BY SIMONE GRAHAM
“Moving forward, one frame at a time” is the slogan that Sharif Mair lives by. After his long life dream of becoming a professional basketball player was shattered, Mairs talent for film started to blossom. Mair is a 22 year old, Queens’s native. He is the director and film editor of Diamond district studios. Mair is also the man behind the lens for DJ Self of Power 105.1FM.
Power 105.1FM is an urban contemporary radio station that features hip-hop and R&B licensed in New York City. It is one of the most popular radio stations in the New York Metropolitan area.
Winston Williams, 22, is a York college senior, B.A in economics and close friend of Sharif Mair. “I met reef (Sharif) back in 2008 through a mutual friend named Franzi Vilain. “Ever since then we’ve developed a good friendship and a great business relationship as well”. Williams adds.
Mair describes his last year of high school as “not normal”. During his senior year at Holy Cross High School in Flushing Queens, Mair received a total score of an 830. On top of which, while playing in a basketball game, Mair fell on his hand fracturing it and ending his basketball career. “I tried all sorts of things, I iced and wrapped my hand up” says Mair.
The next day Mair attended practice as usual, to then notice that he was no longer able to dribble the basketball! “I remember trying to the bounce the ball said Mair… and I just couldn’t dribble the ball at all”! Mair unfortunately fractured and broke his hand. He describes that moment as “absolutely devastating”.
Mair then adds, “It was so much stress I was going through with my family and my mother kicking me out of the house for six months”.
After graduating high school, Mair then attended Farmingdale University located in East Farmingdale, New York. He chuckles and says, “imagine going to a college not knowing a damn person, I didn’t know anybody! Said Mair, as he questioned his choice of school. Luckily Mair bumped into an old friend and teammate Dominick Murray, while wandering around campus. Mair didn’t know that his friendship with Murray was soon to end as it did.
One night while driving home after practice, Mair’s coach called him, “I actually forgot to return coach’s call when I got home, said Mair. “When I did, that’s when he told me that Dominick collapsed and died on the court 20 minutes right after I left said Mair. Dominick Murray collapse was due to heart failure.
“I’ve never really been able to fully share this story till now without feeling bad” Mair says.
“I ended up taking a few days off. Said Mair. “That made me even more depressed, to the point where I just completely stopped going, Mair unofficially withdraw from school, falling into debt with student loans. “That was just a tragically horrible year for me” Mair says.
Unlike basketball, film was not Mair’s dream. “It never came across my childhood at all to ever be an editor or director, said Mair. Sharif’s first film project was assisting a friend with a music video. The video was being shot right outside of Mair’s home. “ I asked him, who’s going to edit it for you?” Mair said, “Let me take a stab at”. He went to office max and bought a program called Magic Pro editor. “ I was in my house the whole day just editing, editing and more editing” says Mair.
“I taught myself how to film and edit, says Mair. “Just from watching TV and movies, but more so as watching it with a different eye”
Mair’s first shot at interning was at Blast Off Production Studios, where he began working with American music artist Avery Storm. Filming Avery storm’s music documentary, “EPK”.
While working at Blast off studio’s Mair earned a second internship at Rock It Films. As part of internship he was assigned to edit one of their walmart commercials. “ I was so happy says Mair, As long as I could shoot my own behind the scene’s for it”. Which was shot in Hoboken, New Jersey at Puppet Heap Production studios. “That was my first time ever on a real set” said Mair.
Mair than came across an R&B artist named Chanel, who gave him his first shot at filming a music video. “This was a time to test what I’ve learned from filming the Wal-Mart commercial, ” said Mair. The video was released on Christmas day, after a few months it had 10,000 views; it was then posted on the Hip-Hop entertain site World star hip-hop, where it gained 40,000 views.
After filming the “ Good Lovin” music video for Chanel, Mair was then noticed for his work. Which led to him meeting and working with Producer Rico Beats. Rico Beast’s produced female rap artist Nicki Minaj, Singer Tamar Braxton, Keyshia Cole and Jennifer Lopez. Mair also worked with numerous artists such as 2 Chainz, Pusha T, and Vado. Which led him to working with producers such as, Grandz Muzik & Buda Da Future, Chris N’ Teeb, Rob Fusari, Rsonist from the Heatmakerz, Power 105.1 DJ Self and DJ Ted smooth.
Mair has now done three red carpet events, most recently covering the premiere for the feature film “The Best Man Holiday”, He is now working with R&B Producer/ Artist Ryan Leslie with his tour documentary for 2014.
Mair has created his very own production company called “ Mair Films”. He describes his company as rapidly growing … and here to stay! “My main goal is to accomplish a movie said Mair, I feel like I owe it to people”. Mair than says there is script already written and it will be filmed in this coming January of 2014. “ I want to take Mair Films to a more corporate level. .I want to explore all aspects of the film industry.