The Art of Mix-Making: The Showcase
The Art of Mix-Making is a four-part series looking at the artistic intersection of basketball and video editing. Part 1 went up yesterday. Parts 3 and 4 will run later this week.
Yesterday, I introduced you to mix-making and what it is in essence. I’d guess most of you liked what you heard, so it would be silly of me to show you something so great then leave you stranded seeking more. With that, I’ve compiled below a list some of the most brilliant mix-makers on the internet, as well as a list of must-see mixes.
First, the mix-makers:
Max Frishberg – YouTube: MaxaMillion711
Max Frishberg runs one of the most popular mixing channels on YouTube, which is where you’ll find most mixes these days. His ‘MaxaMillion711′ channel has accumulated 20,000+ subscribers, and Max is continually providing fresh, remarkable content. His reason for beginning mix-making?
“It was without a doubt because of Vince Carter. Those who know me should not be shocked to hear that. I started watching basketball because of Vince, and after seeing his jaw-dropping plays every night, I wanted to find someway to re-live and re-watch those plays. Since I was just getting into filmmaking and film editing, I did some research and figured out how to record his highlights from TV and import them into my computer. And my passion for movies lead to me “scoring” my montages with film score music. It truly was a combination of my 2 passions in life. Because YouTube was not around back then, I made these videos mostly just for my own viewing pleasure and for a few basketball fans at school. And when YouTube became popular, it became a lot easier to share those videos with the world with other fans.”
Vince Carter mixes have become a staple on Max’s channel, with a yearly mix on Carter’s past season. Yes, even now when Carter’s highlights are that of a 36 year-old with some banged up knees. This demonstrate’s Max’s use of story and context in his mixes, which ultimately renders the highlights forgettable. It’s how Max presents each mix which both purpose and flair consistently that separates him from the rest of the pack.
“It’s a very precise style. I want every shot to be there for a reason but without being too hectic and ‘cutty’. I hope that the viewer will concentrate on the story/emotion/feel of the mix, and not ‘wow, look at this editing’. That’s the goal I have with every mix I make.”
Joe – YouTube: jzspartan
Joe is the man who takes on the persona of Venom Industries when he is mixing, or chatting on mix-making forums with people who wish they could mix like him. Venom too is on the mark with his story-driven mixes, with some truly inspirational and astounding mixes that should be considered timeless.
“My style is more story driven then a highlight reel. I’ve only made a couple fast pace mixes, and while I’m happy with the result, they weren’t as satisfying to me to make. I like focusing in on an aspect of a player, and let the mix tell his story. It can be anything from success, to failures, to just a playoffs battle. But the story has to be there, those mixes go way deeper. They stand the test of time better, and leave an emotional impact on the viewer.”
They certainly do leave an emotional impact, one that very few other mix-makers can replicate. Venom on why he began mix-making:
“I’ve always enjoyed filmmaking, and editing in particular. Basketball is by far my favorite professional sport to play and watch. So it was really only a matter of time before those two aspects of my life collided. I didn’t discover NBA mixes until about 2006 or so, though. The first mix I ever saw was a Kobe mix by one of the legends, Mixtapelive. (Note: Max also mentioned this same mix-maker) After watching it and many other mixes on youtube, I had a feeling of adrenaline inside me. I immediately wanted to go play basketball. And that feeling let me to thinking, ‘Hey, I can definitely do this too!’ I gave it a shot, and luck fell into place, and here I am.”
Here he is, with nearly 700,000 combined video views on YouTube and his name metaphorically etched into mix-making history, with products that exemplify what mix-making should be.
“I really enjoy mixmaking, almost everything about it I find entertaining. Planning the mix, thinking of the story. Finding clips, and editing everything together. Showing off my work and seeing people’s positive responses. It’s all great fun to me.”
It’s all great fun for us too, getting to watch the mixes Joe puts out.
Meir – YouTube: m2e1iriko
Meir is on the opposite end of the spectrum, with his mixes revolving around fast-paced highlights. This is no insult, as Meir is at the top of the list when it comes to these types of mixes. This year he’s been releasing monthly mixes featuring highlights from the past month, along with team spotlights and story-driven mixes at times as well. Meir too credits his love for the game for getting him into mixing:
“The love for the game actually. I always liked watching basketball videos and then I saw ‘War by Inches’ by Venom. I really liked it and thought if I can do mixes like that, then I started.”
