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There's a saying that goes "Sometimes you have to risk everything for a dream only you can see" and that's exactly what a Video Director from the east side of Buffalo did.  Meet Gus Clarke, a man with a dream who risked it all and it's paying off in a major way.

Little did the kid from Buffalo realize that the decision he made would later lead him to being a Sports Emmy Nominated Video Director for Best Long Feature. I caught up with Gus Clarke to discuss his journey thus far and where he plans to go next....

REDDROXX: Fist and foremost, CONGRATULATIONS on all of your success! 

GUS CLARKE:  Thanks for reaching out, I really appreciate it!

RR:  You’re more than welcome. Please start by introducing yourself to the readers.

GC:  My name is Augustus Clarke.  Many people know me as Gus from Buffalo, NY.  I now go by Slim Gus “The Video Shotta”.  I’m a DJ, Video Director, Road Manager for the living legend Marsha Ambrosius and now Emmy Nominee.

RR: That’s an impressive resume and introduction! Tell me, how did you get your start in videography?

GC:  I purchased my first Mac laptop during my sophomore year in college.  In the summer of 2009, I filmed my first music video with my brother Glenwood Boogie.  I used this cheap point and shoot camera. I opened up the free iMovie program that came with my Mac and that’s where it started.  The funny thing about my first video edit was that I didn’t know how to cut to different scenes, so it was a one take video.

RR: So clearly you’ve come a long way! Who was your biggest inspiration?

GC:  My mother is my biggest inspiration.  In my eyes, she’s a superwoman.  She’s the reason I’m the man that I am today.  It’s truly a blessing to have such a smart woman in my corner.

RR: That’s amazing, shout out to mom dukes! It’s definitely a major life hack to have a strong woman in your corner but life still isn’t without difficulties however. What’s some of the obstacles you’ve faced with with getting established?

GC:  Honestly, not having the knowledge I have today regarding life and business.   I’m still a student of the game and continue to learn new things every day.  A lot of people run into obstacles because of the lack of knowledge when it comes to unfamiliar fields.  We can gain wisdom from good and bad experiences throughout life.  I can only offer advice on things I’ve experienced or learned myself.

RR: I would have to agree on that. Life experiences are the best teachers for sure. While going through and getting through those obstacles, at what point were you like “ok I can do this”?

GC: The moment I met my video production mentor Tom Wills (Steadicam Operator) in college.  He saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.  I was eager to learn and evolve into something better.  Tom is pretty much my sensei of the video world.  He knows just about everything.  He’s one of the greats and is usually booked up all year-round.

RR: I always say mentors are one of the keys to success no matter your field. No better teacher than someone who’s experienced the things first-hand that you’ll encounter and help to prepare you for them. So eventually you felt comfortable enough to offer your services to the world,  who was your fist major client? 

GC: Chinx Drugz - may he rest in peace.  H

e was a really solid guy. Gone too soon.  Much love to Happy for connecting those dots for me and my brother Diggs to work with him.

RR: Wow, that’s major! Rest in peace to Chinx. What was your most memorable gig?

GC: In July of 2020, I filmed a music video for Darren Waller of the Las Vegas Raiders at the top of this mountain.  This was by far my wildest shoot. We climbed this insane mountain without any climbing gear to capture maybe 25 seconds of footage to close out the video.  This shoot could’ve ended my life honestly.  The NFL reached out to me to use that footage for their 360 piece featuring Darren entitled “The Other Side”, which was aired for the masses on the NFL Network.  That’s one of my greatest accomplishments ever.  I honestly can’t think of any director that has had their music video footage used to elevate a powerful story, on a national level.  I have to thank Julian Gooden for that opportunity.  Look him up when you get some free time.  He’s another talented individual with a long list of Emmy Awards!

RR: To think that you could have almost lost your life to capture footage is insane! But it’s also a testament to your work ethic. Speaking of, you made some other life altering decisions for your career including relocation. Talk about that process and what made you take the leap of faith and moving across the country to chase your dream?

