For that brief moment when hasty New Yorkers stop in their tracks and turn into spectators fascinated by a group of break-dancing street performers, the Big Apple tastes a bit sweeter. It is this acrobatic art spawned from the Bronx that unites people around the globe with the joys of laughter, wonder and imagination among many others. For the fourth installment of House of Marley‘s video series highlighting its new Bluetooth speaker The Get Together, Brooklyn-based Director Harrison Boyce chose to look into the personalities of these talented dancers. “I wanted to find out if they really loved dance and the trains were their platform to share their talent with the world, or if they were hustlers using dance to make money, and I quickly found out that they have a deep love for dancing and that the money was secondary.” After checking out Boyce’s film, be sure to read through our full interview with the director below.
For more on House of Marley’s The Get Together Bluetooth speaker as well as how you could win your very own please visit here.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Harrison Boyce and I’m a director and photographer living in Brooklyn, New York.
How did you get into filmmaking?
It all started through BMX. I rode BMX throughout my whole childhood and ended up being a sponsored rider, then working as an art director for a company, as well as starting one of, if not the first BMX blogs called Defgrip. I was always filming and making videos with my friends, but it wasn’t until I started making short docs and creating content for Defgrip that I really started to get into film making. It was just a hobby for me at the time, but once I moved to New York, I started to get a lot more directing jobs and over the years have transitioned from working as a designer in the BMX world to a director focusing on fashion and commercial work.
What was the goal behind your video? What was your inspiration?
Living in New York I pretty much ride the subway every day and kept seeing these kids dancing in the trains. I had thought about doing a project about them, but it was only in the back of my head and I didn’t really have an outlet for it. So, once I started talking with Alldayeveryday about this project with House of Marley, it made perfect sense to put something together with the dancers for this project.
The goal behind the video for me was to find out who the kids were who were the first to start dancing on the trains and to showcase them as people. To share their personalities with the world and tell their story. I wanted to find out if they really loved dance and the trains were their platform to share their talent with the world, or if they were hustlers using dance to make money… and I quickly found out that they have a deep love for dancing and that the money was secondary.
What are you most excited about your relationship with House of Marley?
House of Marley has been incredible with this project because they just let me do my thing and supported my vision 100%. A lot of time brands can really get involved and almost take over the creative process, but the guys at House of Marley essentially laid down the foundation for a dream project and let me do my thing the whole way though with nothing but support. A perfect partnership.
When you were approached about the project, what was the direction given and then how did you approach your execution/interpretation?
Allday approached me, and I asked if I’d be interested in putting some ideas together around the idea of “getting together.” They really wanted to leave it up to the directors to bring ideas to the table, so it was really open as far as the creative goes.
I just worked on a few different ideas around the idea of “getting together” using music as the main ingredient that actually brought people together.
How influential has music been in your creative evolution?
Music has been a huge influence in my work and it really drives my creative process, especially in the edit. I grew up in a musical family and music has always been something that plays a part in anything I’m doing creatively. Specifically with film, music becomes such a big part of telling a story, creating emotions, and setting a flow and an arch… I like to work with the music first, building a foundation to edit on and everything else really falls into place if you have the right music or soundtrack.
Was there any issues with filming on the subway?
I wasn’t sure how it was going to be bringing a Red camera down there, but we didn’t have any problems at all. I’m pretty good with filming in random situations and can just roll with the flow and the Waffle Crew definitely knows the ins and outs of performing on the subways. We tried to keep moving and not stay in one spot too long and I think that definitely helped us not run into any problems.
You’ve worked on everything from commercial films to short films and fashion films – which of the projects would you say is your favorite to collaborate on?
I think my favorite thing is the fact that I’m able to work on so many different types of projects. To me it’s more about the people and the experiences I have making my work, than the specific type of genre I’m working in. I really like to learn about people, explore new places, and basically do anything I can to learn something new each day. So I feel super lucky that I’ve been able to work on so many diverse projects with such a broad range.
Author: Robert Marshall