Long Beach City Collaborates with Local Artist After Discovering Him on Instagram
You might have come across Long Beach-based videographer Ulises Roman after his This is Long Beach, California video went viral on social media. It definitely caught our attention! It even got some news buzz. We knew right away that we wanted to collaborate with him to promote life in Long Beach. Fast forward to today, and he has created five beautiful videos that we assure you will give you goosebumps. The videos highlight the public art, parks, small businesses, coastlines and culture that make Long Beach so unique and diverse. We thought, what better way to showcase Long Beach life than through the lens of a community member.
InsideLB sat with Roman to share more about him and to learn how this partnership was developed. Enjoy!
Q: Tell us a little about how you connected with the City of Long Beach.
A: It all began after I started a series of videos on the city that really seemed to capture people's attention. It was a short series called Sights and Sounds. They were one-minute videos that I posted to Instagram that were short and sweet but gave the viewer that feeling of, "Oh! I know that place!"
It was a fun series, and even better were the responses from people who were commenting on the videos. Shortly after the City got in touch with me, we began discussing the idea of creating videos that represent Long Beach.
Q: How does it feel to be embraced by the City like that?
A: It's an incredible feeling, really. I grew up in Long Beach. I went to Long Beach schools. Most of my friends grew up here as well. So, to have the opportunity to create for a city that I feel I have such a connection to is amazing.
Q: What got you so passionate about documenting Long Beach in your videos?
A: I had been living and traveling abroad for a few years. Everywhere I went I was documenting and creating short videos as a way to capture memories. It was a personal visual diary of sorts. After a few years of being out of the country, I returned home and immediately felt warmth and affinity towards this place that I knew so well but had left behind. I had been making all of these short videos on all the wonderful places that I had visited and thought, "Why not here?"
Q: You have traveled extensively. What always brings you back to Long Beach?
A: My friends and family are here so this is ultimately home. I'm sure at some point there will be other adventures, but for now, I like to call this place home.
Q: What are some of your creative and journalistic influences?
A: My creativity usually peaks when I'm out and about and seeing and feeling the things I want to capture. For me, it's more about being in the field and trying to capture what's actually there and happening. Personally, it's a more genuine approach to capturing a candid portrait of the city.
Q: You're great at capturing visually what makes Long Beach special. Briefly, how would you put into words what makes Long Beach special?
A: Every city has its own unique set of characteristics that make it special. Long Beach has plenty, but when you grow up and live here, sometimes you forget to stop and smell the roses. What makes Long Beach special to me is all the different things it has to offer. Its diversity of people and subsequently, the variety of food. Its unique parts of town. It has all the amenities of a big city while still feeling relatively small and less crowded. It also offers so many different events and services to the public. Also, when you grow up here your whole life and then go live in a place where there are true winters and then come back, there's no denying we have the best weather! These are just a few things that make Long Beach great.
Q: What new Long Beach-related work of yours can we look forward to?
A: There are always so many things I want to do when it comes to the city, but right now, I have to take a step back and really assess what the next project is going to be. I want to make something special that really makes people say, "That's my city!"