Gavin & A.J. of Upon Further Review
August 10, 2014 at 8:46 pm
Upon Further Review aka #UFR is a hip hop video blog that specializes in creating cinematic vignettes surrounding topics within the global diaspora of hip hop. They review current albums and highlight topics that span social, political, and cultural events that usually get overlooked. I talked with them about their grind and the passion they share for film and hip hop.
How did you guys meet?
Gavin: We both met at film school actually. We hit it off right away. It was the love for hip hop that we shared that really connected us and eventually led us to working together.
A.J.: I always loved hip hop. But I also wanted to find my craft. Working together has really lead us into a deep creative space.
How does #UFR educate the public? How important is it to get your message across?
Gavin: I just want to get the message out that we’re not hip hop music critics.We are film makers with a huge passion for hip hop. We want to use our strengths and share content on a video platform.
A.J.: Right now our plans are to take our videos to middle schools, high schools, and colleges. We just really want to take it to the schools. For middle and high schools, we really want to invest our time in teaching them that film making is a craft. Building a craft is important. You definitely need a skillset when you come out of college. Overall, we want to educate people on all levels, that you need to do what you love and showcase it.
This is how we give back to hip hop. We really just want to expand.
How important is it for leading artists like Kanye or JAY Z to keep pushing the culture forward?
Gavin: You know when it comes to Jay Z, he’s older than hip hop. That man has been around and still continues to be relevant. He’s crucial to the importance of hip hop and still puts out quality music. Kanye has definitely pushed the culture even further with his experimentation. They undoubtedly are together a huge part of hip hop.
A.J.: JAY Z’s most recent album Magna Carta, to be honest, it was a seasonal album. But, the fact that he had a three minute trailer of his album during the Finals last year was crazy. That’s what makes JAY Z who he is. Yeezus, I wasn’t really feeling that. But, its sonic sound quality is something you can really appreciate. You know he put the work into it.
What’s your mission statement at #UFR?
Gavin: UFR is a nonprofit multimedia company, aiming to uplift the millennial culture. We strive to share our message through our work. We believe in what we do.
A.J.: We’re a PBS for hip hop. We do cinematic experimentation and our goal is to expand our community outreach.
Is it difficult for people to hop on board of what you’re trying to accomplish with #UFR?
Gavin: We’re far from where we want to be. When we get the opportunity to speak to people in person, that’s when we’re able to get people on board. It’s hard to reach the masses, the subject matter we create is not usually something people think about.
A.J: Even when we started, we were questioning whether we wanted to be current, or do we want to be timeless. We know we have the talent, we want people to understand. Making sure we’re being creative and innovative is the mindset.
What’s the proudest achievement you’ve had with #UFR?
Gavin: I would say the proudest achievement is our last crowdfunding. We raised $1000. It was for 90 days, but we got in the first 15 days. That really showed that people understand our movement. The amount of support we got was amazing and how quickly we were able to achieve that number.
A.J. The greatest achievement we’ve done is the content we’ve provided for the past six months. The documentary we’re creating is definitely something we’re proud of and we can’t wait to finish that up.
When you’re directing videos, what are the responsibilities for the each of you?
A.J. – I’m more so the producer for the content we push out. Gavin is the creative director. But, we are all trained to be able to perform any task in those positions. When we start creating a video, each person has an idea and we produce our own. Then, we collaborate from there to produce the content.
From your personal grind, what’s the most effective social media platform to connect with your supporters and fans?
Gavin: Instagram definitely in today’s world—they capture a person’s attention so efficiently. Twitter also, but you have to be more consistent with what you put out.
What are you goals for the rest of this year?
A.J: Finishing up the documentary and setting up another crowdfunding campaign. We have to make sure it’s a success. We’re going for $10,000, we want to raise the funds in order to do more for the community. We want to make sure were giving out t-shirts to the supporters. If we reach our goal we want to set up an event, with a toy drive, canned food drive, and have an audition to try get a lot of local artists to participate. We want to knock out all the videos were in the process of finishing up. Partnering with magazines is huge for us and we’re looking to get out the Outkast Funk Festival.
Gavin: We want to be able to get a sponsorship, like Spotify, PBS, something along those lines. We really just want to build our brand and keep moving forward.
Click below to stay up to date on all of the dope content #UFR is creating:
#UFR gives special thanks to:
“We couldn’t have made it this far without the support of our loyal fans from day one, our Advising Committee, TubeStart, CLT+, Lived Inspired Magazine, Lea Anderson, the Ai Film Community, The Listening Public, our film family over at Visceral Visions and and the all of our many affiliates. BLVCK Universe, FC Family, VSMOP, Charlotte Media & Music Consultants, Mahkoto, NiGeHood, LoKi, Roots2Rap, Francois, Will C, Infatue Clothing, Sativa, Frosted Leaf, Food Chain Music, The D.O.P.E. game welcome to it, and the underground hip hop community of Charlotte.”
Photo credit to Lauren Cowart Photography