If you looked up passion in the dictionary, Mike Ho’s picture would definitely be there. Working as a director, photographer, and many other things, it seems like nothing can get in Mike’s way. As a guy, I appreciate his photos of……super models, but his other clients include record labels, BET, Disney, Maxim, Sony, etc. In addition he has directed some pretty major music videos. He’s only a few years away from conquering the entire world so I thought it would be a good time to interview him now before he’s busy ruling the universe. We sit down and talk about a variety of topics from his current projects, his heritage, films, and his past experiences. When you see the ‘OneShotMedia Productions’ screen…you know it’s going down! Scroll down for the full interview…
Mike, tell our readers a bit about who you are and your hustle.
Mike: Well, my name is Mike Ho. I’m a Director/Photographer/D.P./Editor. I know that is a lot of titles but I do every single one of those jobs equally. I am half Nicaraguan and Half Vietnamese. I love anything that requires my mind to bend reality. The possibilities are endless…which is why I love what I do…I’m never doing the same thing I did yesterday.
As far as my hustle is concerned. I strive for what I want. No ego…just very confident and persistent. I literally wake up every morning (thats if I even sleep) and immediately continue to infest this industry with my paintings. Persistence is the key to success…and I am the only person who holds the key so there is no reason for failure because I can open every door that is put in front of me as long as I approach it correctly and the right way. There is no “knock knock” in this industry…you must open your own doors and earn it.
You’ve shot some of the most beautiful women in the world. From tattoo’d beauties, to Gogo dancers, to latin beauties. Tell us about one of your favorite photoshoots.
Mike: Yea, to every man I probably have a dream job [laughs]. Its not that bad [laughs].
As far as my favorite photo shoots I’d have to say one of my favorite photo shoots was actually recently. It was my first published photo shoot that happen to be in HipHopWeekly. The fact that it was published was a plus but the reason its my favorite is because it was a point in my career where I had a team behind me that trusted me and executed their job as well which only made my painting that much better. The vibe and energy was on steroids because now it was not only my eye but a whole group of eyes that mixed their visions with mine. Im all about team work. Team work makes the dreams work.
As far as music videos are concerned, did you have any preferences for which artists you would direct?
Mike: I did and actually still do. I have this list…I would say the list…but its kind of a personal thing. A list of goals. Its weird thing…im keeping it to myself. Ill give you one though….Kanye West. His mind set and level of expertise blows my mind. While people try to break him down…I am here studying him…wondering what is going on in his head. He is a genius….such a genius that his work comes off maybe offensive to some but it is all about how you perceive it.
Was there any pressure to direct Charlie Wilson, knowing he was part of the legendary Gap Band?
Mike: Pressure is not the proper word [laughs]. The story to this video will forever be a memory and an amazing moment in my career. I remembering getting that call to write the treatment and that I had to go meet him. I pitched my treatment in person and just my luck Charlie Wilson was on the same page as me. Said that I must have read his mind. Which was great! Then I got hit with, “OK…you got 5 days“. I said, “Not a problem!”, as I shock his hand smiling and thinking to myself, “How the heck am I going to get 6 actors, 50 extras, a church, plan a staged wedding, a school, and skating ring in 5 days?!?!?!” Well, God was definitely on my side. To make a long story short…my hometown opened all their doors for me and made it all happen for me. God is Good.
You’ve directed a diverse group of artists’ videos. Do you remember your first day officially as a music director? Were you thrilled, excited, nervous…
Mike: I actually do remember. It was a mixture of emotions. What a lot of people dont know is that I did this as a kid at thirteen. I use to film short movies with my cousins but this time it was for real. I remember just thinking of the idea and making the call to the artist I was interested in working with. I remember I was filled with so much excitement that I just started rambling and throwing all these ideas out and saying I can do this and that, but in reality I’ve never even done it before…it was just something my mind had rendered together. Then he said, “Perfect….well lets do it…your my guy!”. I hung up the phone and thought to myself, “how am I going to do all this?” [laughs]
Well, I managed to get everything together. I rented a camera, picked up some lights, and just followed my mind. I had these images already painted in my head but what I didnt realize was when I was filming it…it looked EXACTLY how I pictured it and how i described it to him. He was impressed…I remember him saying, “Ohhh Mike…that….tha…thats exactly what you said you were going to do and how it was going to look!”. At that very moment….I knew this is what I wanted to do….so I dropped everything and pursued this dream.
Tell us a bit about your contributions to the Disney brand?
Mike: Well, I was fortunate enough to work with Disney’s actress Caitlyn Taylor Love. I filmed her music video for her song “Even If It Kills Me” which is still in the process of releasing. The teaser version is up which you can check out on Youtube but make sure you stay on the look out for the final project. Its a beautiful painting. A lot of emotion and imagery is great!
Will you ever venture into directing a full length film someday?
Mike: Well, what everyone doesn’t know is that this is why I got into this. I told myself…”ok lets practice with music videos….get my name known and learn the proper way to film”. So…without giving out to much information…its definitely in the works.
Since we are on the topic of movies, got any favorite Asian films or Anime?
Mike: Oh wow….yes….only one and its old….”AKIRA”.
You seem to be a Jack of all Trades, a workaholic, a hustler…so if you work hard, how exactly does Mike play hard? What do you do to unwind?
Mike: Yeah…I try to be on my toes at all times….Im glad it doesn’t go unnoticed. Well, what I do to unwind is I like to go out. I like to go get some drinks with my closest friends or family and just relax. Nothing major. It can even be a simple night at the movies and a nice dinner. If its not that…I’m shooting guns or riding my skateboard.
Could you give us a preview of what you got in store for us the remainder of 2011?
Mike: Only time can tell but I have some projects releasing this year…I dont want to spoil it but please stick with me and I promise it will be exciting!
You must get messages everyday concerning people wanting to work with you. Take this opportunity to give these people one piece of advice they can do to break into the business or get noticed a little easier.
Mike: Loyalty. I cant preach that even more. Humble yourself and respect everyone around you and work. WORK WORK WORK! Be persistent! Take constructive criticism and work with the mind set that you’re not the best, but only getting better. Practice makes perfect so make sure you spend your time mastering your craft. Don’t give up. Remember also to build your craft to how you like it. Quality is better than quantity. Dont chase the money….chase the dream.
Want to keep tabs on Mike Ho’s career? Check out his virtual cookie crumb trail below: