Behind The Lens: Jon Psycho
Written by Greg Harris
It's been quite some time since we paid some attention to the shooters who pave the way for some of the freshest content that's across the net. In the midst of figuring out what area we should focus on next, we land in the deserts of California to get familiar with the ill yet cinematic spirit of the talented Jon Psycho.
The California residing camera man depicts more than your freshest visuals, he delivers a sinister tone that's suspenseful yet intriguing when viewers pay attention to his work. You can find in the visuals that he's shot with the likes of Da$h, Drakeo the Ruler, Chief Keef, and more. The vast amount of talent that's featured in his videos gives to how big his range is when it comes to his work.
We recently had a chance to speak to him about his influences, what inspired him to start, what direction he wants to take his visuals, and more.
How’s Your Modern Life?
My life is currently very hectic. It consists of very little sleep and stressing out but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm constantly caught in between shooting, editing, or trying to find inspiration. There's no in between.
What are three things you have to do when you first wake up?
-Smoke a Cigarette
Coming up how was your upbringing?
My upbringing was very boring in a sense. My family didn't have too much money but we also had enough to where I was living comfortably. I was taught to mind my business so growing up I was very to myself.
When you were growing up, what were some things that drew you to visual arts?
Growing up I used to collect Transformer action figures. Eventually, I got my hands on my Mom's digital camera and what I would do is make little stop-motion movies with the action figures. This got me familiar with both working a camera and editing on the computer. On top of that, my parents didn't let me watch many movies so this gave me the desire to watch rated R movies alone and I was able to closely observe them. This started my fascination with film.
How were your first moments when you first started to shoot videos?
My first moments shooting music videos was very natural and stress-free, due to the fact that i started shooting with a close friend. I wasn't really serious but I knew that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Who are some directors that inspired your work?
Quentin Tarantino. Quentin Tarantino. Quentin Tarantino.
In most of your creative makeup, you derive a lot of horror in your content. What horror films influence your way of shooting?
The Saw series
and even though it's more Thriller than horror, American Psycho
Between shooting lifestyle material and shooting music videos, which is your favorite and why?
I actually hate shooting lifestyle material unless it's with someone that's actually fun to be around, which is very rare these days. I hate it when I have to follow people around with a camera, I'd rather it happen naturally. But I do prefer shooting music videos and even more than that I want to start making short films. This is because I want to make my audiences feel something and I feel like short films are the best way to do so.
When it came to one of your lifestyle pieces, you shot Chief Keef at The Observatory, how was your experience shooting that?
Honestly, I wasn't even planning on shooting that night. It was a spur at the moment thing and Chief Keef is one of my favorite artists so it was kind of cool capture him in his own little world.
You also shot Drakeo the Ruler’s “Flu Flamming” before he went back to jail, how was that experience and how is it working with him?
Drakeo is a very humble and easy guy to work with. We honestly shot that video in a couple of hours and it was a very smooth experience. Free Drakeo fr though
When it comes to the crop of growing videographers on the West Coast, how do you feel like you separate yourself from the rest of the shooters on the “Left Coast”?
I don't really care about other directors/videographers but I can say one thing: I like to pay attention to my composition and the little details in my videos. I feel like a lot of people lost sight of that and just want to throw effects on something and call it a day. Although I do have a lot of effects on my videos, if you pay attention every shot is set up in a particular way to make the audience feel a certain emotion. I feel like I'm very versatile. In one video I can have a million trippy effects that make you feel lucid and in another video, I can have no effects but perfect color composition and cuts.
"I want to create real masterpieces. I don't feel like I can leave this Earth without doing so. Eventually, I want to create one great films that influences and impacts generations far past mine"
Aside from doing the content that you’re doing now, what are some of your ultimate goals when it comes to your visual work?
My end goal is to create films and TV series. I want to create real masterpieces. I don't feel like I can leave this Earth without doing so. Eventually, I want to create one great films that influences and impacts generations far past mine.
How do you revolutionize cinematography?
I feel like everything has been done before. Everything is so boring. Even if it seems like an original idea, 99.99% of the time it's been done before. I just want to make films that make you feel something. I'm not trying to revolutionize film, I just want to be able to make people feel something. I don't know how I would revolutionize cinematography, I guess that's for the audience to decide.
When its all said and done, how do you want to be remembered?
I'm just a weird guy that happens to express his crazy thoughts in the form of a film. So hopefully people perceive me in a somewhat decent light.