REMEMBERING 2012

THROUGH THE LENS OF CRU JONZE

CRU JONZE

2012 AND BEYOND
2012 brought forth some new things into my life. Having recently been laid off from my job of 3 and a half years and having worked full-time since I was 17. For the first time in my life I had the ability to focus on photography and video projects. Both have been a big part of my life from a young age, but now I had the chance to see what could come from focusing on these two mediums. Having spent the past 2 years networking, meeting and becoming good friends with some of my favorite artists. I had a chance to collaborate with people I enjoy being around and on projects I believe in.
During this past year I was able to work on my first two music videos, started working with one of my favorite venues, Avalon in Los Angeles, plus have the chance to develop my skills as a cinematographer. I was not expecting video to completely overtake my goals for the year, but I allowed myself to fall into what felt as a natural progression. I took advantage of opportunities to work with my friends and produce some great work.
This is a collection of some of my favorite projects of 2012. Including stories of what you can't see in the videos, my experiences while working and the things that went down to make these videos possible. But first I leave you with a little sample of what's to come in 2013 from Cru Jonze. Thank you to everyone who has been supportive and helpful in allowing me to merge my love of music and film this past year to create some unforgettable moments.

MUSIC VIDEOS

URULU

SEP 27TH, 2012
On the heels of just finishing my first music video with Dell Harris. I was approached by artist Urulu to direct, film and edit a music video for his upcoming EP Sincerely 91. Urulu and I met through some mutual friends and quickly clicked and had mentioned a few times about working together. Having just recently met Stephanie Angulo, who stars in the video. The timing of it all felt right and things just fell into place.
The video was filmed through out Downtown Los Angeles and Avalon in Hollywood over the span of 4 days. It was an interesting experience to say the least, as the video takes place overnight and into the morning. Experiencing Los Angeles as an empty city gives you a new appreciation towards certain parts of the city and makes for some pretty fun times with the crew.

DELL HARRIS

AUG 20TH, 2012
I was originally approached by AC Slater to help produce a couple videos for Dell Harris down in Atlanta. Having known AC Slater and Dell Harris for some time, I was more than happy to collaborate on these videos. Plus I had never been to Atlanta, so that was a nice upside to the project. The concept was pretty simple and all shot in one location. The only downside to the project was that we only had one day to film it all. That's not the most difficult thing in the world, but it sure put some pressure on everyone.
The day of filming came around and we felt pretty comfortable with everything that was suppose to go down that day. But much like many things in life, they don't always go as planned. We ended up having to move our location last minute, scramble to transport everyone and the video takes place in a party environment so if we weren't already fighting time, people getting a little wild didn't help the whole process either. All in all I believe the whole music video was shot within a 6 hour period. Not a lot of room for error, but looking back at the final product, I feel that we did a great job with what we had to work with. Not to mention that it made it to the top 50 music videos on MTVs website.

STEED LORD

MAY 30TH, 2012
Over the years I have looked towards my fellow music friends for advice on many things, but one set of artists I tend to look towards the most are Steed Lord. Not only do they produce some amazing songs and put on some of my favorite live acts, but they are a creative powerhouse when it comes to their brand. Taking care of all artwork, photos, videos, collaborations and so much more. They are one of the only artists I know who take care of every inch of what you see when you think of Steed Lord.
For this project the I was asked to join and film one of their live shows that later would be edited into a live music video for their record Hideaway. Filming live shows always brings some difficulties to any project, but when you have such an animated act to film, it makes things a little easier. As mentioned before, Steed Lord is a creative powerhouse and they were able to take my footage and turn it into an interesting live video to watch. Expect more collaborative projects between us in 2013 and if you haven't heard of them yet, they're worth a good listen.

INTERVIEWS

12TH PLANET

AUG 29TH, 2012
If you've ever been to a hometown game of any sort, you understand the amount of energy a hometown crowd can bring. The same can be said of Smog's takeover of Control at Avalon. Deeply rooted in Los Angeles, the amount of energy Smog and 12th Planet bring to any local show in quite impressive. The night was filled with an enormous amount excitement by both the fans and the artists performing that night.
Having known 12th Planet since his days residing in Orange County and long before Dubstep became a household word, it was an exciting night to be documenting what was about to unravel. Being friends with most of the Smog crew, there was a lot to document. Some made it into the video and others didn't, but in his interview, he talks about the night, working with fellow producers and his fears about traveling to Asia.

DROP THE LIME

SEP 19TH, 2012
It's always a treat when Drop The Lime comes into town. Having worked with him and Trouble & Bass for a couple years now, It's always been an adventure when he's in town. We mainly find ourselves talking about music. The state of electronic music and all the sub genres that have spawned in the past few years. As one of the artist really pushing electronic music in new directions, it's always a breath of fresh air to hear what he's been working on and the response of his work. I really admire him for all the things he's done and in this interview he talks about his current projects and things to come.

JUSTIN MARTIN

MAY 10TH, 2012
Deep House is one of those genres much like Trap, seemed to sneak in from nowhere and become the biggest thing of 2012. The best representative of the genre can be said to be the San Francisco based label Dirtybird. Control as a party allows genres to cultivate within Avalon by allowing prominent labels in their respected fields to take over the night and bring in all their hard hitters and push genres of music into the mainstream.
The main focus of the night was Justin Martin. With his premiere album about to release, Dirtybird and Justin Martin had a lot to bring to it's fans. Having barely met Justin Martin and Claude VonStroke, I was surprised by their friendliness. It clearly shows when Justin Martin decided to do the interview in his hotel room while he laid in bed. The night brought many new experiences for me and a new appreciation for Deep House and Dirtybird.

