Thursday, March 05, 2009

Making it to the big-time....

Earlier this week, I found myself doing some research on the international filmmaker, art director and fashion designer Youcef Aden. From the front of Youcef's personal website, this colorful original anecdote jumped out at me: "People fall into three categories: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who bitch about everything." Though I'm intent on staying positive in all aspects of my outlook -- and especially in this space -- that observation from an interesting, self-styled, successful artist rings so true to many of my own experiences, reading it made me laugh out loud. Fortunately, I'm surrounded by a lot of people who are intent on staying actively busy and making good things happen... for themselves and others. As one example, I'm proud to share this recent project from my client Josh Sahley, who is the owner and creative director of LA-based motion design and production company Monkeyhead... and below the video, a few more details on Josh's growing success.

Like me, Josh went to high school in Ft. Lauderdale, and early on, he also set his sights on working in the motion picture industry. Over the past few years, he's built his company up to the point where it is consistently handling impressive design projects for major networks and brands. The video above is the opening title sequence Josh and his fellow artists at Monkeyhead created for the 2008 national Red Bull Big Tune music producer competition. This project, produced by Red Bull and The Suspect Group, staged joint educational and entertainment events in Philadelphia, Oakland, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, and the finalist music producers from each city were then brought together in New York last December, where 17-year-old C-Sick from Chicago was crowned the year’s Big Tune champion. By virtue of this event, especially for the young winner, who now has an opportunity to pick from Common, Nas, Lupe Fiasco and The Game as artistic collaborators in an upcoming recording session at Red Bull's Santa Monica studios, the world is a much better place. But even beyond that, the regional and finals events all made great, exciting community impacts, nights of live entertainment -- and TV... as you can see on the project's website, and in an upcoming TV special set to debut on BET in April. All of that hard work uniting the best efforts of so many talented people is great inspiration, as I have a feeling Youcef would agree. And as for Josh, as he looks ahead and considers the current economic environment, he has found an approach he's optimistic about. "It's simple," he is quoted as saying in a recent story on, "Keep our current clients happy while continuing to expand our client roster in different fields to open up opportunities.... I feel the more diverse we become, the better chances of not feeling the effects of this recession."