OCCC Student Offers Accessible Creative Outlet for Independent Artists
By Caleb Barrick – Pioneer Reporter
“I want to be able to offer a safe space for creative individuals to create,” OCCC student Lucky Valentine said.
A student in the Digital Cinema Production program approaching his final semester, Valentine has already made great leaps in his creative career.
A native of Newcastle, Okla., Valentine is the co-owner of Courtroom Media Company. The mission of the company is to provide a creative and accessible outlet for creative minds who are looking to get their content produced and distributed.
“We do all sorts of video services, mostly music videos. We’ve done just under or just over three-hundred music videos in the past eighteen months. We do them internationally,” Valentine said.
Valentine had always been interested in music and visual media, so despite the possibilities for different career paths, he stuck with his passion.
“I didn’t want to jump into something that I felt like would be a desk job for the rest of my life until I had experienced the things I really wanted to creatively,” he said. “I looked out to local places that might be able to teach me how to work a camera or how to work music stuff. Anything I could get my hands on as far as a creative application goes.”
He attended Mid-America Technology Center in high school enrolling in their multimedia program before starting concurrent enrollment classes in the DCP program during his senior year.
“I knew that I wanted to work either with cameras or in the music industry. I wanted to be close to something creative and have access to other people who want the same thing,” Valentine said. “I had a great time. I really enjoyed the hands-on experience you’re able to get.”
Throughout his time in the program, Valentine gained experience in fields that would help him in his future career.
“Whenever I went through OCCC, I had a focus on film audio. I was always the sound guy. I really the enjoy the audio editing class that they had,” he said.
Valentine also pointed out the problem-solving aspect of filmmaking that appealed to him.
“You have to be crafty. You have to find solutions to problems. There’s no right way, there’s no industry standard,” he said.
According to Valentine, his drive to create and help others create is due to independent creators that use the internet as their primary outlet for their content. He emphasized the independence and freedom for single artists on the internet.
“It’s all made by the users,” Valentine said.
The process of producing songs and albums that used to take dozens of people and multiple months to complete can now be accomplished by one person at a computer.
“You find some insanely talented people who are just criminally slept on,” Valentine said. “I know music videos that were shot with two people. Some of the best music and some of the best visuals I’ve ever seen.”
His previous experience in music, his love for audio and editing, and his drive are what eventually led to the creation of Courtroom Media Company which boasts a client base that spans the globe.
“We spend a lot of time editing videos. A lot of these international clients that we’ll get don’t have the budget for us to go fly out and film a music video. So that speaks to some of the ‘craftiness’ that I had to mention earlier. Because if someone halfway across the world has $300 and they want you to make a music video for them, you can tell them no, or you can tell them yes and come up with whatever you can come up with and make something cool out of it anyways,” Valentine said.
He went on to explain the process for creating their brand of music videos.
“A lot of our music videos are heavily abstract, really bright, a lot of audio-reactive patterns and stuff like that. We have a lot of stock footage websites that we’ll use to intertwine with the footage that we get ourselves and if we can get any footage of the artist themselves. It’s kind of like a big Frankenstein project of just trying to get it done,” he said.
Courtroom Media Company also streams a show on Twitch where Valentine and some of his colleagues showcase and promote music from independent artists as well as interview local artists and production crews. Courtroom Media Company’s Twitch channel can be found at: https://www.twitch.tv/courtroom_media.
Valentine stated, “What I want the Courtroom Media Company to be is a place here in Oklahoma City that can help people who, like me when I was younger, didn’t have access to the tools to learn these things. I want to be able to offer reasonable experience and services to people who just want to make things.”
As was characteristic of our entire conversation, Valentine ended our conversation with some advice to students, the two main virtues being community and ingenuity.
“Find your group of people. Educate yourself and be ready to figure it out,” he said.