January’s Featured Artist is John Borbely, a video producer from Brantford. Borbely studied Film at Carleton University in Ottawa and has worked with Bell and Rogers in the past on television and web content. He started contracting for production companies in 2014, and in 2018 he started his own video production business, Camp Bay Media. Today, he works with businesses and tourism agencies to produce video content for web, social media, and television. His clients range in location from Ontario to the Maritimes, and he works with creatives from all across Canada depending on the needs of his clients.
Born and raised in Brantford, Borbely is constantly inspired by Brantford’s natural and historic assets. “Brantford's location is close to perfect. The Grand River is a historically significant waterway, and offers a lot of activities, education, and biological diversity. A lot of significant people have called this place home, and a lot of historic events have occurred here,” Borbely explains.
When asked what first inspired his artistic pursuits, Borbely said he saw Jurassic Park at the age of five and was completely mesmerized by it. From that point on, he wanted to make movies. He also credits his parents for always recording his family with their home camera when he and his two siblings were younger. “My dad was a better cinematographer, his shots were better framed and things just seemed to happen for him when he pressed record. My mom would always zoom way in and lose the subject, but her narration was on point.” It’s these family memories that instilled a love of video production in Borbely and without that family camera, he wouldn’t have been able to practice at such a young age.
“Growing up, I became more interested in documentary-style filmmaking and wanted full control over the project,” Borbely explains. More than creating big, epic movies, I wanted to be part of every aspect of the production process. The natural next step was getting involved in digital video, and then starting a business to work with others who wanted to use video to tell their story.”Borbely shared that when he first started his business, he was open to working on any and all project. Since that time, he has narrowed his focus to working with local businesses and tourism agencies. He is currently working on several tourism-related projects that will be completed in early 2021, as well as a project that helps Canadians navigate some of the more daunting aspects of being employed in this country. Borbely adds, “I find that working face-to-face with people who are invested in the business or area leads to a more compelling production. Their passion shapes the final video, and audiences can relate on a personal level.”
There is a lot of equipment that videographers can use these days and, traveling back and forth between Ontario and the Maritimes for work, Borbely has had to learn to pack efficiently. His basics include: camera, lighting, audio, and editing software. There are a lot of newer gadgets like gimbals, LED lights, drones, and action cameras (like GoPro) that allow him to construct very cinematic shots on a reasonable budget. The one thing he always brings to a shoot? His creativity!
Borbely’s biggest piece of advice for developing artists is to “just try.” He says any person can benefit from this advice. “Instead of focusing on possible outcomes, reactions or consequences, if you have an idea you should bring it to fruition,” Borbely adds. “Almost all of these ideas will turn out to be duds, but the experience of undertaking them is what makes an interesting life, an interesting career, and an interesting artist. I’m constantly trying to execute this mentality, but it’s not easy and naturally most of us will convince ourselves not to try a lot of ideas that come back to us. But, keep it in your mind, and when these big opportunities or chances come along, jump in!”
Borbely says the thing he enjoys most about creating videos is bringing ideas to life. “No matter how much you plan, the final product can never be perfectly visualized until you are watching it. That's very close to magic!”
You can view some of Borbely’s portfolio of work on the Camp Bay Media website and follow his company on Instagram to sample a taste of his current projects through Instagram Stories.