GREEN VELVET

NOV 16TH, 2012
Everyone seems to have their favorite artists and genres that they stick too. I personally love a vast verity of music, but from time to time there are still artists that may be household names to some but are lost with me. Luckily, working with Avalon this past year, I've been exposed to many artists I never would have known existed or perhaps knew one of their records, but never knew much about the artists themselves. One example of this was Green Velvet.
I had heard the name repeated many times throughout the halls of Avalon, but never really knew much of him. As the date neared, friends of mine would talk about him and I quickly realized how important he has been to electronic music and what a privilege I had to be interviewing him. I'm always been excited to meet new artists and get an inside look at the kind of person they are. Some are what you'd expect, others take you by surprise. This was the case with Green Velvet. I was surprised by his positive attitude towards almost everything he did, his religious views and how he loved reaching out to young producers. Meeting people like him make me happy to be documenting the things that happen in front of me during these nights. It only takes one person to make a night memorable and this was one of them.

PROMOTIONAL

DELL HARRIS

APR 27TH, 2012
One of my favorite style of projects to work on, are the projects that involve me following an artist for a full day to document their day to day activities. Sometimes it's a promotional piece, interview or even a music video. My favorite part of all this is not just documenting an artist, but also getting to seeing how people approach their day and the interactions that come about due to their talents. For this video, AC Slater and I spent a full day with Dell Harris to promote his new mix tape Right Now Volume II. It was a good glimpse into his life and also a great inside look into the city of Atlanta.

TROUBLE & BASS

FEB 8TH, 2012
Building relationships with artists has always played an important part in how I work. I enjoy working with people I can call my friends and that mutual comfort between both parties allows for your work to feel real and unique. This has been true on many projects over the past year, but one stand out project for me was the night Trouble & Bass took over Control at Avalon. Having worked closely with AC Slater and Drop The Lime, I was welcomed with open arms by Star Eyes and The Captain.
Even though they all may reside in New York. T&B has built quite a following in Los Angeles. The goal was to capture not only their take over of Control, but their day as they arrived one by one into town and the events that lead to the memorable night. The video really showcases their friendship, popularity and creative ventures they each have. When you have subjects as fun and animated as this crew, it's hard not to end with a great piece of work at the end of the night.

WHIIITE

NOV 15TH, 2012
I'm sometimes approached by artists for my scrappy way of documenting things. It's funny to be described that way, but my years of shooting and filming BMX has made me into a person that can come into a situation, quickly analyze my options and execute ideas quickly to achieve a goal. It doesn't end there though. Being tightly involved with the editing process, I'm able to distill down what I captured into something that is exactly what you strived for from the start or a version of the original plan while still maintaining your initial goal.
With a short deadline and only a day to capture any new footage, Whiiite and I worked together to create a promo for his debut EP. His ideas were strong and with our friendship going back many years, we were able to accomplish something interesting to promote his EP and the launch of a new brand. I was happy to be a part of this and look forward to doing other projects with Whiiite in 2013.

AC SLATER

FEB 16TH, 2012
Being friends with an artist allows for a level of comfortability that randomly spawns the urge for either the artist or myself to pick up the phone and call one another with a crazy concept. This was the case with AC Slater to promote his Australia/New Zealand tour. I first received a call while he was on tour in the US and talked to me about the concept. We laughed a bit and felt it was a perfect fit for him. As you'll see in the video, we had to gather up some interesting props for the idea. The most difficult one was trying to find a Australian flag. We drove all over LA looking and calling different places to track one down. Who would have known trying to find a flag from a different country would be so difficult. All in all it was pretty fun tracking everything down and then trying to learn how to play the didgeridoo.

EVENTS

Z-TRIP

AUG 2ND, 2012
I've always been grateful to have the type of access I do to artists. It's lead me to become good friends with some of my favorite people that I look up too. Other times it can be as simple as being able to stand next to an amazing DJ like Z-Trip and capture the astonishing things he does best. This night was combination of a few things. The main one being able to see Z-Trip play, but the other was also being able to experience such a memorable night with good friends who shared the stage with him that night. Weather in the crowd, on stage or just working like I do sometimes. I'm always grateful for the small things that my camera has brought into my life.

RUSKO

AUG 10TH, 2012
Rusko was the first big Dubstep artist I saw sell out Avalon back before Dubstep became a mainstream sound. His high energy and melodic choice of tracks seems to connect with his fans in a special way. His smile, energy and dance moves can be quite contagious. And when you wrap it all up in a venue such as Avalon, It's hard to not come out with a great video. Although I don't know Rusko personally, he's always been a person I've enjoyed running into from time to time and just being able to say hello.

FLOSSTRADAMUS

DEC 7TH, 2012
Flosstradamus has always held a special place in my heart. Mostly because they were the first live DJs I had ever seen along with Kid Sister. I was a professor at a local college at the time and was barely getting back into electronic music. Our school was volunteering with Etnies for their 2007 Goofy Vs Regular contest. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs were the headlining band of the whole event, but Flosstradamus and Kid Sister were the stand act for me.
After that night I was hooked more than ever with electronic music and with Flosstradamus. Fast forward 5 years and they have been one of the biggest proponents of Trap music which has seemed to take 2012 by storm. Other people like Bird Peterson have been pushing the mixed genre for a few years now, but perfect timing of other variables have put the genre in every producers heart and adding more power to their arsenal.

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