We had the good fortune of connecting with Brad Rushing and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brad, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I am always reminded of the quote: “If you want something you have never had before you must do something you have never done before.” Venturing into uncharted waters is always a risk. There is no familiarity to fall back on. But that is where great breakthroughs and accomplishments lie.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have had a passion for artistic expression for as long as I can remember. As soon as I could hold a crayon drawing was a favorite past time. I attended a vocational arts high school and had a double major in college with fine art and filmmaking. I am also a musician and enjoy writing and science. All of these disciplines come together in filmmaking, and specifically in cinematography. It was only in retrospect that I fully appreciated how those seemingly disparate paths all converged behind a motion picture camera.
From shooting mostly feature films I expanded into high end music videos collaborating at first with a friend from Houston, director Joseph Kahn. I worked with artists like Moby, Eminem, Nelly, Mariah Carey and Lifehouse. The Moby video, “We Are All Made of Stars” won me an MTV VMA Moonman for Best Cinematography. The music video I photographed which people tend to get the most excited about is Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” My personal favorite is “Damaged” by TLC which I filmed with Joseph in Atlanta – I deeply love both the imagery and the song. When the music video market imploded in the mid 2000s due in part to the rise of illegal downloading and the demise of MTV’s music video programming my focus shifted more to commercials and promos which are generally more lucrative and much quicker shoots than narrative work. One of my favorite experiences was working with director Jay Roach and Jack Black on a funny long form promo for a show called Earth To America on TBS.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Pasadena, so Old Town Pasadena would be on the agenda, as well as a meal on the patio at El Cholo in the Paseo Colorado. A visit to the Norton Simon museum would be a highlight and maybe a picnic lunch at Arlington Garden. I would take them for authentic French pastries at Frenchifornia on Colorado Blvd. and later hiking in Eaton Canyon, or for a more refined stroll through the gardens and flowers at the Los Angeles Arboretum on Baldwin a few miles east on the 210 or Huntington Gardens.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I owe eternal thanks to my instructors like Pat Zeitoun, Ken Luce and Patrick Coakley from High School for Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, and my college film professors Raymond Fielding and Craig Ness from University of Houston.