Clarissa May: The Inner Making of My Mind

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Clarissa May is an astonishing videographer travelling the world, camera ready to roll at any moment. She shared her story with us and allowed us insight into the ins and outs of her eye-catching videos. To check out her Instagram click here and to see her films first hand click here!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Well, let’s start with this - my name's Clarissa Antoinette May. I’m 19 and I’ve been into videography for as long as I can remember. I was the kid who spoke into my shitty computer camera acting as if I had my own TV show or something. I also used to run around with this terrible dark red camcorder recording everything I was doing, which by the way, only recorded for a few seconds at a time so it made everything very difficult for me (laughs). I wish I could tell you more about me & make myself sound somewhat interesting, but I have no idea.

What are some of the major inspirations for your videos? They're incredibly original and beautiful, what's the vision?

People. People are my inspiration. If you haven’t gathered from watching my videos, I’m not in a lot of them. I’m too busy filming everyone else doing something picturesque. At least that’s how it seems to me. I capture the things that I think other people should see.

How would you describe your work? 

You tell me.

I think "We Went Away." is one of my favourite works of yours. Can you tell me a little bit about that? What was the trip like? Where on earth did you guys go? It looks like something you'd see in the movies, but not something that would actually happen in real life. 

When I think back to that trip it felt like a dream. Everything was so quiet and secluded and creative - all us girls had something to work on, like writing or art. We spent most of our time laying out on a blanket in the sun reading, talking or working on something. I believe it was a place called ‘Hungry Head’. The place we stayed at was this amazing Air Bnb pretty much surrounded by nature and wildlife. I miss that trip a lot. But hey, who’s to say we won’t be back?

Where's your favourite place that you've traveled so far? How do new places inspire your creativity? 

I would’ve said New York if I didn’t just get back from Europe. Europe was the first place I traveled to alone, so it was a really big deal for me. I’ve never been to these places before, and that’s what inspires me. Everything’s different. When you’re travelling you’re almost always doing something, so I always try to capture it. I have a terrible memory and I’d like to remember these trips as vividly as possible.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to travel and make videos as beautiful as yours?

BE YOURSELF! I can’t stress that enough. And I know everyone says that, but it’s true. Find your own inspiration, find your own motivation otherwise it just won’t work. Don’t try to force something to happen. Don’t try ‘’copy’’ other peoples work frame to frame. You need to find your own way of doing things. It won’t happen overnight, but you should try enjoy the process.

How do edit your videos? I've noticed that especially in "Collected Clips 001" you have a really distinct style for editing.

Most of my videos have been very ‘clean cut’ but I’m going more of a 'raw' style right now. I do get this question a lot and I’m sorry I can’t help you with that one. Most of the time I don’t know how I’m going to piece things together. But even if I did, I wouldn’t want people knowing, otherwise everyone’s work will look the same. That’s boring.

Speaking of which, can you tell me more about that video? It's absolutely stunning.

Thank you! I look back on this video and so much has changed, you have no idea. I think deep down I knew that everything was changing so I decided to film what I could just to look back on it.

My friend Charlie and I used to always walk around at night talking about god knows what just because we wanted to. I had also just started dating my boyfriend, Josh, who’s in the video. At the start of our relationship we used to stay in his bed for hours just to be with each other. I brought my camera one time and managed to get a few clips of him, (laughs) he hates when I shove a camera in his face.

I’m not that into to art, and this was actually the first art show I had ever been to. I went because at the time one of my best friends had her artwork displayed in it. I was really proud. I don’t see a lot of the people I went to the art show with anymore, so I’m glad I filmed it.

Why do you think people tend to overlook so much? Like, little beautiful moments that are never given a second thought? And what advice would you have for someone trying to get in tune to those details more?

I’m not sure why, maybe people are too in their head. I think everyone’s guilty of doing that. I think once you have a vision for something it’s not as hard to capture what you want. I ending up being surrounded by ‘my vision' for the most part, but it wasn’t always like that. Figure out what you want and don’t force anything to happen suddenly.

How do you feel when you look back on these clips that you saved? I'm a really nostalgic person too, so I really relate to that on a spiritual level. What does nostalgia mean to you?

Nostalgia's weird man. I actually don’t like looking back on old photos and videos, I think it’s important to try stay present. I think about ‘older me’ sometimes and I try capture everything for her. I’m still so young and I can’t dwell on the past, no one should. There’s only so much a photo or a video can tell. Don’t forget about how you actually felt in those moments.

Another piece that really struck me was "The Inner Making Of My Mind," can you also take me through that video? What inspired you and such?

That was a week of so much change. My friends had graduated school, I was quite lost. It was like everyone was ‘’stepping into the real world’’ whatever that’s supposed to mean. It was really just a happy/sad emotional time that I wanted to document. Once again, so much has changed, so I’m happy I did so.

Can you talk a little bit more on what it was like once high school ended, how you began the next part of your life, and any advice for others who are experiencing a lot of change?

The ending of my high school experience was extremely difficult. There was so much change thrown in my face that it didn’t even feel gradual. I became extremely depressed and I felt as if I was left on my own. If I could go back I would’ve tried to embrace the change, which is my advice. Everyone and everything is always changing, we can’t do anything to stop change. Hard times don’t last forever and the ‘change’ that we’re so afraid of will eventually turn into something good.

What are some songs that you can just sit in the dark and fall into? Some songs that you're really vibing with right now? 

I love Black Marble for doing just that. The album ‘A Different Arrangement’ is just perfect.

What's your statement to live by?

If you don’t enjoy doing something, don’t do it. That has to be it. I’ve lived by that statement most of my life. I hope one day I find success in what I love doing.