Bradford Hill, a cinematographer, producer and editor, has been working for over ten years with artists like Key!, Curren$y, Joey Bada$$, and Action Bronson. He has also been featured in art exhibits and pop-up shops throughout Miami. Bradford’s career has allowed him to travel the world all while creating and perfecting his art.
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Mike O’Keefe: Where are you from, and what inspired you to get involved in videography?
Bradford Hill: I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in the [D.C., Maryland, Virginia] area. I was fortunate to have two older brothers growing up who were mildly into shooting sports, skits, and pranks with their friends. I remember my brothers buying a handy cam and a super fresh Mac with Final Cut, of course I didn’t know how to do anything with it at first. Around that time I was also delving into shooting sports like skateboarding, BMX, skiing, or whatever our friends were into at that moment. It wasn’t until high school, when I started taking this TV Production Class that I got serious, I mean it was the only class I’d show up to. I acquired enough money to buy my own camera, a Canon GL2 and also use my high schools VX1000’s and VX2100. After high school I ended up going to film school in Florida and have been based there for a while. Through the years, I have constantly kept myself busy and have had the opportunity to work with a massive list of high end cinema cameras and lenses.
MO: When was the first work trip? Where did you go and what was captured?
BH: My first professional work trip was about four years ago. I went to Miami to film some videos for Curren$y. It was sick, he hadn’t really been touring in Florida much before, and I got to go every stop. Miami was crazy though. I was with about three other videographers and we split a room at the Mondrian on South Beach. That was the first time it really hit me that Miami is a whole [different] animal.I also had a stint working with The Evolve Group, an EDM promoter. I got to shoot with people like Steve Aoki, Alesso, AVICII and a bunch of whatevers.
Working with Apply Pressure has opened opportunities for us to shoot with people like Key!, Post Malone, RJD2, Casey Veggies, Two-9, DoLA, Frost The Wave God, Mookie Jones, Metroboomin, Mikey Rocks and Denzel Curry.
MO: Name three places you have been and will consistently go back to.
BH:Montage in Los Angeles and also the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. The Cosmopolitan has a lot of crazy bars, and it’s just very nice. I was fortunate enough to be able to go to some parties in the penthouse at the top. The are views insane off the balcony. I went to this really tight party the last time I was there it was [wild]. Being in one of the nicest penthouses, eating pizza off paper plates – such a surreal experience. That’s one of the nicer hotels. The Wynn too, but those would be my top two.
MO: If you had an unlimited budget and 24-hours, where would you go and what would be captured?
BH: That’s crazy man. I’d probably go to Vegas right away. Vegas is the craziest, most expansive nightlife. The clubs are just huge, and just the drinking, gambling, it’s all insane. The one thing I found out a couple years ago, is that all those hot girls you see that have a table there are all paid actors pretty much. They are bringing out all these chicks and whatnot but everything’s fake. Yeah it’s fun as hell, but it’s not real. But, probably I would just go nuts and take every video idea I’ve ever had, put it all into 24-hours, and go shoot it in Tokyo, Japan. Get some supercars and try to ball out with Japanese people.
MO: When visiting a new city, what is the first thing you do?
BH: If I’m not going to a meeting or picking up equipment, I like to drop my bags at base camp and go meet up with some homies to do local stuff that I can’t do at home. I honestly don’t usually stay in hotels. I’d rather stay in a realistic place like a condo. When I go to Los Angeles and stay in a penthouse its inspiring as hell because it’s like this is where I could be living if I keep working towards it.
BH: Yeah, exactly. I can do photoshoots in there. It’s just not a hotel.
MO: I was able to get out to San Francisco – need to get back out to California. The weather was awesome and the vibe was something so different.
BH: I was just out in California a couple weeks ago. First, I was in Vegas for seven days, then went straight to LA for my birthday. Riding beach cruisers around Venice Beach, drinking beers that’s all I do – Venice Beach and it’s enough. You can do Downtown or Hollywood. Every time I go there it’s like what area do I want to stay in? There is so much to do.
MO: Was getting involved in film something you always wanted to do or an evolutionary process?
BH: Both, I’ve always been into creating visual stuff, photos and videos, but it evolved over the years only because I kept going with it.
MO: Right, perfecting your art, which probably just adds to the motivation.
BH: Yeah, like I started out kind of filming whatever. Then with the internet, you can really put your stuff out. I started photos a year ago or something like that. It’s just crazy, I had an exhibit at Art Basel, in Miami. I don’t consider myself a photographer, but I like to get out all the visual stuff.
MO: When searching for a personal getaway, are you looking to relax on a beach or shooting more for that urban nightlife?
BH: I’m fine with either of those man. I enjoy a great view and fresh air.
MO: Where have you been with the liveliest nightlife?
BH: New York is crazy. There are so many obscure hideouts scattered around. Everybody is always pumped up to go out. I’ve been to New York a lot. I’ve stayed in the Upper East Side. I also really like the Lower East Side – really dope. I like the bars there. There is this one called Epstein’s that is pretty cool. Last time I was there I stayed out in Brooklyn, which was sick, in Bed-Stuy – a real trapy area. It was much different than staying in Manhattan.
MO: I want to get back down to Florida soon, and pretty much anywhere I can possibly go.Next trip Chicago?
BH: Yeah, Chicago and LA at the end of the month. I work on the side with Apply Pressure International — an independent record label, event management, and a bunch of other stuff. One of the main artists DoLA is about to go on a US tour, so they booked shows all over. After that, I am going straight to an event at Paramount Studios in LA, to look at some new camera gear. By far LA is my favorite place, it’s where I see myself living very soon.