Aspiring producer Stevenson explores video production
Camaron Stevenson, like most journalism students, is just trying to get ahead of the game. From his own video production company, Ansre Entertainment, LLC. to his most recent venture, a pilot episode shot for a unique sketch comedy show “What Just Happened?” that is currently being pitched to national television networks, Stevenson is up for creating anything to build his portfolio.
Created in 2012, Ansre Entertainment is Stevenson’s vehicle for becoming a multi-talented producer through his video production of short films, music videos and “What Just Happened?” Working with New York comedian Brian Havig, Stevenson filmed the show's genre-bending pilot episode that blurs the lines between sketch, improv and hidden-camera pranks.
Stevenson, a junior, describes the show as "Portlandia" meets "Trigger Happy TV,” as it will supplement street comedy with kamikaze-style improv as host Brian Havig incorporates “The Daily Show”-style interviews with New York City passers-by.
"I’d say 'Portlandia' probably is good at capturing that sort of unique sense of humor to it. ... You could also mesh it with the group 'Improv Everywhere,'” Havig said.
Stevenson, 25, said that it’s just a more narrative style of hidden camera, and that each episode would assign a twist to commonplace street comedy.
"It’s out in public and you get reactions, but there’s actual story lines and arcs, and there’s reoccurring characters throughout episodes,” Stevenson said.
Arizona native, comedian and writer, Brian Havig said that it would incorporate more flash mobs as well as skits that would mesh to create a unique comedy show, but it's going to depend on the funding.
“This could end up going nowhere, nothing but a couple YouTube videos, or we could actually sell a pilot, get on TV, get on a national network or a local network,” Havig said.
Ansre Entertainment undertakes a hodgepodge of video production assignments, like the music videos he has released for bands Calabrese and Ending Ali and Appartitions, as well as his concert video production for Authority Zero, Hoobastank and Smash Mouth. All of this allows Stevenson to build a solid portfolio as a young entrepreneur, but nonconventional topics are what allow him to innovate, adapt and grow as a producer.
“The creative projects usually bend things to kind of test my capabilities or try something new,” Stevenson said. "The whole reason I do the projects like commercials or stuff that might be kind of boring is so I have money to do what I want to do.”
For him, graduating and getting a degree just isn’t as important as gaining experience.
“People who are involved in film don’t care if you have a degree; they just care that you know what you’re doing,” Stevenson said.
It’s because of this that Stevenson decided to go his own route with Ansre Entertainment.
Though Havig's a bit older than Stevenson, the two share common ground as individuals making a name for themselves.
“You have to get your foot in the door somehow, and doing a show like this, where it’s hidden camera, where it’s very low budget, is your best way to do it,” Havig said. “You just kind of go and you try things out, and if it works out, it works out. If not, you try the next thing.”
Havig said that after organizing his ideas and speaking with other comedians he was able to refine his ideas and pick the best skits to film.
“We decided that would be a good way to try and get our foot in the door somehow, him as an aspiring producer and me as an aspiring comedian,” Having said.
Stevenson recognizes the advantage that comes with being an entrepreneur, building a brand and creating original content. In 2010, he worked with feature film producer Marcelo Grion on upcomingscience fiction film“The Prototype.”
“I could see that he had a lot of potential,” Grion said. “When you’re hiring people you’re assembling a team … and I found a good person to delegate and to trust.”
For Stevenson, success comes with time.
"It’s not the people who get lucky breaks or the people who are super talented that are successful,” Stevenson said. “It’s just the people who work at it the longest. ... Everyone knows the idiot person who works at their job, and the reason they’re there is because they didn’t quit.”
Havig agrees that a true innovator makes power plays in their career field even as an undergraduate.
“When you’re young like that, you’re not afraid to take those big swings and really just go for it.” Havig said.
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