GC: Deep down inside, I love my city.   I knew that I needed to spread my wings elsewhere to elevate to the next level though.  A ton of friends in my circle were pushing me to move for a few years.  The common sentiment was “You’re too talented”.  I was scared as hell to make that leap of faith, but I also know that I can outwork anyone when my mind is locked in.  I was offered a Video Director position at my brother’s restaurant in LA called “Comfort LA”.  Given the time sensitive nature of the offer, I had a solid month vacate my apartment and hustle up as much cash as possible for the move.  The cost of living in LA is crazy, so I had to be on point with this move.  Once that time came, Diggs and I drove 37 hours to LA in my pickup truck with the hitch attached.  We only stopped for gas and bathroom breaks, sleeping in the car while the other one drove and vice versa. Saying goodbye to my mother and little brother in the house that I grew up in literally broke me down to tears.  I was thinking, like damn, I won’t be able to drive 10 minutes to visit them anymore.

RR: That actually brought tears to my eyes…I can tell your passion just by how you talk about not only your decision to move but the love for your family as well. Had to be a very tough decisions. So how’s things been so far? 

GC: I’ve been working my butt off, grinding every day like there’s no tomorrow.  I didn’t come out here to party, I came out here to win.  I share my wins with the people that love and support me. We inspire one another to never let up.  I will never be the one to put on a facade for people to think I’m doing amazing.  I work HARD man.  You must stay consistent, because if you don’t, you’ll miss out on opportunities or end up on Skid Row.

RR: That’s truly inspiring and clearly it’s paying off! So let’s get down to the good stuff…you’re now a EMMY  NOMINATED Video Director! So amazing! How did you find out and put into words your emotions if you can. 

Used with permission from Gus Clarke

GC: When I received the call from Julian,  I was actually in my bedroom, locked in on a project.  I couldn’t wrap my mind around it at all, but after we hung up, I shed so many tears of joy.  You know I had to call all my close friends and family after I ran through the house yelling and clapping my hands.  Days later, I’m just as happy.  This kid from the East Side of Buffalo, NY received a Sports Emmy

Nomination.  This is for my city - all of us are nominated!

RR: Whew! That has to be the absolute best feeling ever. So now that we have the Grammy Nom box checked off, what’s next for you? 

GC: To keep mashing that gas and pushing it to the next

level.  There is no ceiling to the goals I want to reach!

RR: Heardu! I’m sure the projects will start pouring Do you plan on expanding your team? 

GC: Yes, but as of now,  the “home team” is my circle - a brotherhood of genuine, talented, hard working, loyal people.  I look forward to expanding my film crew, for sure. For so many years, I’ve been doing this alone or with Diggs by my side.  It’s all about elevating now...

How can we support your movement? 

RR: Salute to you and your team and especially Diggs! Let us know how can we support your movement and also how can we book you? 

GC: Spread the word and continue that genuine love.  You can stay updated with my new projects via Instagram @iamslimgus. Download my brother’s new album “Jimmy Hustle - Dumb Hustle 2: Still Dumb”.  Also be sure to check out sangriafive.com, my brother So EZ (IG @sangriafive) makes the best Sangria in the world.  If you need some amazing food in LA, stop by “Comfort LA” which is owned by the one & only Jeremy McBryde (IG @comfortla).  You can also grab the best pizza on the west cost from Cordaro’s Pizza (IG @Cordaro4u).  Last but not least, please check out https://chrisjordanco.com/ and https://www.deadfreshcrew.com/.  These are my top 2 favorite clothing designers in the world. Booking info: iamslimgus@gmail.com

RR: Leave a word of advice for other upcoming directors/videographers

GC: NEVER LET UP & STAY CONSISTENT.  MAKE MAGIC WITH THE TOOLS & SKILLS YOU HAVE.  THE ONLY WAY IS UP!  #OneDream

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