I've worked with many different young directors when it comes to music videos over the years and not many are able to match or expound on the ideas that might be floating through my head during any given shoot. And then came Andrew John Burks. I was impressed initially by a snippet off of previous Spotlight creative 6 Cardinal's music video. The clean swooping shots in full HD glory hit the right buttons in my head and before I knew it I was in Drew's inbox. Andrew is the type of person that gives one thousand percent when he works and it shows. He's never come off like somebody who is just there for the check. He cares about his craft and it shows in every one of his videos. Here's a snapshot of what goes on in the mind of the man behind the visuals:
Ivan: Your visual style is very unlike anybody else in the music video genre currently, what influenced your style?
Andrew: I'm a huge nerd when it comes to technology. Cameras and Computers are my thing. I grew up watching "The Box" and MTV when they played music videos 24/7. Back then, there were hardly any special fx in music videos. 90's music videos definitely have an influence on my style. But, now I'm just having fun with the way technology has evolved.
Ivan: What's the most fun you've had while hard at work on a set?
Andrew: I have fun on all my sets because they are all different in their own way, from the artist to the different styles of music and concepts, nothing is the same.
If I had to pick one, I would say "6 Cardinal - Unknown Substance". It didn't go exactly as planned. 6 and I had an idea that we were going back and forth for a couple weeks.I like when my shoots are well thought out and have props in them.
Ivan: Have you ever had musical aspirations?
Andrew: Definitely, my musical aspiration is to have a entire media presence. I want to be an online source where you can watch dope music videos, live performances and interviews.There are a couple plays being made right now and we will see how they follow through. For now just have to take it day by day and take care of these smaller goals.
Ivan: I met you through 6 Cardinal, how'd you guys get down?
Andrew: 6 and I have history. We met each other in day care. When I was like 4 or 5 years old I think. We became really good friends and then lost touch around 3rd grade I believe.
I literally didn't hear from him until my senior year in high school. He reached out to me, we chopped it up, caught up and well here we are today.
Ivan: Since you're usually behind the camera, do you value your privacy?
Andrew:I actually love being in front of a camera too.The problem is I don't have anybody dedicated to be behind a camera for me.
As far as privacy goes, its 2016, there is no such thing as privacy. Everything is only a Google search away.
Ivan: What gets you in the mood when it's time to edit?
Andrew: Usually right after I shoot something I'm already excited and start editing it that same day. Some of my projects take some time just because I don't like finishing anything in 1 day unless it was planned really well.
I watch other peoples work and that can spark some of my ideas as well.
Ivan: You've done music videos for mostly hip hop acts, do you see yourself branching off to other ?
Andrew: Absolutely. I actually done a couple other projects besides hip hop. I feel like I'm in this niche where only hip hop artist reach out to me because thats all I have done lately. But if any other genre reaches out to me. I will be ready.
Ivan: Any advice for the aspiring film makers out there?
Andrew: Don't let anything hold you back. Were in a era where smartphones are recording as well as some of these DSLR cameras on the market. I too, always catch myself wanting the next best camera or accessory. The funny thing is even if you go out and spend all your money on the camera you dream of, within 6 months there will be a camera better than the one you just bought. Its a vicious cycle, just work with what you have.
Ivan: What's the best way for an artist to get your attention?
Andrew: I'm always on the hunt for new artist to work with. Take your talents to South Beach and lets shoot. I have a Facebook, Instagram and Youtube channel. Its very easy to reach out to me.
Ivan: Top 5?
Andrew: Artist? Tupac, Em, Nas, Big L, Method Man. The order depends on how I'm feeling that day.