Kahwaji has become a go-to concert videographer in Vancouver, Canada. Aside from releasing a highly selected short film back in 2017, the 21yr old continued to utilize her skills in the industry and has worked with some pretty cool artists. Kahwaji has done quite a bit in her startup. Every heard of Tyler Shaw? Kim Petras? Alessia Cara? You name it, she’s filmed for them.
We talked to Sabine recently and had a few questions to ask. Here’s how it went: Do you find it overwhelming filming for well-known artists?
Initially yes, but as time goes I solely focus on trying to execute the best possible project I can for the artist/management. Of course, there have been times where I get very nervous and feel off game but I’m learning to skip that part and just be myself. But definitely during the post-production process, it hits me and I think “wow I just filmed for him/her.”
Why concerts and artists and the industry?
I would say because of my passion for music videos and music itself. I’ve always had an interest in the music industry since I was a kid and being a music video director is definitely the end goal. I had to find ways to break in instead of just focusing on local acts, and concerts really felt like the right way to do it. I’ve met so many great artists and managers throughout the time that I’ve been filming and continue to build a good name for myself. I guess I knew somehow I wanted to get involved in the industry whether it would be in PR or marketing but with my passion for filmmaking I realized I could utilize those skills instead. I’m hoping I can transition from filming promotional videos to directing music videos instead, but we’ll see how it all pans out!
Your concert videos are one night shows not tours, do you find it hard to make multiple edits from one set?
Surprisingly not, it’s just something I got used to the more concerts I filmed. I took it as fuel to motivate myself instead of stressing over it. I’ve gotten used to running all over the place to get different shots, loads of behind the scenes, and really anything I can get. Especially in situations where you’re not touring with the artist, you have to film what you can get and there’s no redo. I usually end up with about 5 hours of footage then get home and edit 40s cuts and a tour doc. I stay up till 4 am editing to give a quick turnaround but it’s all worth it. Especially when your work is reposted, it feels really great to see positive reactions.
Have you always wanted to be a director?
Yes! I’ve been a film buff about as long as I can remember. I just wanted to see if my love for storytelling and watching films would translate into making them and now it really is. I knew I wanted to be involved in the music industry I just never thought it would actually workout. I still don’t consider myself an “actual director” as
I’m still making my way up the ladder but I’m excited to see what happens!
Any favourite artists you currently worked with?
I would definitely say, Tyler Shaw. He and his team are really welcoming and nice and I’ve gotten to know them which has made things really fun too. I’ve been able to film loads of content for him and it’s been so amazing. I’ve been filming with him since February 2019, so I’ve gotten the hang of how things go, what angles, etc. It’s still nerve-wracking sometimes because I always want to deliver the best of what I can get, but it ultimately turns out pretty good in the end.
What is your next step? Any goals?
My goal is to fully transition from being a music industry editor/videographer to directing and editing big music videos for industry artists. It’s all a process but I’m determined to do what it takes, and so far the hard work has been paying off. I think my next step is a move to Toronto. Although Vancouver is “Hollywood North” the music industry side is very prominent out there. I know quite a few individuals in the workplace there so I feel the transition would be a smooth one.
Finally, would you see yourself creating any short films similar to Seventeen down the road? We found that piece very sentimental.
Thank you, it really was back then. I don’t think anytime soon as I’m too focused on industry work and shorts are very time consuming. Although that short in particular was a very pivotal moment for me and really the start of everything… I can’t see myself creating a project similar to it. It was really the end of an era, you know? Who knows though, I’ll probably end up making one about my twenties since that’s been much more interesting so far haha. But I have documentaries in the works, I find those much more intriguing and hope to release one in 2020.
Harper Harrison is a reporter for The Hear UP. Harper got an internship at the NPR and worked as a reporter and producer. harper has also worked as a reporter for the Medium. Harper covers health and science for The Hear UP.
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We hope you found this article helpful. If you did, be sure to check out our blog for more great content like this.
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