Last February, well-known street artist Shepard Fairey came to Dallas, TX for several days to create five murals in the city. While he was in town, Shepard was also set to DJ a party at The Dallas Contemporary—a unique, non-collecting art museum who had brought in local photographer Matt Hawthorne to shoot portraits of Shepard. It was Matt who pitched the idea of shooting a video of Shepard’s process and the party to the museum, and then recommended Wonderful Machine photographer and friend, Dallas-based adventure shooter Justin Clemons for the job.
In addition to still photography, Justin has been shooting motion work for about two years now and was excited when Matt proposed this project. He knew it would be a great opportunity to show off some of his more creative motion ideas and to add another cool video to his portfolio. So, he took the gig and was given full access to Shepard and The Dallas Contemporary facilities.
For the video, Justin knew he wanted to lift the veil off of Shepard’s process—to create a “day in the life” sort of film. Justin adds,
I wanted to show him prepping, painting and then partying. I have an amazing motion graphics friend, Dustin Bailey from BFM Creative, who I asked to be a part of the project. We brainstormed some on how to incorporate his skills to the story and settled on him adding subtle movements that you’d almost miss if you blinked. I love small, subtle things that add interest to a project and I think that Dusty did this perfectly.
The shoot took place over two days in Dallas where Justin documented Shepard as he and his team put up large murals around the city. Justin enjoyed his time with the artist, saying,
While I was shooting Shepard Fairey paint, he was very gracious. I was never in his way; he let me shoot whatever I wanted to. His whole team, which what I saw was about 8-10 people, were all really cool. It was amazing just watching them work. Everything was so precise and planned out. He was extremely cool and open to talk about what he was doing. He really thought through every aspect of his work. Every single detail has meaning. I was impressed with not just how cool it looked but the intellect behind it.
After the filming was complete, Justin and his team got to work producing the final video. He worked with Dustin on the graphics while Matt Brundige (also from BFM Creative) handled editing—who Justin says is “extremely talented at telling stories.” The video will now be used by The Dallas Contemporary as well as a portfolio piece. The project was an extremely fun experience for Justin who adds,
This was another job that at the end of the day makes you smile and think, ‘Man, I am so fortunate to be doing what I’m doing.’ I love my job.