Director DizzyDott: Capturing for the Love
Written by Staff on January 30, 2021
The birthplace of Hip Hop is undeniably the Bronx but all five boroughs have produced legends that could easily be carved into the Mount Rushmore of the genre. With this being the case we have been inundated with music videos set in NYC. No disrespect because it’s well deserved. Then as the music evolved we’ve seen a million videos from the West Coast as well. Other cities undoubtedly followed suit but my point is; when I watch music videos filmed in Albany and the Capital Region from our local artists, it resonates with me. Thanks to Arnold Surgick aka Director DizzyDott via Good Fellaz Films we’ve been blessed with a nearly endless list of music videos filmed in our area. One that stands out to me because it was shot in my old neighborhood and the song mentions my old haunts is “Where I Come From” by: Pook featuring: Keylo. My favorite line is “I’m from the South End, grew up on Broad Street.” This is where my best friend lived, just blocks away from my house. Glad DizzyDott has taken some time to speak with us about his directing career.
RRX: Being an Albanian like me, why is it important to you to showcase our hometown?
DizzyDott: It is very important to me to show the world that the 518 really has some great talent, even though we are a small town the music industry doesn’t really think about. So I show them visually because everyone has a talent that is not showcased the way it should be. I love showing my gifts that God gave me to the world in the hopes of getting recognized more, like on YouTube, Instagram etc.
RRX: So let’s take it back to the beginning. How did you get started? Did you go to school for this or were you self-taught? Also, what was the first video you shot?
DizzyDott: Let’s see… when I was younger attending Mount Olive Baptist Church my grandfather used to always set up the camera and ask me to press record and stop during church services, especially when he sang. That’s when I found my love for the camera and really started operating it more. But… I actually taught myself to shoot different angles and shots, especially using my own editing style. My bro Pnal started calling me ‘Steady Hand Dott’ because my shots were never shaky and my brother Antoine, aka Beatz, started calling my film name “Goodfellaz Filmz” because I used to like watching gangster documentaries. As far as school goes and getting my filming and editing up to par, I attended the New School of Radio and Television for two years and graduated. Now ten years later I’m still at it and still on top of my game.
RRX: Nice, a fellow New School alumnus! If Uptown and Downtown (Albany) had an anthem it could easily be “My City” by: Tiff Gabana ft Eighty Gee, C.E.O., U S Bay, Ready Rah, Bezzolay, Todd O. & Pnal. This video has so many things going on and is one of my favorites. Any background story (stories) you could share about how this masterpiece came together?
DizzyDott: Well that is definitely one of my favorite videos that I shot as well. That track is actually Tiff Gabana’s. She had the original and then she did the remix. When I heard the remix, I was like ‘sis let me shoot that for the love.’ Then I hit up my bro Nells and we wrote a script and made a master piece. I love when a song touches the soul because that’s when I can go all in on the script and editing.
RRX: I’ve been writing music since I was a kid and back then to be lucky enough to get a music video aired on MTV was a dream so far out of reach for most of us but let’s be real MTV lost it’s appeal decades ago. How has the YouTube platform proven to be successful for a director like you?
DizzyDott: Yeah I watched MTV everyday all day and I would have never thought that I would be shooting music videos after watching them my whole life. But… YouTube as well as other broadcasting sites have been great for us video music directors. It lets us show our skills, keeps the world in tune with the music and what the artists have to offer.
RRX: Another notable video/short film you did with a message was “Broken Mirror” by: Peshy Kruger. Anything you could tell us about the production of this project? Also is that Quady Rouse dancing?
DizzyDott: Yes that’s one of my all-time favorite videos. As soon as I heard that track I hit Peshy up and said we’re making this a movie bro. This is really the first time I wrote up a script for a video and mapped out everything how I wanted it to be. All of the actors did their thing, even my father supported me in this project and made an appearance in it. And yes, that was my lil bro Quady Rouse dancing, he is a great actor as well. He made the film come to life. Even though I wish more people would have tuned into this project because it would have went viral. I’m still proud of everything about this video.
RRX: Any career highlights you’d care to share?
DizzyDott: The highlights of my career, let’s see… working with the late great Fred Da Godson, building a dope relationship and working with Grafh and shooting a video with Da Baby when Locx had him for a feature on one of his songs. Also, when I was chilling with the late Chinx Drugz in Connecticut at a radio station and then the club afterward. Last but not least working on a documentary for Albany Medical Center. I have a lot more highlights while working with my camera, I’m just glad GOD BLESSED me with this talent.
RRX: Lastly, what’s on the horizon? Any short-term goals for 2021? Long-term goals or plans for the future?
DizzyDott: What’s on the horizon for DizzyDott? Let’s see… I just want to get better as a person and a videographer, I also really want to take young men and teach them the skill that I have because I’m getting too old for this (laughs). But…I definitely want to build a nice team and have a building where I can work out of. I also dream that one day I’ll be on set or even film a big artist, that would be all she wrote.
Anyway thanks for taking the time to interview me, I definitely appreciate the recognition. If anyone needs to contact me for photo shoots or videos they can reach me at Email: [email protected] Instagram: dizzydott_dashooter Facebook: Arnold SURGICK
To keep up with Director DizzyDott check out his YouTube channel at youtube.com/c/DOTT518