Kyle Apodaca is a sophomore majoring in television and digital media with a concentration in documentary filmmaking at Montclair State University. He has a passion for videography, photography, filming hip-hop music videos and uploading them to his YouTube channel. He also posts his photo shoots on his Instagram page. He spoke with The Montclarion Entertainment Editor Thomas Neira about his art and ventures in the field.
Q: How did you first get interested in photography and making videos?
A: It all started freshman year of high school where I was enrolled in video production one. Once I was taught the basic fundamentals of film I fell in love with creating videos and decided to shoot my own. As for photography, it was because of my interest in fashion that started that hobby. Some friends of mine wanted to post pictures of our outfits on social media and we would constantly take pictures with my father’s old camera.
The more pictures we took, the more I fell in love with the results of the photos and the principle of photography. At first I had no idea how to use a digital single-lens reflex camera, but I eventually taught myself how to do it and understand the basic fundamentals.
Q: What kind of videos do you like to make?
A: I started off creating my own personal videos by shooting b-roll of my surroundings and playing music in the background. As time went on, I learned much more on how to create my craft. Now I create music videos for friends and anyone who asks me to shoot for them.
Q: How do you find people to shoot videos and take photos of?
A: At first some friends asked me to take pictures of them, but if I need new content I ask my photogenic friends and take pictures of them. I eventually created a photography and videography account on Instagram, @__kaato__. There, more people reach out and direct message me about shooting music videos.
Q: Who are your inspirations?
A: Since I’ve been working strictly on music videos, I look up to a lot of YouTubers, such as Cole Bennett and Gibson Hazard. I just believe their content is so different and unique, which is what stands out to me.
Q: What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on so far?
A: Honestly, one of my favorite projects I’ve shot was back in high school. The project was called “School of Kent.” My teacher handed out permission slips so we can miss all of our classes for the day in order to record. The pilot was about a character named Kent, who goes to school forgetting his coffee and is haunted by it for the rest of the day. During his quest to find a cup of coffee, the audience is introduced to his classmates with unique personalities.
More importantly, what made it my favorite was the experience. I was able to record with friends, miss class, eat pizza, have a fun time and create great memories.
Q: What are some future projects that you have coming up?
A: Fortunately, I have friends who are very passionate about pursuing careers in music. I have plans of recording more music videos and posting them on my YouTube channel, KAato. I have about five videos up so far and the most views I have is about 1,000. I also met with some people in New Brunswick and they asked me to create a promo video for their clothing brand.
Q: How has Montclair State University helped you hone your craft? How do you apply your skills on campus?
A: Montclair State has really helped me prepare for reality when it comes to shooting videos. Anything can happen, and you should always be prepared. Montclair State has also improved my understanding of the importance of preproduction. Without preproduction, there is no plan, guideline and organization of a video. Without organization, there’s no story to your video.
Q: Who do you dream of working with in the future?
A: I dream of working with my favorite rapper, Joey Bada$$, and recording one of his music videos. I would want to work with him because of his personality. Based on all the interviews I’ve watched with Joey Bada$$, he’s very humble, sets a positive attitude and his music is different from other rappers which makes him unique. I would want [to] help execute his music visually the best I can so more people listen to him and look up to him.
Q: What other passions and interests do you have?
A: I have a passion for fashion, specifically vintage clothing. I resell vintages by shopping at thrift stores and selling it for more money on an app called Depop.
Q: What are your career plans after you graduate?
A: After college, I still plan to continue to record music videos for YouTube, but as a career I just want to be an editor or a videographer. However, I do plan on applying for the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program before I graduate and hopefully will be accepted. If I’m accepted, I’ll fly out to Japan and live there for a year, and I’ll have the job of teaching young elementary Japanese students the English language.