A Conversation with Dylan Knight

Photographer & Filmmaker

Somehow I stumbled upon Dylan Knight’s website after trying to figure out who shot one of Nemo Achida’s videos. It was the “Big Lights, Deep Shades” video if you were wondering. Looking back now, I’m very happy that I did my random Googling because his work has been the home to some of my favorite reference pieces for my own work.

That’s an interesting statement because I’m not a filmmaker or a photographer, so it speaks volumes when I say that I’m directly inspired by his work. His work has a certain tone to it and I can feel that he really gets into a certain mode of thought that I want to get to more often than not. Because it’s that exact world of thought, and al-most could be known as a parallel universe.
Back to his crafts, film and visuals make such an impact on viewers because it’s the art that most emulates real life on a mass scale. Definitely wanted to include Knight in the article because, unlike me, he has the dedication to make it through art school. One day I hope I can work with him. Just putting it out there.

Being 20 years old and from Kentucky… how do your age and location affect your work?

My location affects my work greatly. I mean, if you live by yourself in the middle of a desert, sure you can still create art, but what is art when you have nobody to share it with? It’s important for me to surround myself with other creatives and people who push me to further my journey as an artist. When it comes to most career paths, it’s all about who you know, and I think that especially applies to the creative fields. I was raised in Kentucky, but I go to school in South Carolina. Just by moving a few states south, I was able to create greater network of people. With the internet, it makes it even easier to connect with people who are all over the world. Through networking, I’ve been able to expand myself as an artist and have the opportunity to travel to many different locations. Even though you can connect with people online, I think it’s still very important to travel to new locations and meet new people in person.

Nemo Achida “Big Lights, Deep Shades”. Directed by Dylan Knight.

Through the lens of “artistic expression,” which medium do you connect with better: photography or film?

Photography is the core of what I do. I really enjoy finding a beautiful subject, and composing it in a way that leads to one or several emotional reactions. Once you have a composition, you can work with moving it and combining it with other elements such as other people, places, objects and music. This is where the film/video part comes in. It’s really fun to expand into the movement part of a film for me once I get the first composition set up. Sometimes it’s easier for me to express myself through photography, but sometimes it can be easier for me to express myself through film. It really depends on what I’m trying to get across and the resources that I have available to me.

Experimental film by Dylan Knight, “Fragment”

When did you start getting into photography, film and cameras? Do you attend school for photography now?

I’ve been interested in photographs for as long as I can remember. Looking at a picture was always so ad-venturous for me. Especially old ones. I liked to create back-stories for each of the people/places in the photograph.

The first time I put pictures/videos together, I was about 14. I was messing around on my dad’s computer and realized that I could mix photos together and lay a track down underneath them to create a slideshow with some emotion. Ever since then I’ve had a strong passion for mixing all kinds of mediums together (mainly video and sound) to create something moving.

I attend the University of South Carolina as a Media Arts major.

Any larger scale projects planned this year?

I have a few short films in the works right now that need some fine-tuning, so hopefully I can get those worked out. I’m looking forward to whatever other series/pieces I come to create as well. Meeting different types of people and collaborating always leads to greater work.

For more on Dylan Knight:
Portfolio: dylanknight.com
Instagram: @dylanknight

Interview/Edited by John Liwag
Article originally published: February 2012