Friday, January 27, 2012

My boy @killavision: A vision for up-and-coming local talent | The News Journal |

A vision for up-and-coming local talent | The News Journal |

Kevin Allen Jr., known to the urban music community as KillaVision, is one of the most prolific music video directors and hip-hop documentarians in the Tri-State region.
His lens has trapped legendary artists on the rise, on the comeback and at the heights of their career, whether signed or underground, including Philly all-stars such as Joey Jihad and Quilly Millz. In addition to filming affordable, high-quality music videos for many unsigned and independent Delaware artists, which serve to grant them the polish and branding they need to compete, KillaVision's productions also include candid interviews with major names like Beanie Siegel, Common, Styles P and local heavy hitters such as producer SAP in session with Mac Miller. His collection also boasts exclusive footage of Meek Mill before and during his explosive success after signing with Maybach Music Group.
By putting in three years of hard work and building an impressive track record, KillaVision gained access to hip-hop history-in-the-making and iconic hip-hop hotspots such as The Batcave recording studio and was therefore able to film Meek Mill and Rick Ross in concert. The footage can be found on the DVD “In The Mix,” available at (his website is “In The Mix” is a documentary that is the definitive work and culmination of KillaVision's visual artistry. caught up with KillaVision for an exclusive interview.
What is it that you do?
I'm a visual communication specialist and small business owner into independent filmmaking, with the majority of my work being music videos.
How did you get started?
I've always had a passion for inventing, putting things together, and admiring my creations. Somewhere in 2009 some friends and I decided to make videos showcasing local underground/ unsigned artists and uploading them onto the Internet, from that point on it was history. I remember watching movies and music videos thinking to myself, ‘I wonder how they did that?’ One day I just gave it a shot. Shortly after the death of one of my closest friends, Travis Daley (who was like a member of my family), is when I shot my first music video...

Do you have any formal training?
I took a video production course in college, but never really attended class because the majority of class time was spent watching tutorials, and I prefer a hands on approach. I was paying for college out of pocket for the most part and didn't think that school was good for visual communications. If I did attend school for a field in visual communications I would want for it to be one of the top schools in the nation, but even with grants it would still probably be too expensive. A combination of going out and experimenting, watching tutorials at home, and closely observing everything and person I come across and imagining it being filmed was how I attained the majority of my skill.
What are some of your most notable projects?
My most notable project is my first hip-hop documentary, “In The Mix.” “In The Mix” features DJ Bran, DJ Damage, Mac Miller, Meek Mill, Rick Ross, Sap, Young Chris and many more. I consider myself to be somewhat of a reporter documenting hip-hop and entertainment (specifically in the Tri-State area) by capturing the performances, in-studio sessions, concerts and shooting music videos for different artists, producers and DJs.
Is it expensive to maintain your film business, and at the same time does it pay well?
The thing about filmmaking with me is that not only is it my job, but it's something I love to do, so I initially invested a good amount of money into it and got all my money back very quickly. Every so often I purchase a new piece of equipment if it will help in making better productions but not often. Some projects I do I don't make any money off of but do so that I'm able to show the caliber of work that I'm capable of and get new business.
How time consuming is a typical project?
There isn't really a time frame for a “typical” project because each project is unique and different aspects for differant projects are going to vary in time. A single project could be completed in a few hours or a few years, it differs. The majority of my projects are completed in a few weeks from pre-planning to post-production.
Who are some of your favorite film and video directors and why?
I like directors with unique styles and have videos that well match the mood of the subject or subject matter being filmed. I'm still somewhat new to filmmaking so I still need to watch more movies and videos to get a better feeling of my favorite directors. I'm a fan of work from F. Gary Gray, Hype Williams, Ridley Scott, Spike Lee and Little X.