By Zainab Iqbal
Published: October 24th, 2018
Brooklyn College junior Chris Omar is humble. In the hour-long interview, he didn’t speak about himself much, rather he spoke about the work he was doing and the work he wanted to accomplish. The young, eager filmmaker commutes everyday to campus from Monroe-Woodbury in Orange County, NY; most of the time, waking up as early as 5:30. Fate led him here, he said.
“You know how back in the day you’d play paintball in middle school and they’d have these really cool videos? I always wanted to do that,” Omar said. “And I’ve been making scripts since I was younger so I feel like it all built up to that.”
Throughout high school, he was a part of his school’s morning show. When he entered college, he started his very own production company—COVisuals.
OK. Technically it’s not an official company, but its got everything that makes it real. Omar is the director and up until his more recent projects, he’s been doing everything including directing, shooting, and editing. But now he has a team, which he says relieves a lot of stress and gets the production value to go up.
He creates music video which feature new hip hop artists. Do people send him their mixtapes?
“I deal with SoundCloud rappers. I’m not going to disrespect SoundCloud rappers, but you have your characters who think they’re the Jay Z’s and Kanye’s of the world with 200 views,” he laughed.
He always had a passion for social justice and says it ties in with hip hop. His all-time favorite artist? J. Cole.
“Social justice was always a foundation of hip hop,” Omar said. Which is why he also wants to get into creating documentaries.
“I just want to give a voice to the voiceless,” he said. “The system in general is meant to go against a lot of people and a lot of people are left unheard with no way of speaking up even if they speak as loud as they can.”
Omar acknowledged that he comes from a place of privilege. He always had resources, camera gears, and a support system.
“A lot of kids don’t have that. Rather then sitting in my big bubble of privilege and just being miserable, I’d try to make a positive change.”
Omar is a LeBron fan, which he says technically now makes him a Lakers fan. But if he had to choose between the Brooklyn Nets and the NY Knicks, he would choose the former. He loves Brooklyn even though he hasn’t stayed here that long. His grandma was his support system. She absolutely loved Brooklyn and was from Prospect Heights. When she passed away, it was like the borough was calling him.
Omar’s mind is always on his projects. His dream is to work with J. Cole and to become a professional director doing high budget music videos and documentaries. He might also want to go into the news business and produce news, as he loves investigative journalism. Who knows what he’ll accomplish? He’s just 21.
Omar has a younger sister who he loves very much. Perhaps talent runs in the family, as his sister is attending the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). “She’s a super supportive little sister. That’s my right hand man, definitely.”
This young filmmaker is currently working on a couple of projects. He’s doing what he always wanted to do—creating a work of moving art.
To the filmmakers who are just getting started, he offers a few words of wisdom.
“Don’t stop. Your stuff is going to suck. It might look amazing to you, but you’re going to show it to someone else and they might give you a harsh opinion or be your yes man and yes you to death. But don’t stop.”
“Oh, and don’t burn bridges.”