It’s not every day that we hear of a Calgarian successfully making their way to living and working in Los Angeles. But, that’s exactly what Conrad Sun has accomplished for himself. He juggles a career as a development associate while owning and working for Vigor Media, a video production company based in Calgary that helps emerging artists reach their potential through visual storytelling.
Sun realized his passion for video production a few years after moving to Edmonton from Calgary, when an opportunity came along for him to start producing badminton videos. In the basement of his former partner’s home, he began his journey as a video and film professional. Sun then ended up in Los Angeles after being accepted into the University of Southern California’s Peter Stark producing program.
“In Edmonton, we got experience making these videos, which eventually led us to wedding videography. After more clients and money came in, we expanded to Calgary,” says Sun.
Vigor Media, which is going into its 10th year of business, specializes in all aspects of video production, ranging from corporate videos to life events. Above all, Sun and his colleagues are most passionate about helping emerging artists in Alberta share their brand through music videos.
“We want to give artists the best opportunity possible to be successful,” he says.
“We are here to help them succeed and to better their growth through music videos and visual branding.”
After graduating from the Peter Stark producing program, Sun ended up getting offered a permanent job in Los Angeles and has been living there ever since.
“I love the weather and the fact that there are so many pockets within this city that have their own culture, like Silverlake and Koreatown,” he says. “I am a city guy and Los Angeles has everything you need, culturally.”
Even with his success in Los Angeles, he is still passionate about continuing to help artists in Alberta.
“The Calgary artistic community is huge and we love to help the emerging artists in Alberta brand themselves and show their abilities,” he says. “It’s so innovative and creative, and something that we have a lot of fun with. We have worked with artists such as California Lane Change, Brendan Kelly and Lexi Strate.”
“We combined our creative visions for the video treatment and, artistically, our ideas clicked,” says Strate, a 21-year-old emerging artist from Calgary, who got help from Sun and his team to create her music video.
“The music industry is definitely a roller coaster ride! It can be pretty discouraging at times when expectations are not met or opportunities fall through,” she says.
Sun’s colleague, Ewen Clark, says that what they love to do is help these artists build on ideas and trigger thoughts of what should be included in the video, as well as what the song means visually.
“It’s so easy to get music produced and, nowadays, everyone needs a video,” says Clark. “A lot of young artists come to us who are trying to break into the industry and we have the ability to provide some inspiration and work with them on fun and creative ideas to do while making their video.”
What does the future look like for Sun? A jack-of-all-trades, Sun has a goal of producing three short films, one of which he just wrapped up in April in Calgary, directed by producing partner, Neil Champagne.
“I believe that with filmmaking, it’s good practice to make short films. I do it on the side as much as I can. It takes time and money, but it’s worth it,” says Sun.
By Kaila Sept