We had the good fortune of connecting with David Berry and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi David, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?

First off, you guys can call me “Berry,” We cool like that! 🙂

I knew what industry I wanted to get into, but there was an absence of people that looked like myself that did it and were able to afford to pursue media and film. I saw a lot of people around me that had the opportunities because, from what I perceived, they had other people to invest in their on-the-job training. On my part, it seemed that no one trusted my ability to learn or that I have/had an eye for filmmaking and DP composition.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
From a creative point of view, I have been doing art and some kind of expression since I was a kid drawing pictures of cartoons I liked free-hand. Fast forward to now, my art has fallen into that of video and other visual arts. It came to me as an outlet from tougher things I saw growing up; midwest Vice Lords and GDs and of course the drug dealing and violence that came with that, to name a few. I definitely feel as though I used the various forms of creative expression as a means of escapism. I can’t say that it was an easy feat. I am still growing as a “creative.” More often than not, I have ran into people that would rather make it difficult first than easy. It seems that that particular character trait is something that is contagious throughout the creative industry. I’d say out of ten people that I met in the past, three individuals would help me out or give me advice or even critique me for future development. Here’s another example, it’s like the majority of those individuals had to make it difficult for the new people so that they can appreciate it more when/if they make it to their relative success. However, I strongly disagree with this perspective. I believe that you give someone the opportunity and their work will speak for itself. I feel like the industry will arbitrarily make a place for you, in or out. I don’t think that the industry working professionals or creatives should play the role of gatekeeper for those eager to learn. I believe this strongly. I get it, being a “creative” is what some would call “sexy” or “cool,” and this is rightfully termed. However, to see practices of nepotism or paying someone’s way and then labeling them an artist when they’ve essentially had their occupation handed to them or they bought their space and left no room for anyone else’s canvas to hang, so-to-speak, is not creative, instead its outshining the light others may bring to an industry that reaps a higher fruition when collaboration is catered to. I may sound jaded and salty, but that’s how I feel. This was my experience, I just want to share that truth about the beginning stages of my career.  But in the future, I would hope to create the most inviting experience for future creatives and to attempt to foster a place of learning and cultivation. I would not want to perpetuate a culture for creative elites that proceed to think that it is only for a chosen few, yet it is more for people that want to humbly put in work to create beauty. I still remain humble and open to work with, but I keep my eyes on my counterpart’s professional practice just as much as my own work. In my opinion, that’s the best way to learn moving forward.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I brought some homies down, I would first take them to JoBot Coffee & Bar. This is one of my favorite spots to hangout and catch breakfast. Since COVID, they have altered the menu to a more Asian-fusion. I do miss the old menu that included regular American foods and a breakfast menu that is more open to your everyday patron. Some of the night life in this area would include The Churchill, a place called Valley Bar and Cobra Arcade Bar. I would also tell my homies, if they like hiking, to visit Camelback to have an excellent 360 view of the valley then, on alternate days of course, visit South Mountain for a hike and Piestewa Peak for the same event. The next thing I would recommend is golf at any course down here, mainly in the Scottsdale area. I would then say timing is also important, if they come down around the first week of the month, they have to visit First Friday. The only thing I can say about First Friday is Art, Food Trucks and local vendors. Downtown Phoenix’s First Fridays are probably my favorite thing to do while living down here for the past 6 years.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are a ton of people that have been there to support me and are still doing so. The first is my mother, she’s been in my corner for a long time, and she still keeps on telling me to go for what I’m passionate about. I have a few mentors: Josh Slamka, James Stokes, Mykel Larrin (the homie with gems of advice) J’ean Middleton — though it is from a far with J’ean. My cousin Trice I can give some credit to, my girl, Alesha, for making me feel seen. Then lastly, people that have given me a small platform to show my ambitions, potential and skills: Sylvester McNutt III, Aaron Brigman, Angie Seger and Tamara McDaniel, Vic Thomas, Josh Adams and Taofiki Alabi from Summerfest. There’s a bunch of more people, a lot of whom are close friends.

Website: www.berryfruitfulmedia.agency

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/david_andrew_berry/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-andrew-berry-mlst-18982551/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DAMPRODUCT

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/berryandrewdavid

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHM4CpwQBcg2gdgOFcT7mEg

Image Credits
BTS photos of Identity Crisis (Film 2022), @iam_romencole, Lightbox Libraries and Jackson Crafton.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.