Today’s Notable Young Professional is filmmaker Hyghly Alleyne, who’s been perfecting his craft ever since he was 10 years old. His efforts were rewarded when he accepted an MMVA Best Hip Hop Video award for the second video he’s ever shot, Drake’s “The Motto”…
Elevator pitch: describe your job in a nutshell
As a director I feel empowered to have the ability to create something from nothing and pour all my emotions and philosophies into my product and to see it unfold in front of my eyes.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I had no other choice throughout my life but to become a filmmaker. I tried getting involved in so many other things, but God always steered me into the direction I needed to be. My father is a filmmaker as well, so it is in my blood. I always felt like I was going against the grain and myself when I ventured outside of film.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I become intensely attached to every script I write as I share the same joys and sorrows as the majority of artists that I work with. To share that moment with them and the world becomes therapeutic. Art is another language. It has a lot of power behind it, but I would say the most challenging part about my job is ensuring not to doubt myself.
You are very young to have accomplished so much already. How old are you when you got started?
I honestly started in the industry when I was around 10 or so. I was always on my father’s sets learning and soaking up the environment.
How did you get started in the industry?
When I was bored at home my father always let me help him out with his scripts and treatments. I was probably 9 or 10.
Did you go to film school? If not, why not?
I never went to school for film. I learned first-hand and was always surrounded by filmmakers where I would always ask questions and assist in production.
Did you start off directing celebrity videos or did you start somewhere smaller? What was the process to get where you are?
When I was around 14 years old I worked on a gospel show that aired on Toronto 1 and CTS called Shine TV. I also worked for MTV for a network called Got Tempo. Of course I started at the bottom somewhere but I have always been involved in real productions. Networking and hard work got me to where I am now. I got to a point in my life where I wanted full control of my art and vision. Four years ago my two good friends and I got together to create our own in-house production company called XO. We started creating visuals for one of our friends, who is a recording artist that goes by the name of The Weeknd . The Neptunes always fascinated us and we loved how they worked together to create amazing art. We shared the same vision.
What inspires you most?
Little things inspire me. I never look too far for anything. Genuine expression inspires me the most. I respect everything for what it is.
Who is your “idol”? Do you look up to anyone?
One of my idols would have to be director Antony Mandler. He is an executive producer for BHC Films who I just recently signed with. His work is amazing.
Do you come up with the concepts of your videos or do the artists?
Artists usually have an overall vision for themselves, but the majority of the time I have full creative control. They come to me to help them organically express themselves.
What was it like working with the celebrities you have worked with?
Celebrities are just normal, hard-working people. I love surrounding myself with them and working with them because we all learn something from each other. Celebrities and high-ranked business people all have the same motives and goals, which is to maximize every opportunity given to them. I have a lot of amazing relationships with these artists because we can relate to one another.
What is one sign you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
I look at life in black & white; if something is not working out, I look at it as something I’m not doing right and have to do better. I’m a strong believer in keeping things simple and taking control of what’s in your hands’ reach, focusing on the moment and making the best of it. You’ll never lose that way. Don’t procrastinate when it comes to your life/work – be very in tune with yourself and surroundings.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself in full control of my happiness.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
The one major challenge that I have had to overcome is what I have inflicted on myself. I set my goals high at a young age and put my everything into accomplishing it. The majority of successful people are in their 30s and older. People always forget that. These people are only stable and wealthy because they have been working a very long time. I have overcome that by working harder then the rest.
What does success look like to you? Does money = happiness?
Success to me is a sense of stability and longer periods of happiness. Life itself is an everyday struggle and meditation. Money just makes things fun.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Accepting an MMVA Best Hip Hop Video award for the second video I have ever shot in my entire life is one of the most memorable milestones in my career. Another one was The Weeknd’s first sold out show in Toronto at the Mod Club. It really showed me what hard work and teamwork was all about.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
The key is to stay focused and surround yourself with people and things that are only going to benefit your life and career. Never miss opportunities that are brought into your life.
Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
Honestly, I’m an amazing chef. I love to be at home and cook a good meal with some cognac and red wine.
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “me” time?
You’ll find me in the steam room relaxing, meditating and creating ideas.
Where is your favorite place to travel? Why?
I love LA. Everyone is laid back and money hungry. What more can you ask for? Good weather, cool people and constant opportunities.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be ?
The Weeknd’s whole Trilogy.
If you weren’t doing what you’re, doing what would you be doing?
My purpose is what I’m doing now. If I didn’t have this direction, I probably wouldn’t have been born.
Do you support any charities? If so, which ones and why is that important to you.
I do a lot of charity work for Sick Kids Hospital. My little brother was diagnosed with leukemia when he was three years old. He is now eight and in remission. I spent a lot of time in the hospital. My family’s charity is called Kisses For Kairi, where we raised a lot of money and donated hundreds of hats from BIG IT UP for the kids who lost their hair because of chemo. Also, my grandfather, Archie Alleyne, is a Canadian jazz pioneer. He has a charity called Archie Alleyne’s Scholarship fund. We help musicians and artists get scholarships for school to further their artistic talents.
What to you is notable ?
Anyone who is in a position to help others get to another level in their life or their career.
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#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)