I grew up in Connecticut, a very boring retirement state – kind of where James Bond would hide out since there would be nothing in that area. It’s very lowkey, and I lived an hour away from New York, where a lot of my work comes from. I would take the train to New York City about 4 times a week in order to keep up with the artists I work with.
Originally I went about filming through skateboarding. With an ancient camera that shoots with tapes, I would film skaters most of my day after school and go home and edit. It was always fun for me and that’s how I got started. I did my first music video with a camera I borrowed from a friend and from that moment, I was touching more HD footage instead of the lower quality footage from skate videos I was used to and I was hooked. Once I saw that I could apply what I learned editing skate videos, I saw that I could create something with these music videos. I remember I charged $90 for my first music video and it’s crazy to see how far I’ve come, because that’s when I was 16 years old. Then I got my first HD camera when I was 17.
From there, it started evolving from me wanting to do music videos all the time. That meant I could tell a story with my vision and no one else’s. I was blessed enough to have the skills to film and edit when usually people can only do one or the other, or for example some people can only direct and don’t necessarily touch the camera or the computer. I’m blessed to be able to do everything and be a one-man army without having to go to school for it. I would sit there for an hour and a half on YouTube learning the basics and certain styles of editing.
I would go outside, around the house, film my shoes, candles, anything interesting and mess around with to edit just to make something. I would practice with these effects over and over until I would master them, and that’s when I would start applying them to videos. I would stay in and edit – 90 percent of the time. As I grew up, my editing became sharper and sharper and even to this day it’s growing to be sharper and sharper because I realized I’m nowhere near where I want to be.
My work ethic has taught me a lot about business and my lifestyle ended up evolving into that. I didn’t really want to own a business or be an entrepreneur at first, I just wanted to skateboard, film and edit. That’s how I was at a young age and it wasn’t until I started seeing the potential that could be made with these opportunities and how people wanted my work.
I’m always improving. The evolution from then to now has been crazy. It’s so important to keep adapting. I feel like there are no limits, whether it’s working on 2 minute short films to music videos, I’m always evolving and my main mission ever since I touched a camera was to create something from nothing and show people what is inside my head since I can’t project it any other way. That was my biggest inspiration and people would see what I would create and would resonate with it. I kept going with it and now I want to expand more and more.
I’ve always followed the Law of Attraction, even subconsciously. With that, I’ve always grasped the positivity in every situation. I never heard of the concept Law of Attraction until recently, I would just follow those same beliefs and embody that mindset because I never wanted to live with a negative mindset. Without my brother, I wouldn’t be who or where I am today. He introduced me to skateboarding and the positive influences around him. I just wanted to expand on having that mindset, and would find different opportunities to work with clients. From there, I would bring in decent money and though my mom would see that, she would still push me to go to school.
Though I knew I would learn a lot of information about film and the history of cameras by going to school, I felt like what I would learn would not fulfill my purpose and what I was trying to pursue. I feel like I would’ve left school with the knowledge but nothing to gain or show from it. While people I knew went to film school, I saw a lot of them would be unhappy and in debt. That motivated me to keep working and be so good and put out great work that my audience can’t ignore me. I just knew I was good at it. My mom then overcame the fact that I didn’t have to go to school when she started to see the people I would work with and the income I would bring in. She would see I was more responsible and since that started, all these business opportunities started coming in. That’s when I started to get more information about entrepreneurship and I was around 17 years old surrounded by millionaires, intrigued by how they got to where they are.
That’s when my Instagram started to switch up and I wanted to start growing financially and grow my company. I wanted to be a director, work with artists in California, and expand my expertise. What got me to go out to California was the fact that I felt limited with the people I was working with at the time because it was a slower pace and I already had clients in California before I even went to visit.
I went to California in a matter of a few weeks when I was 18 and that’s when it started to get interesting. At the time, someone who had initially let me stay at their place had backed out and I felt like I was out of luck. Luckily through connections on Instagram, I was able to stay with a jeweler I had connected with in LA who was interested in my story, ambition, and the work I’ve done. He had been so intrigued by me and what I was doing and I told him ‘I’m not looking to be the best in the world, I’m just trying to be more me. I’m not looking to fit into anyone’s standards, I want to be who I am truly.’ He shared there was a lot of competition out in LA, but regardless I knew I had my own style that I didn’t have to worry about that.
