After the articles on Battle Rap and reporting on it monthly, it was only right that we look at the man, literally, behind the cameras. Liam “Body” Bagnall is the creative director and lead cameraman for Don’t Flop Entertainment and is one of the members of the team pushing the UK scene onto the next level. We caught up with him for an interview on his opinions on battle rap, and many other things.
With the recent boom in battle rap popularity and the increase in events around the UK, how do you make sure you keep up with the workload?
I gave up my day job. The workload became too much last year, especially towards festival season, and with our plans to keep increasing the production value of our online content, it was definitely necessary. Now, me, Crugs & Bam are in Google HQ every weekday editing up all the battles / music videos / drops and all the other content we produce to make sure we are ahead of the schedule.
What else are you involved in as a cameraman?
I run Don’t Flop Films with the guys and we work on music videos, developing documentary content and shooting bar, drops, videos. We also spend a lot of time working out ways to innovate the ways that battles/ drops are filmed to try and enhance the viewer experience. Outside of Don’t Flop, I’ve done work with Sony Pictures, KOTD and I’m currently looking at filming a new show with Steph for YouTube.
Out of the projects you have been involved in, what would you say you have enjoyed most, from battle events to music videos?
Tough question. April Fools this year was great, it really refreshed the scene somewhat and took an edge off from all the overly personal/serious battles that have become common. It’s hard for me to lay a finger on my favourite though I really enjoyed working with Phili’N’Dotz on the ‘Training For Battle Rap’ track and obviously ‘CheckPoint’, ‘4th Birthday’ and ‘Blood in the Water 5’ were amazing milestone events.
What do you hope to be doing in 5 years time in regards to filming and battles?
I’m not entirely sure. Everything keeps growing so rapidly around us that I can’t really predict where I will be. I always saw potential since i started watching when I was younger but I never expected us to get this far. I’d like to think that whether it’s Don’t Flop or a different media venture that we, the Don’t Flop staff, will still be working together.
If you could set up an ideal battle event for you, who would you want to battle?
To be honest I’m not really interested in battling, even if I do occasionally joke about it on twitter. The only person I would battle is Avocado, Kyle, From KOTD, As we are both cameramen/directors and friends I think it would be jokes. But realistically, it isn’t happening.
What do we have coming up from yourself outside of Don’t Flop, as in videos and cyphers over the next few months?
I work for Don’t Flop full time, as a creative director of the company, everything I film comes out on Don’t Flop (videos/cyphers etc). Hopefully I will get a couple more jobs working with Sony but apart from that DF is my only focus. DF-Wise, I’ve got a really dope concept planned for a Cee Major video that I’m really looking forward to start working on and hopefully a few more videos in the works with a bunch of other guys from DF.
Anything else you want to say?
Yeah, just for anyone who watches online and hasn’t come to an event to come through and experience it live. The atmosphere live is a million times better than watching it on YouTube and we guarantee you will have a great time.