Through the Lens: CJ Wallis
By Mike O’Keefe | Published on April 2, 2015
Through the Lens: CJ Wallis

CJ Wallis of FortyFps Productions and JET Life Films shares his birds-eye view on filming and photography while touring the road. His work has been featured on MTV, World Star Hip Hop, XXL, VICE, and Revolt TV.

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Through the Lens: CJ Wallis

CJ Wallis capturing Curren$y in the French Quarters New Orleans.

Touring the country with Curren$y, one the hottest stars in today’s rap game, can be hectic. Hopping from city-to-city at that rate becomes a blur, but for CJ Wallis, or Forty Fps as he’s affectionately known, capturing the numerous Pilot Talk III Tour locations makes him it’s foremost expert.

“I know everything that happens from day one. I’m sort of the encyclopedia,” Wallis stated, Jet Life’s full-time videographer and photographer. “I know that we did this. It’s kind of like a punch line that I have all these answers.”

Photography has a seamless bond to every aspect of human life. Perhaps two of its most beautiful facets are capturing memories and our beautiful world through travel. By documenting the tour, Wallis does both simultaneously.

“I mean you see the crew that I roll around with, so sometimes the memories can get lost. So photography is essential,” Wallis explained. “Every single moment is just imprinted in my brain. All of the things we experienced are cemented and hopefully presented in a very digestible way.”

Editing a video and preparing a shot to best fit the subject takes a certain skill, one that Wallis has truly mastered. Whether it’s a travel landscape or one of the most prominent rappers out there, finding the right angle from the right perspective is key. An interesting viewpoint is that while the PT3 tour videos are featuring Curren$y’s performances in every destination, the documentaries are really about his travels and himself.

“I shoot all of it the way I see it, and then cut it and it goes up that same way,” Wallis explained. “With anything that I put up for Curren$y or whoever, people see it about them, but the way I see it’s my own documentary.”

Through the Lens: CJ Wallis

Wallis has a knack for landscapes, clearly visible in the New Orleans sunset.

Wallis found a lot of his inspiration from cinema, especially around destinations he desired to shoot. Studying how famous directors framed their work and profiled certain destinations has continued to be a driving motivation, especially in the big cities.

New York and Los Angeles have always been huge for me. Those are the main ones,” Wallis stated. “If you’re going to do film and you’re growing up watching movies, those are the most profiled – especially in Scorsese movies.”

While Wallis has definitely made his name profiling JET Life, he possesses a broader talent base. He currently is editing, directing and producing the short film, Umerica, as well as other television work. His love of travel shines through, especially when asked about a destination he’d love to capture.

Through the Lens: CJ WallisPhoto courtesy | Bryan Pocius

“The first thing that came to mind was Reykjavik, Iceland. I just looked and they have some crazy hot springs over there,” Wallis emphatically stated. “Some of my favorite artists come from that side of things – I’m a huge Bjork fan. That whole area over there just seems like it would immense.”

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For further information on CJ Wallis, a.k.a. FortyFps, visit his website and YouTube channel.

Through the Lens: CJ Wallis

About The Writer
Mike O’Keefe

By: Mike O’Keefe | Published on April 2, 2015

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