LA based director/photographer Anthony “Supreme” Thompson sat down with us this week to share his story of how he went from directing and producing music videos in North Carolina, to living out of his car in LA and landing the opportunity to photograph the cover of J. Cole’s newest album “4 Your Eyez Only“. This Anthony Supreme interview is not one to miss!
Anthony takes us through his journey and shows us the relationships he’s built along the way in his career. He also dives into why he left North Carolina for LA to live out of his Honda Element.
The episode is an amazing source of motivation and inspiration for anyone looking to take a leap in their career and how to set yourself up to succeed. It shows us why genuine relationships are to critical to new opportunities and why gear matters less than you think.
Below are a series of timestamps and questions we cover as well as the top quotes from this interview with Anthony Supreme. Feel free to explore the links to all of the other directors, artists and photographers he mentions and give him a follow on Instagram to stay tuned to his journey.
Hope you enjoy the episode and please be sure to share with someone you know needs to hear this.
1:10- How did you pick up this Director/ Photo mentality and what were your first couple years like?
5:12 Did you pick up and leave Red Audio?
6:00- Talk why LA vs Atlanta
7:04- How did you teach yourself and what were you using?
8:00- How did you meet Scott Lazer and Isaih Dante?
8:48- Did you set up test shoots during that time?
9:30- Talk about your story at the record store in Sydney
12:23- How did you get to Sydney?
13:10- How did you get on text message terms with Scott Lazer?
15:25- Did you already have your portfolio before the opportunity with Cole came up?
16:40- Talk about what you usually shoot on and what did you shoot Cole’s cover with?
18:50- What would say to someone looking to make that jump to another city?
22:15- Looking back now did you feel that things were taking forever or happening quickly?
26:55- What was it like having J.Cole go through your pictures?
27:57- How did you get the shot that ended up being the cover?
32:45- How does one live out of their car in LA?
42:30- What advice would you give to someone who knows what they want to do but they are still in college?
48:00- Do they tell you their budget or give you the rate upfront for shooting a cover?
50:45: Where do you see this going now?
Truth Bombs + Top Quotes
“I mean I still live in my car, but I always find myself saving more money and be able to do the things I want to do.”- 3:50
“I wanted to move to LA because of the weather, warm all year long” 6:27
“I remember RCA asking “Could we get some of those photos so maybe we can use one for his album cover?” 10:12
“I knew that this opportunity was pretty much what you prep your whole life in photography for so why would you half step it any, just got and have fun.” 18:19
“There might be millions of photographers that are great at what they do but don’t have the opportunity yet but that doesn’t mean opportunity won’t come and just being patient about the opportunity” 22:03
“If he’s back there (J. Cole) at 4 AM working on music and I’m up here looking at Facebook, then I’m doing something wrong. Maybe I should be working on something too. ” 24:00
“I’m out of town on tour with Cole the next three months, do you want to stay at my crib?” 14:48
Kareem from Russia-
“The first day he got there, walking around DTLA and he randomly walked on set and just started working for free on a movie set. He had an AC belt or something like that. Just built a network talking to people on set. Fast forward now he’s working on the set of the Fast and Furious getting paid.” 20:30
“I looked up a bunch of YouTube videos of staying in a specific car.” 35:00
“He emailed Birdman everyday for a year.”
“Having a solid route and going place and sacrificing your playtime for work, while everyone is playing”- 38:57
“You’re 19 yrs old, you really have no motherf*ckin excuse to not be learning” -41:31
“Relationships really do take you a long way but sometimes you have to let relationships go too” 40:10
“You need to come with me to set to learn and meet some people”
“If you love what you do, then obviously, thats what you should be doing” 44:20
“You have to make a choice in your mind at some point whether it’s something you really want to do or not.” 53:47