MMA light weight Kajan Johnson was heading into UFC Calgary for July 28th, 2018 and needed a hard hitting piece of content to hype his bout.
Kajan has been in open disputes with the UFC organisation over what he believes to be unfair administration regulations and the improper treatment of martial artists. His mantra has always been to lead by both example and artistic expression, "HUSTLE" was a realization of a supernatural battle to reflect his real life dispute with the organisation.
Genre: Music Video
Target Audience: UFC Fans
Length: 5 Mins
HUSTLE was shot on an A/B camera setup using Canon C200s. The operators manually pulled focus while the team watched from monitors on the side lines. The lenses were a mixture of Canon L Series glass and sigma art zooms. The G&E kit was both HMI and battery powered LEDs.
The players who filled out the final team that went to picture could not have been a better ensemble of talent and hard work. The crew fought the elements, late night/early call times, and pulled together to produce a product they are all proud of.
The project was filmed in a parking lot on the Burnaby/Vancouver boundary, a dark Coquitlam road, an unnamed local beach, and on a Vancouver film school sound stage. The team was able to produce exactly what the story needed to fulfill the vision.
directed by CONNOR LANG
With sights set on captivating audiences with every frame, Connor is a student of the craft. Every day that he gets to work in film is a victory. He is always aspiring to reach the next level and aims take every challenge head on. He is most proud of his work in the senior care sector where he works with the Non-Profit Whole Way House to deliver food to seniors and veterans on the Downtown Eastside. WWH has delivered 130k meals since March 2020.
Upon completion of the film, a screening was organized and sponsored by local vancouver company and clothing vendor RYU. The screening was at RYU's Park Royal location and had a mixture of cast, crew, and family. The first reactions to the film left the team feeling a deep sense of pride, accomplishment, and anticipation for the film's worldwide online release.
The project was released on YOUTUBE to a very receptive audience. Multiple prominent members of the MMA community interacted with the project release making the distribution a success in terms of the goals of the project. Interactions included a direct tweet from Ariel Helwani and comments from UFC fighter Josh Koschek. Viewing numbers continue to grow as Kajan's fighting career takes twists and turns.
Tristar is a MMA staple in the Vancouver community and is led by artist Kajan Johnson, alongside fight coordinator and performer Rochelle Okoye. The gym is in Coquitlam, BC, and was ground zero for the fight choreography.
Knowledgebook is an invaluable software application that elevated the project through team file sharing and management. From sharing still frame homage targets for the cine team, to organizing the schedule and the catering menu, Knowledgebook was a staple of the production.
Both cast and crew were huge fans of the catering provided by CHOMP VEGAN EATERY. Not only were stomachs filled with out the inevitable sugar crash/meat sweats, but CHOMP was able to make a late night delivery at 1:30am during the night shoot.
Produced by Alethea Sholomenko
Rap music may not be her first language, but being a badass and taking names is.
It was easy for Alethea to find her rhythm on this project as she coordinated the logistics and details of production while also keeping the crew in line for this deceptively difficult string of night shoots.
Kajan and Alethea have continued to collaborate over the years and she is currently honing her boxing skills under his tutelage.
cinematography by Sam Acton King
Sam Acton King is a Vancouver & Toronto based Director of Photography in documentary, narrative, and music videos. He has filmed content for Nardwuar The Human Serviette, Snoop Dogg, Seth Rogen, PartyNextDoor, Juice WRLD, Billie Eilish, Lil Uzi Vert, Ski Mask The Slump God, Brockhampton, Noisey, Vice, Kids Take Over, Roger Deakins (Keepers of the Magic), CBC, APTN, and Broken Cage Gallery. He is a member of ICG 669, as well as the WGC.
produced by Michael Silva
Michael Silva first began his career in filmmaking in his homeland of Scotland where he worked for several independent film companies within the cinematography department before moving out to Vancouver, British Columbia in 2013, where he set out to establish an international connection with the North American market, which has included Producing work for stars of the UFC. His passion for the film industry helped propel himself as a Producer & Director where his work has featured at film festivals within Canada, Germany & Scotland