North Texas Daily

Lights, camera, action: UNT alumni film music videos

Lights, camera, action: UNT alumni film music videos

August 09
22:00 2012

Graham White / Contributing Writer

They conclude the day by shooting the live video feed for a concert at the WinStar Casino in Oklahoma, then return to Denton late and begin work early the next morning on a music video production, followed by band practice. For local production company Amandus Studios, all facets of music and film are constantly in motion.

The brain trust behind Amandus Studios consists of 2009 UNT alumni Bryan Walior, Jonathan Heath and Chuck Crosswhite. A close knit and modest group, they embrace their time behind the camera, not in front of it.

Left to Right: Bryan Walior,Chuck Crosswhite and Jonathan Heath. Photo by Desiree Cousineau

“We work well together because we went to film school together, and we all recognized that all three of us were stepping up,” Heath said. “Slowly after that, we became friends, and we grew a friendship before a professional relationship. We realized we could switch roles around and respect each other’s role.”

The primarily freelance group shoots a variety of multimedia. The members of Amandus film in-house live concert feeds for music venues, music videos, short films, commercials, and take part in sport photography all over the map. All are well-versed in the industry, from directing to running the camera. Notable clients have included WFAA-TV, ESPN, Fox and Fox Sports.

Amandus has shot videos for bands such as The Mountain Goats, Shiny Around The Edges and On After Dark.

Part of the group’s success in managing a hectic schedule is their close dynamic, with the ability to spot each other’s best assets.

“As we progressed, we began to know each other professionally,” Walior said. “We know our weaknesses, our strengths. So when we get to do a project, we put our heads together and understand who is going to be suited for whatever role, and it recycles with each project we get.”

The members have as diverse a musical background as they do a production skillset. Crosswhite booked shows for the Fra House, a popular Denton music venue from 2005-2009. Heath worked in promotions for Universal and Sony from 2004-2008. And Walior ran the BS Art Fusion Show at Rubber Gloves for over two years, where the collaborative art show saw him book bands and DJs to play alongside artists.

All three are musically inclined, and Walior and Crosswhite’s band, Secret Cakes, has its first album currently in post-production.

The group gained increased notoriety and connectivity with Denton when they were given the opportunity to set up and run the first live-video feed for the main stage at this year’s 35 Denton festival.

“The live feed was awesome, and it added to the overall atmosphere of the festival,” Kyle LaValley, 35 Denton creative director said. “I think the quality of their work is an indication of how close friends they are. That’s what sets them apart. They’re friends first, and the production work benefits from that.”

The group decided early to become their own bosses and work together independently, in favor of working under a union with a film company.
“I think it’s important to recharge your creative battery,” Crosswhite said. “By doing less corporate stuff and doing stuff that’s more our projects, it keeps the passion going.”

Amandus Studios is currently working on acquiring an LLC, with increased attention to the company’s website and insurance.

Looking into the future, the guys from Amandus simply wish to make a living doing what they love, and doing it together.

“I couldn’t imagine doing it without them,” Heath said. “I just want to look back and say we did what we wanted and we made a living doing it. We called the shots and we made it our own way.”

For more information or to view Amandus Studios’ work, visit vimeo.com/amandusstudios.

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