We had the good fortune of connecting with Calvin May and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Calvin, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
I believe that I think of success a little differently in the creative industry. I don’t know where I want to be in 10 years or 25 or whenever I eventually peter out and I certainly don’t have a master plan. Instead I have ideas of the types of projects I want to work. I want the experiences of camping under the stars for client projects. I want to build friendships and share visions. While these fairytale desires aren’t unique I have another vision for my future. I want to get to the point where I can translate the ideas in my head into film. I think of shots, stories, and trips in my head that I haven’t yet been able to equate into film. The reward of the shot that looks just like you imagined it fuels my passion though. By the end of my career I hope that I am able to translate my ideas into films.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think that my role as an athlete adjusts my perspective and allows me to really document my peers more complete. I have a deep understanding of most of the things I shoot. An example of this perspective is a regular day of ski training. I do all the ordinary things. I load the lift, ski a run, watch a friend. The difference is in my creative eye. As I load the lift, train, and watch others I’m thinking of all the cinematography possibilities. How the light bounces off the chair at a specific position, the light leaks though the trees as we train, and the different immersive angles I could use to express the feelings of ski racing. Ski racing is just one example but through taking time away from the camera to appreciate the subjects you deepen your expertise and creativity for shooting. My artistic journey has been fairly easy thus far. Until recently when I discovered the importance of consistency for building an audience I’ve made videos of what I want, when I want. This relieved all the stress of creating and I am happy to have started that journey so early. So far the important lessons I’ve learned are 1. Shoot more than you think you need 2. Have fun creating 3. Save everything. You’ll regret “saving space”.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ok so I’m not from Denver or the area but the airport train is extremely fun to ride back and forth on. I almost missed a flight doing this once.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are two groups of people I have to appreciate for getting me here. The first is my incredibly supportive parents who most likely didn’t realize where videography would take me when they bought me my first camera (GoPro hero session) 8 years ago. They let me explore my passions and enabled me to live the incredibly privileged lifestyle I enjoy and share through video. The other group of people is more broad but essential for my videography work. Thank you with everything to all the people that I mooched gear from for years. Im finally at the point where I have all the gear I need but for a while it was can I borrow this, or could I take a few shots on that. I believe I hold the record for most downloads of the Final Cut Pro X trial on other peoples MacBooks. This has allowed me to progress and grow to this point and while I probably wont reimburse all of you I can at least say thank you.
Calvin May, Grace Gear