will come at the right time.
What are some of your goals this year?
I have a ton of goals. I break them down by daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, and yearly goals. I'll give you guys my year goals for 2020. My first was to officially register my business as a company. That got fulfilled at the top of the year. My 2nd is to travel out of the country and explore. That one was about to be fulfilled but the Coronavirus hit and you guys know what happened. My 3rd is to build my business brand. That's in the works, I have a few things planned for that. My 4th and final yearly goal is to make $100k or more. The year is young and I'm pumped to continue to strive for these goals! Who are the top 3 artists, producers, engineers, videographers, or others you would want to work with that you haven’t worked with yet?
Man this one is tough. Since I work in a variety of different areas of video production, I aspire to work with a lot of names. Directors such as Colin Tilley, Dave Meyers, and Cole Bennett would be dope. Artists such as Russ, J. Balvin, and Kendrick Lamar. Movie directors such as James Cameron, Martin Scorsese and Ryan Coogler would be dope too. I know it's a lot of names but there's so much variety within video production.
Who are your favorite directors? Who do you want to do a music video with?
Colin Tilley, Dave Meyers, and Cole Bennett as far as music video directors. I'd love to do a music video with Colin Tilley, he's been going crazy lately. Very inspirational. I think we would get along pretty well.
What kind of equipment do you have and why?
I have a cinema camera, drone, lights, audio equipment, etc. Video production equipment can add up. Every production has different needs so it's nice to be able to have different pieces of equipment in-house and make a production happen.
What is your creative process like?
It's a continuous improvement process. There's a lot that can come within this industry so I move with what works best at the time. I'm constantly refining business systems and adjusting business practices. Basically the creative process is under an umbrella of a bigger collective process. I'll talk about the creative process for music videos. At the creative process, I listen to a song over and over again. I'll catch the vibe and try to understand the tones, hues, feelings, and energy from it. From that I'll form ideas and collaborate back and forth with the artist. Once we have a good general idea of what direction we want the video to go in, I'll make a treatment and shot list. Of course there's more to this, we have to go through the stages of pre-production, production, and post-production,
What’s your favorite go-to order?
It's none! I prefer to make home-cooked meals. Most times, it's the healthier choice.