His fans, including myself, are extremely thankful that he did. He’s released a bountiful amount of insane highlight reels, along with the occasional nerve-hitting emotional mix, like the one he made before last year’s NBA Finals:
Meir’s YouTube channel has amassed 13,000+ subscribers, and has nearly eclipsed the 10 million total video view count.
“My favorite thing about creating mixes is to see the final result and appreciation of people from all over the world.”
Niklas Kroner – YouTube: Kardinal8Nik
Niklas, or K8N, has probably been the quickest mix-maker to rise from the depths of the mixing world to the pinnacle of mixing greatness. He’s done so surprisingly quietly,with 1,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, despite uploading some of the best newer mixes on the internet.
“I always loved basketball and with the start of YouTube you easily had the opportunity to watch mixtapes about your favorite player. After a while I wondered if I could make such a “mix” on my own. I really had too much freedom at that time and needed something creative to do. So I started to make mixes.”
Niklas’s creativity is clearly on display when you look at some of the mixes he’s crafted. Whethe rit’s recapping the history of the San Antonio Spurs or giving Kevin Love and James Harden some love, K8N stretches the boundaries of mix-making on YouTube with some innovative ideas. K8N’s mixing style resonates that of the best out there. He can dazzle you with fantastic editing of highlight clips, or draw you in with an emotional appeal, he does both fantastically.
“I kinda like switch between specific styles. I’ve already done both fast paced highlight reels and emotional mixes with a storyline. But all my mixes have a very clean execution and a good music synchronization in common.”
You can see this in effect in every single one of K8N’s mixes, including this one particular mix that he said “made me famous in the mixing scene. It’s also the mix I spent the most time with.”
Now, to a collection of mixes you can’t go without watching. Seriously, watch em’ all.
Michael Jordan ‘Invincible’
Created by Leandros, or LK12, this two-part mix is the greatest one to ever surround the greatest player in basketball history, Michael Jordan. Leandros said it took him “about one year” to make it, so you know a ridiculous amount of effort was put into this. It’s length is waaayyy up there for a mix at 15 minutes, but it’s a very awesome 15 minutes.
Forever Elite & Forever Elite II
Maxamillion711 released these astonishing highlight reels 3 years apart, but both built on the same platform. Rap song, four stars in the league, impeccable editing. These two mixes are way up there in my favorites, simply because I’ve watched each close to a hundred times without getting tired of them.
Heavy Lies the Crown
Lite4TheNite delivers bar none the single greatest LeBron James mix I’ve ever watched. Detailing his rise from the streets of Akron, Ohio to his monstrous domination of the NBA as a Cleveland Cavalier to his demise as a lovable sports figure in his move to Miami and loss in the 2011 NBA Finals, this mix captures every emotion felt throughout this storyline.
The Art of Highflying & the Art of Highflying 2
K8N created these two terrific mixes based solely on one of the most exciting and dramatic plays in basketball, the slam dunk. In the first installment he features the best dunks and dunkers of the 70′s up until the 90′s, with the second one featuring those of the late 90′s and early 2000′s. A third part is being made, according to him,
The Magic Within Us
I linked to this mix in the last portion of this series, but it’s so worth linking to again. A rarely discussed factor of how great former players were is how their play is directly mimicked by players today, in hopes of replicating the success of legends. Take this concept, on top of the heartwarming story of Magic Johnson returning to play in the 1992 NBA All-Star Game after his retirement due to the AIDS virus he was diagnosed with, and you have a breathtaking mix. Just, beautiful.
A collaboration between four mixers of the highest tier, Venom, Renhigotrare, Domino and Dinoman, Prodigies covering three high-school phenoms making the quantum leap from the 12th grade to the National Basketball Association, and how their paths cross once they get there. This mix is historic, not only for it’s unbelievable presentation but also for the esteemed cast of mix-makers coming together to form such a perfect video. Remarkable, really.
Another epic collaboration, this one more recent and made by Maxamillion711 and KonyginGD, or GD Factory. This mix is dedicated to Kobe Bryant‘s career-long comparisons to Michael Jordan, and how their games are so very similar.
Unfortunately, a lot of talented mix-makers and entertaining mixes weren’t able to make it into this piece, simply for length purposes. I highly recommend that you go ahead and watch many of the videos created by the mix-makers mentioned in this article though, because there’s no way you’ll regret it. Tomorrow I’ll introduce you to the online mixing community, where you can discover other mix-makers and mixing teams.