Deesa is the glue behind the scenes
Videographer Deesa Booth loves music, but accepts that singing is just not her thing.
Instead, she keeps her passion alive, by making videos for other artists.
“They are so much fun,” the owner of 21 Mile Films said. “Music videos are my way to connect with music and tell the story of whatever I am listening to.”
The 27 year old made the music video for Janita Burke’s Cup Match song Just Believe. The song was released last month to celebrate Somerset’s long Cup Match winning streak.
“I did it, even though I am a St George’s fan!” Ms Booth laughed.
She has also released music videos for local artists such as Yanni Michael, and Trey “One They Watch” Simons.
“Trey is a really passionate artist,” she said. “We have done a couple of projects together.”
When she works with an artist more than once, she loves seeing the progress on both their ends.
She has created music videos in a variety of styles including dancehall, rap and gospel, but rap is her favourite.
“I like the fast pace,” she said. “I like any upbeat song where I can do a lot of special effects. With slower songs, I can’t really do all the effects and all the gimmicks I would like to do.”
She has taught herself a lot of the effects she uses through “YouTube University”.
“If I see something in a video I will go on YouTube and try to key in different things,” she said. “YouTube has 70 million videos on how to do something. If one video does not explain it well enough, I find a simpler version.
“With editing, once you get the simple version done, you can always make it more advanced yourself.”
For Ms Booth, the most challenging thing about making music videos is piecing everything together.
“The artist comes with their own ideas,” she said. “Sometimes I will give my input and see if I can take them in a different direction.
“It is just a matter of communicating with the artist and figuring out how we can create their vision.”
She has been in the business ever since graduating from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida at 19, but still gets nervous releasing her work to the world.
“I work really hard on all my videos,” she said. “But sometimes when I have tried something new or something out of my norm, I get nervous and wonder if people will like that.”
But she usually gets good feedback. “People want to see change and growth,” Ms Booth said.
She moved back to Bermuda in 2019 after working in Atlanta, Georgia, for several years. Not having lived in Bermuda since age 17, she was unsure about the relocation.
She spent her early months back in Bermuda filming on a casual basis and building up her social media following.
She officially launched 21 Mile Films in November 2019 making not only music videos, but also doing photography, commercials and event recordings.
Covid-19 hit the world five months later. “It was difficult at first adjusting,” Ms Booth said.
But the pandemic had an unexpected silver lining, a massive increase in virtuality.
“That opened a lot of doors for videographers,” Ms Booth said.
When mingling was allowed again, in limited numbers, many people were determined to make memories of their events, even if it was a corporate get together.
“The world is going in such a crazy direction you never know what can happen,” she said. “So people have said they just want to have a couple of videos to remember the occasion, even in the corporate world.
“People are also doing more live streaming. I got into that a year ago.”
Throughout middle school and high school she was involved in theatre.
At the Berkeley Institute, she was in a theatrical group called the Berkeley Players. But she found that she most enjoyed helping back stage, or stage managing.
“I liked to be the glue behind the scenes,” she said. “I liked helping the show to come together.”
In 2012, she entered an accelerated bachelor’s programme at Full Sail University studying film and videography.
“I wanted to work in television,” she said. “I wanted to be a camera person, or just be on set somehow. Then I started to get into doing my own things.”
While studying, her university had cameras she could use for her projects.
When she graduated, her mother helped her buy her first real camera, a Cannon EOS 7D.
“I was over the moon about it,” she said. “That was my first baby. I used to film and take photos for fun. I learnt a lot with that.”
Today she works with a mirrorless Sony Alpha 6300.
“It gives a better look that my Cannon used to,” she said.
The most challenging thing about running 21 Mile Films, is working alone.
“I have to be all the hats for a business in regards to do the e-mailing and accounting and the actual shooting and editing,” she said. “I hope to be able to hire people in the next couple of years so I can build and become bigger and focus more on the creative side of things.”
Looking at her career so far, she is most proud of a project she worked on called Bigger Than 21.
“The project was to try to give Bermudian artists, and business owners, a commercial or product that looked like it came from overseas,” she said. “The commercials are super high quality and super creative.
“I don’t want people to see it and say that is a Bermuda commercial. I want people to look at it and say, that is a nice commercial.”
For more information see @21milefilm on Instagram or 21 Mile Films on YouTube