After getting to know my story, he and his wife let me stay at his place for about a week and a half and even without knowing much about me, but we got along really well. They respected the fact that I went across the country to pursue this dream of mine. And that was the ultimate satisfaction, having my mom and dad let me come out here. While I was out in California for that week and a half, I got to connect with everyone I networked with and realized I had so much work out for me.
When I went back home, I kept getting referrals from California. I felt like the people I was surrounded with at the time didn’t have a similar mindset nor did they know exactly what they wanted. It got to the point where I didn’t want to be around that at all, I just wanted to take that leap of faith after being around so many young entrepreneurs in CA, and I quickly saw the environment I was in did not encourage me or make me feel happy being around it. I decided to leave. After being back home for a month, a girl I met in Miami (Miarah) and her roommate wanted to move to LA and it was perfect timing.
I jumped at that opportunity to move out with them to Hollywood, told my parents the following day and I immediately gathered all that I needed. I didn’t have a lot of money, but I knew I just had to do it because that opportunity wasn’t always going to be there. My parents didn’t understand at first and they were upset until they saw that this is what I wanted. During the first few weeks of living in California, I had practically no money and I was down to eating ramen noodles until I found a client. Then a model had reached out to want to shoot a 15 second video with me and gave me $500. This was a week and a half after moving to CA and with that, I was able to buy food and start building the foundation for what I have out here.
That right there really boosted my confidence because I was finally getting a lot of work. Then I encountered a lot of drama. At one point I lost myself when I would drink and party every single day, I wouldn’t touch my camera, edit, or create. I would constantly ask myself ‘why wasn’t I getting work?’ and I would continue drinking and I felt like I was numbing my situation. Instead, I made it worse. Through that, I lost myself and would wonder why I didn’t get any work and looking back at the situation now, it’s because I wasn’t putting anything out.
I’ve lost myself a few times even since that situation happened but I’ve I learned to catch myself faster and faster. I’ve learned to let go of those people who serve that negativity, and I realized that in life there are a lot of sacrifices we have to make in order to achieve the next level. We have to let something go for bigger things. With all of that going on, those struggles I’ve faced served as milestones because I wouldn’t have realized what work ethic was, what losing myself looked like, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
After living month to month, couch surfed, didn’t have the best health, I knew I needed my own place. After moving place to place every few months, it really put me under a lot of stress to the point where I would second guess where I’m supposed to be, and I lost myself yet again. I ended up signing a lease to my own apartment in Hollywood and it’s been nothing but blessings on blessings since then. My living situation affected my work back then to where it would push video deadlines for big clients.
I’ve learned that great things come from being positive because whenever I was surrounded by negativity, my situation would get worse. I think ultimately my goal is to be grounded and keep growing from where I am now. I want to create and make a difference with my vision. To create videos that will change someone’s perspective for the better, to inspire people to put others before themselves, or to get up and start doing something. I want to make people feel something just from watching a video I get to create. That’s what I’ve envisioned ever since I was young, and it just gets clearer and clearer the more that I’ve lived. That’s where I’m headed, to inspire others to do whatever they want no matter what their age, gender, ethnicity. I want to share that there are no boundaries to creating.
It’s been a blessing. I am so thankful to have what I have and to be able to create what I am able to. I don’t want to take anything for granted because I know how quickly it can be taken away. So I try and instill that mentality, to stay humble no matter how much success you achieve because everyone can be somebody if they really apply their energy into it. Through all of those moments of struggle, I was falling into place, and I still am falling into place, but it’s better than falling apart.
Fred Oliveira is a multi-faceted individual who possesses talent and wisdom beyond his years. With experience filming and directing at a young age that stemmed from his love for skateboarding, he created a business and entrepreneurial lifestyle by pursuing what he loves. He’s overcome adversities and struggles but did not let that stop him, especially with his move to California in making it his new home. He’s grown so much in his journey and reminds us to stay positive no matter the situation, and even if we do find ourselves lost, that it’s a part of our story.
Fred has worked with clients all over New York, Miami, and now Los Angeles. From something that started out as a hobby has now become his entrepreneurial success. He shares with us that it’s never too early or too late to start something you’re passionate about! Stay tuned and follow along his journey as he begins to film a YouTube documentary series chronicling his everyday activities, people he has encountered and worked with, and some dope stuff we’ll keep on the hush for now!