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Meet Chandler Locke

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chandler Locke.

Chandler, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I remember when I was little, I used to go to work with my dad at Warner Bros. From a very young age, I was exposed to film and TV sets and how things were ran behind the scenes. The majority of my immediate family have worked or currently work in the film industry which had a huge impact on me growing up, hearing about the industry, talking about it, and seeing it first hand.

My father always had music playing around the house. And I always liked listening to whatever he was listening to. My parents put me in piano lessons when I was about 4-5, and I had a couple of recitals, started playing alto sax in 2nd grade (I think), and electric bass in 3rd grade. I played in my school’s band and when I got into middle school, I started playing upright classical bass. Music was my first passion. I thought making movies was cool but not as cool as playing music, that all changed when I got to high school.

I went to a magnet arts high school and was set on getting into their music program, mainly because of all of the good things my peers told me about it and the fact that the music director there was a bass player. In my final year of middle school, he ended up having to take personal leave of absence and never came back. All my peers that told me about the program changed their mind and told me that the program was not as good without him. I even went and auditioned, but it just didn’t feel right to me. That’s when I made the switch to studying film.

Upon entering high school, I became immersed in it. Throughout my high school experience, I learned as much as I could about it and did as much of my own research as I could. I learned about prominent filmmakers and cinematic masterpieces. I also studied design and photography and became immersed in that as well.

During my junior year, I made a short film that was very personal to me at the time. I spent a total of ten months making it. It got selected to be in my high school’s annual film festival and won the award for best director. It was exhibited to a sold out crowd of over 400 people and it was the last film screened that night. After the festival, I was approached by so many people about the film, with questions, positive comments, and praise. Many people said that they related to the material, or felt a personal connection with it, and some even told me they cried. This is when I knew I wanted to keep making films for the rest of my life.

Currently, I’m in my final year of college at California State University, Northridge, majoring in Film Production. At the end of 2019, I was the Cinematographer on my senior thesis film project called “CUFFED” (@cuffedmovie).

In my free time, I like to travel, which is something that has been a fundamental influence on my creative process and personal development. Most of my creative inspiration comes to me through travel and I think that it’s absolutely essential to see the world. We only have one life on this planet, and I plan to experience as much of it as I can.

I also play bass in a band called HANNAH (@hannahlabanda). We are currently in the process of recording our debut album. You can find our EP titled LOVE MAY FIND US, and a couple of singles on Spotify, Apple Music, and Soundcloud.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Getting to where I am today has not necessarily been easy, but in comparison to other’s journeys, I feel fortunate to have a good support system and a loving and caring circle around me. I believe that everyone’s struggles are relative to their own journey and that everyone faces hardships in different ways.

For me, it’s been a learning process to get to the mentality that I have today. I believe that the only thing holding me back is myself. I’m very critical of my work, and I don’t measure my own success in the same way that others may measure my success. I’m not one to celebrate accomplishments and nowadays, I try not to dwell on failures because I’ve come to realize that I will celebrate when I feel I’ve done something that deserves celebrating, and I choose to learn from my failures.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
My primary focus for the majority of my life has been going to school and getting an education. In my free time, I work as a freelance photographer and filmmaker. My main focus is shooting for music artists because I find that it combines my interest in music and visual storytelling together.

My next steps are legitimizing my business and shooting and working more. It’s hard to balance everything sometimes when you have other responsibilities that do not align with your end goal. That’s the way life is though. There will always be upkeep and things that go on behind the scenes to make things work and enable you to keep doing what you love.

I recently left a full-time job as a product photographer and videographer and I hated it. It’s the craziest thing because I thought it made me successful. Most people I’d tell about the job thought it was the dream especially for my age. Bottom line is, focus on yourself as much as you possibly can, and if stuff is in the way of you and your happiness, or it doesn’t contribute to your journey, cut it out.

What were you like growing up?
I don’t really think I was ever the competitive type and I’ve always been more of an observer. I think I’ve gone through phases and throughout the years, I’ve matured from someone who had many interests into honing in on exactly what I like. In addition, I used to keep lots of company, but nowadays, I can count all the people I talk to on a normal basis, on my hands. In terms of interests, it’s pretty simple nowadays. Filmmaking, photography, music and fashion.


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