Artist Spotlight: Anthony Kimata

Anthony Kimata is a U.S. based DP, focusing in music videos and narrative production. As the DP for Badshah’s record breaking music video Paagal, he has had his fair share of viral hits.

Anthony started as a photographer in 2008, shooting stills for various clients. Like many others, “when the [Canon] 5D Mark II came out, I started putting in video in addition to stills.” This lead to paid jobs, and in 2012, he became a DP.

Anthony is focused on telling long form stories and in doing so does not limit himself to any one genre, but explores the intimacy of short form expression. For one of T.I.’s music videos, “the director and I had the opportunity to create a couple of acted scenes in the prologue. This allowed us to use the music video landscape to express some long form storytelling and give context to the overall musical tone.”

Within the music video landscape, many artists push their boundaries creatively. “Most of them are seasoned, or you are breaking someone out of their shell. They are very particular and they know what they want, won’t stand for anything else. For Cardi B’s Ring, we were putting her in a more sophisticated look, so we had to frame everything in relation to that look.”

Much of his work is based on a mood that continues throughout the music video. “I get visual references from photography and painters, where you can somewhat create a mood. You don’t have to think of a full formula, as each shot’s continuity isn’t as visually dependent as feature work. You can take inspiration from all over the place. My new video with Kelly Rowland has a lot of inspiration from Ansel Adams’ work.”

When approaching these videos, Anthony leans on the Para 133. “I came across broncolor at Samy’s, in the Pro Department. From there I saved up for a bit and bought one of the HR’s when they came out. It just grew from there.”

Anthony continually experiments, pushing his lighting modifiers to create new looks.

“It’s a tool for different looks and you can play with it, they’re both a hard light and a soft light at the same time. They’re very specular.

I had custom diffusions made that soften it but keep the specularity. It’s really good on faces and you can play with it a few ways.

You have the reflector inside and create a frontal circular shape, then if you turn the umbrella sideways and pull the reflector in you get a crescent shape and it creates a different look of light. You can tilt it up and the top part creates a crescent light and the same way on the bottom too.”

This experimentation has lead to many viral hits, with Daddy Yankee’s Con Calma garnering over one billion views. Anthony’s recent video, Badshah’s Paagal broke YouTube’s record for most views in 24 hours, with 74.6 million views.

“I’ve worked with the director before, with Daddy Yankee, and worked with China. So he called me for this one. We shot in LA over two days. An exterior warehouse and an interior bar scene.

I thought it would do 10 or 15 million views. The imagery looked great on set, but at the same time I wasn’t familiar with the market but in the first hour I was looking at 4 million views and then it kept climbing. We used the broncolor all throughout that shoot, all interiors and and the night was shot on broncolor.”

While Anthony continues with the appetizer, the main course is not far away. You can see more of his work at iamkimata.com.