Updated: Dec 15, 2018
I would definitely say my life changed for the better because of one video I shot a few years ago. I've been involved in creative work since 2013 but I finally started taking camera work serious a few years ago after losing a friend to a motorcycle accident. I wanted some purpose in my life and I had always been very creative growing up.
People always ask me how I got into filming bodybuilders when I'm not the most fit guy. Well who am I kidding? I'm not fit at all, I have dad bod and love Taco Bell. But I also love sports and the truth is I used to work out very often before I started filming athletes. I was big on calisthenics and went from 134 pounds to 168 pounds of straight muscle. Ironically I had no luck in the ladies department as buff Eric. Dad bod Eric however, thrives on tinder but I'm getting off topic here.
When I met my good friend Delson Sully at the gym I was the skinny 134 pound twig. He was a guy I'd always go to for exercise advice and he even taught me correct form on some exercises. Delson was in the gym every day and the whole place knew him. If you went to the gym I went to, you knew Delson. I'd been getting heavily into UFC and following Conor McGregor at this time. Before the Aldo fight guys, I promise I'm not a bandwagoner. Anyway, I began seeing these ridiculous UFC promotional videos being done and I thought they were the coolest thing ever. I wanted to make something similar. Before this I was just filming my friends who were musicians and I was searching for another field to get into.
This was the point where I'd messaged Delson on Facebook and asked if he was interested in me shooting a video of him working out just for fun. He agreed and I picked the song beforehand so I had a vibe in my head. I arrived at the gym to film and of course I didn't really have a clue how to film something like this. So I had Delson do around ten exercises between two different gyms. I basically stood there and just filmed. I didn't know movement was a vital part of filming these types of videos and I also didn't know how important being on beat with your song was when editing a video like this. We finished shooting at around two in the morning. Even at this time the gym was still packed with people and everyone who saw Delson with me filming him came up to him. We were interrupted about 20 times because of his popularity and we felt like superstars that night.
I got home and I believe I ended up finishing the video within a day or two because I was so excited to do it. Looking back, this video is decent for my first piece of fitness content but definitely not on par with what I release now. The color grade isn't consistent, the clips aren't on beat and it isn't cohesive at all. But shockingly this is the video that changed my life.
After this video was released, the only way I can describe what happened is, picture a stampede of bodybuilders running at you with their jugs of water, protein shakers, dip belts and creatine. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen before in my life. Message after message after message from guys at the gym wanting videos. From the guy who wanted a video to show his ex girlfriend what she was missing because he was skinny when she dumped him and now he got big (they got back together after my video) to the guy who wanted to promote his clothing brand. I couldn't believe what was happening.
At this time I was working at my college, taking care of my disabled father, going to school full time, working at family dollar which happened to be in the worst area possible, and doing camera work on the side. After Delson's video I got more business than I could handle and I basically scheduled shoots at whatever time I could. This led to me sleeping 3-4 hours a night and being completely gassed out at my day jobs. Everyone was wondering why I was always so tired but this was why. I was killing it with camera work and became extremely dedicated to working with athletes at this time.
"When you see validation for a life's work and dedication, it's a beautiful day." - Mary Gauthier
My little side hustle eventually became so big that the gym management started taking notice. I basically created a county wide trend and guys who typically did music videos eventually started shooting fitness content because they saw how successful I'd been doing it. Everyone was wondering how I made this happen. But this was a very random occurrence in regards to how I got into this as you've read above. When gym management took notice, they asked me to shoot fitness content for them. I began doing so but realized I wasn't good at doing commercials at this time. I was a great shooter of banger content compared to shooting classes of others working out. Eventually I did branch off in this direction and I now shoot fitness commercials for gyms promoting weight loss and classes etc but at that time it just wasn't my thing and I had a lot going on in my personal life.
After shooting a stampede of bodybuilders and going hard for months and months, I was eventually contacted by World Champion Boxer Andre Berto who wanted some content. Berto was from the town I lived in in Florida and by January 2018 I was off to Beverly Hills where he currently lived. Andre Berto is probably the most down to earth guy ever and I'm so grateful to say he was the first celebrity I've worked with. From the stuff he does for his country of Haiti to his work ethic in the gym, Andre is the real deal and a stand up guy.
After working with Berto I flew back home to Florida and eventually ended up leaving Family Dollar to pursue camera work full time. I was finished with school and camera work soon became my full time job. I've traveled all over the country doing video/photo work at this point and I've ended up relocating from Florida to Colorado. I believe my story is a prime example of how all it takes is one piece of content to change your life. Don't quit just because you've made 500 videos and one hasn't taken off. All it takes is one. Keep on creating.