This has been a long time to come, putting together this podcasts Interview with my good friend and colleague filmmaker and artist Devon ‘Troublesum’ Smith, whom I’ve known for 12 years and have worked together with for just as long.
In this interview, we cover a lot, from being an artist to becoming a filmmaker. The trials and tribulations that go along with such. They are a lot of good knowledge points that have been discussed, and although we are not telling anyone that this is how it has to be done, It certainly is a blueprint for how he has gotten to where he is.
Because this is the Youthful Ambition YA podcast that discusses all things ambition, one of the key points is how we define success for ourselves. This clearly is defined differently for everyone, and Devon Smith aka Troublesum speaks a lot about how he sees success today.
Deus Beni Production that Devon started with Rudy Cole back in 2007 as a clothing company and then incorporated it as a film Production company in 2013, was created as a movement that has emerged from his very own work ethic. Under it he started the – #GoMoDo. “Get Going to keep Moving and never stop Doing”. This is the standard mode of operation of how he works. Its not uncommon to get on the phone and find Troublesum in his SUV heading to NY or Miami to film. Putting in the late nights in the editing room, studying Cinematography that he has become extremely good at. Or building his arsenal of equipment.
I have directed many music videos over the years including many for Troublesum back when he was an artist. My favorite being “Champagne Affair“. I would venture to say he still is very much that artist just in a different way. Although you won’t find him on stage singing as he once use to. Troublesum has traveled all over the world performing for as many as 55,000 people in Nigeria and some 40,000 people in Costa Rica, with countless gigs in his birth country of Jamaica and in the US. When he realized that he can move an audience by the craft of filmmaking and that it was equally gratifying, he turned much of his time and investments into building his own production company. It’s my opinion that he is one of the most talented and prolific music video directors on the reggae scene today.
He has worked with many of the top reggae artists in the business such as world renown reggae artist Tony Matterhorn, and count fewer others including today artist from Black Empire. Devon also gave me the opportunity to meet and direct artists such as Mr. Lexx, Chad Hype, Ronnie Homer, and many more. Back then I would direct and he’ll edit making it a spectacle that would go on to add value to the careers of many artists. Later we would go on to co-direct on many projects since we had a similar vision in dealing with the language of filmmaking and cinema. But mostly he and his crew Kenny Gray and others work closely together.
Devon has also ventured into filmmaking with the award-winning short film InSex that can be found on Amazon prime starring Princess Bey and Melody Centeno. In our conversation, he mentioned that the film won the Santa Monica film festival and was a crowd favorite. Small correction in the podcast on the name of the film festival. – It’s not the Santa Monica Film Festival but the Santa Monica Black Film Festival. His Cinematography skills have become very sought after, and this is very apparent in his music video work but also in his film work.
When I was directing my latest feature film For Michelle 2017, I had some of the cinematography done by Devon. The film’s majority of cinematography was by Brian Michael who has been instrumental in being the DP on my Campaign Ambition spots also. However, Devon did several scenes For Michelle that really exhibits his style of lighting. He also did an awesome cameo in one scene. For those of you who don’t know he has some acting chops. I’m hoping that he does more of that also.
If you’ve read this far into this article you should have an idea that Devon Troublesum Smith is not an ordinary talent but someone who has a great work ethic and is dedicated to growing as a creator in his own space. So if you haven’t caught our interview from the podcast (link here). I would say its worth the listen. There is so much more coming down the line with his productions and our cross-branding. Some of the #GoMoDo and #YouthfulAmbition spots can be found on our Instagram pages. @the_ya_series on the IGTV button. One featuring ‘Melany Moves‘ the sexy athletic dancer speaks of her ambitions in dancing. Another with Princess Bey the start of InSex who also did a GoMoDo spot that can be found at this link ‘Princess Bey‘ on the IGTV. Also be sure to follow Troublesum @deusbeni on Instagram and Deus Beni Youtube.
Terence Gordon – Director / Producer / Creator
Black Ink Pictures LLC / TnG Films LLC
Youthful Ambition YA™
Some of the gear we use during filming, be sure to check them out.