Young Guns 20: BRTHR

By Alixandra Rutnik and Brett McKenzie Posted on Nov 02, 2022

Spotlighting the stupendous class of Young Guns 20


Nearly 100 renowned industry professionals made up the jury for Young Guns this year. And after revealing the 84 finalists, it is finally time to unveil the 31 winners who make up the class of Young Guns 20.

Every year, we add another class of young talent from all over the globe to the exclusive Young Guns community. The winners of Young Guns 20 are your next project directors, animators, designers, editors, illustrators, artists, photographers, storytellers, coders, and writers. So this is your cue to follow them on Instagram immediately– because they are our industry’s future legends after all.

In two weeks, the winners will fly into NYC from around the world to celebrate their accomplishments, make new friends, have a few cocktails, and take home their official Young Guns Cube. We can’t wait to celebrate with them at Sony Hall on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, at 6:30 PM– and we hope to see you there too!

Before the party begins, we took the time to get to know each of our winners so you can read up on the highly creative individuals who make up Young Guns 20.


BRTHR (ALEX LEE & KYLE WIGHTMAN)
DIRECTORS

Based:

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK

Hometown:

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN & LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK

SEE BRTHR'S ENTRY

How/when did you first hear about Young Guns? What were your initial impressions of the Young Guns competition — the award and the community?

We heard about Young Guns from our producers and decided we should take a stab at it. We try not to let awards affect our work mindset, but any community that honors young creatives specifically, and encourages them to keep doing what they do is incredible for the creative industry.

"We try not to let awards affect our work mindset, but any community that honors young creatives specifically, and encourages them to keep doing what they do is incredible for the creative industry."

Congrats on the win! What made you enter this year?

Alex: We started doing what we do super early. I was about 20 when we did our first professional gig, and boy have we learned a lot since then. The film, music, commercial and fashion industry is constantly evolving, and I believe we’ve been able to evolve with it. One thing I can confidently say for us is that we’ve always strived to create a visual identity, and have been able to infuse that in everything we do. We always challenge ourselves. Even if we dont think a project is necessarily right for us from the get go, we always find a way to find our voice within the creative process. I hope those kind of efforts contributed to us being a part of this collective.

Young Guns is as much an exercise in self-curation as it is in sheer creative talent. After all, you are only allowed to submit six projects. How did you decide which pieces were best to enter and truly reflected you and your work?

Kyle: Over the years we’ve worked really hard to fine tune our craft and create a visual universe unique to us. For YG20 we chose six projects we feel best reflect this mentality in both music videos and the commercial space.

What went through your mind when you discovered that you won, especially knowing how difficult it is to make it into Young Guns? Do you remember the exact place and time you were when you found out the news?

Kyle: We were watching some playoff baseball together when we got the email. It was such a nice surprise. It’s an amazing feeling to be recognized for the work we’ve invested so much time and energy into over the years. Plus the Yankees won, so overall it was a great night.

How would you describe your personal brand in one sentence? Now, try defining it in three words.

Infectious flow of visuals with a mind of its own– tapping into style, feeling, and instinct. Dream. Instinct. Identity.

What are some of the biggest influences on you and your career? Who may have had a hand in mentoring and supporting you?

Alex: We love to find inspiration from all things, not just film. Like baseball, tattoos, cities, nostalgia, etc. But we’ve always respected creators with their own identity. I love it when I see an artist thrive at their own thing. Too many creatives copy their peers nowadays, and it’s obvious when they do. There’s a difference between reference and plagiarism. In film, I love the OGs, like Wong Kar Wai, Tarantino (master referencer and writer), and Studio Ghibli. In life, people like Shohei Ohtani, Takashi Murakami, and the idea of originality.

Now that you’re in the Young Guns crew, are there any past winners you look up to and admire? What is it about their work that you love?

Kyle: It's gotta be the DANIELS (YG14). They’re filmmaking wizards. They have an insanely unique style they’ve stayed true to going from music videos to commercials to feature films. It's so cool to see. They are a huge inspiration to us.

Name a creative dream that you have yet to fulfill — hey, maybe Young Guns can help propel you in that direction! Who would you love to collab with?

Alex: There’s almost something we want to conquer in every field, whether it be music, ad world, fashion, or narrative. Something notable for us has been wanting to create something with Nike. It’s just such an iconic brand that continues to push. In the narrative world, we would love to get ourselves to make some of our weird and fun ideas come to life to tell a story in film, or even TV. We do love to tell stories. Infusing our style would be the fun challenge.

This is YG20, but what do you imagine you’ll be up to when YG30 rolls around in 2032, both personally and professionally?

Alex: Hopefully we’re still kicking and going at it hard..! It’s a tough world. There’s so many things that come into play when you invest yourself in the creative industry. Personally, I want to dive more into music creation, as that’s something I've put off for just about the longest time. I also hope to relocate back to Japan one day– a place I love so dearly. 90% of my nostalgic memories involve my origins in Japan.

Any thoughts on how you are feeling about winning YG20?

It’s such an honor. We’re both beyond stoked to be YG20 winners. As we head into 2023, we're gonna keep stepping on the gas, sharpening our skills, and continuing to evolve creatively with each project that comes our way.


BRTHR.NET

IG: @_BRTHR_


Come party with us and celebrate all the Young Guns 20 winners on Wednesday, November 16 at Sony Hall!

Get tickets! It's party time!

The class of Young Guns 20

 

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