Nathan Brown and Arturo Martinez, both sophomore filmmakers studying media arts and sciences at IUPUI, have recently started a documentary series titled Indy Artist Spotlight. This documentary series takes a look at different artists coming out of Indianapolis and shines a spotlight on them and their inspiration for what they produce.
“I think it would be cool to get the Indianapolis art scene out there,” Brown said in a sit-down interview about his inspiration behind the project. “There are a lot of Indianapolis artists not really recognized. Indianapolis in general is not recognized.”
Their first Spotlight was released on March 22, 2019 and focuses on Indianapolis native rapper Mark Battles.
In his documentary, Battles focuses on what got him into music and why he loves being a music artist. After going to one of his concerts to film the documentary, Brown had this to say about the experience.
“Meeting Mark was my favorite part. I listened to his music a lot before so I was kinda starstruck about it. It was a surreal experience because I was the one interviewing him, straight to his face. He’s a really cool dude.”
Brown continued, “Planning for it was hectic. He messaged us back a week before his concert so we had a few days to get everything together.”
He shared his thoughts on the interviewing aspect of the documentary.
“I had never done an interview before that, so I was a little nervous. He’s the real deal, he’s on iTunes and shows up when you search hip-hop. That was really cool. I watched a bunch of YouTube videos on what exactly goes into interviewing somebody.”
Brown talked about the night of the concert.
“We had to wait until after his meet-and-greet, after the show, so it ended up being around 1 a.m. until we could talk to the guy and he was still down to do it. Really cool dude.”
Indy Artist Spotlight was intended to be one large documentary but once they started the interviews, they knew it would have to be a series. Brown explained how they came to that conclusion.
“Whenever they started talking about themselves, nothing matched up and so we decided to produce them as a series.”
Indy Artist Spotlight is not just limited to music artists. They have already interviewed photographer Edrece Stansberry, an IU graduate, and current IUPUI student Armando Salvador, who is a Latin dance teacher. Both of which are in the editing phase. Brown mentioned the potential for more.
“We want to keep going with it, potentially getting a tattoo artist, we feel like that would be a good Spotlight.”
This isn’t Brown’s only project. He has short films posted on his Youtube page “A Man Named Dog” that include The Vlogger, Treasure, The Approval and Dyngus Day. He also posts updates on projects through his Instagram @nathanmakesmovies.
He credits IUPUI with teaching him everything he knows about filmmaking and giving him the resources, such as cameras and editing software, to help him improve and execute his craft.
“A lot of resources are available here. We were able to check out all of the equipment for the documentary at IUPUI.”
What’s next for Brown is still to be determined. He says he’s unsure of his end goal, but knows video production will be involved.
“I’ve still got two years to figure that out, but I’d like to maybe go into sports. Either being the actual camera guy or being one of the production guys behind the scenes. Being able to work in sports would be awesome.”
In the meantime, Brown and Martinez will continue to shine a spotlight on Indianapolis artists, one artist at a time.