June 9, 2016
Creative Conversations, Volume 2, Pt 2: Brian Cummings
By Elizabeth Lampe
Creative Conversations: An UPBlog Interview Series
Welcome to Creative Conversations Volume 2, Part 2—a continuation of our interview with commercial director and photographer Brian Cummings. Don't forget to check out the first half of his interview!
6. What types of projects excite you the most?
I like things that have a little rock and roll feel to them. I have done a lot of tattoo work because it involves interesting people and a subject that’s kind of taboo. I love working with UPBrand on School of Rock stuff because it’s rock and roll. There are little kids being punk. I think that’s awesome. I love things that have a story, things that don’t feel staged.
7. What do you like most about having an independent business?
Freedom and diversity in my work and the opportunity to collaborate with so many different creatives. I am my own brand and I enjoy the fact that I have the freedom to make projects that I am passionate about and explore my own ideas.
8. With photo and video technology readily available on cell phones and computers, do you worry that people perceive your line of work as obsolete?
I’m not afraid of that because those are not my clients. If what I’m offering is only of value to you because you haven’t hired someone in house to do it, or because you’re too busy to do it yourself, maybe I’m not right for the project. Anyone can buy a guitar. How many people are gonna start a band? How many of those bands are gonna be worth a damn? Go to Vimeo. Go to YouTube. Look at videos. Tell me how many of them are actually good. I’m not saying pretty and I’m not saying well edited, I’m saying “I’m sending this to my friend because it just moved me to tears.” You can look through my work and there’s a ton of stuff that someone else probably could have shot just as well or better. That’s ok. I know there’s stuff I do, I’m not saying is original, but it's me.
9. Where do you find creative inspiration?
I’m inspired by film. I’m also inspired by others and the way we think as humans. I have a lot of different kinds of friends. A lot of people only hang out with the like-minded, but I don’t know who my like-minded are. I even have trouble talking to my peers sometimes because they don’t like the same subjects I do. I have a lot of interests, go a lot of places and sample a lot of different things, but I’m kind of eavesdropping. I steal a little bit for my work. Even if I’m not of a certain cultural element, I learn how to tell its story.
10. You say you find inspiration in film. What’s your favorite movie?
That’s a loaded question. There are smart answers to that and there are real answers. Fight Club. David Fincher is one of my favorite contemporaries. He did some of the most original things for this time period in that movie. If you look at his techniques, there are so many copycats since then. It’s a smart movie, it’s a smart book, and it’s one of the few books that have translated really well to film. I don’t remember anything storytelling like it up to that point.
For more information on Brian Cummings, or to view his work, visit briancummings.com.