Rap superstar Snoop Dogg has hired a Belfast man to shoot his music videos after being wowed by his viral lockdown videos.
Peter Quinn, who worked in advertising and design companies in Belfast before moving to LA, used the Covid lockdown to start making videos for Instagram, winning over a legion of fans including the music legend.
The 42-year-old explained: “My day job is a mixed bag of video-related things, usually like making ads for Facebook or Instagram, but I like bringing some fun to the table with graphics and VFX (visual effects) to catch people’s attention while they’re scrolling.
“At some point (during Covid) I thought I’d start to just do it myself, rather than wait for the perfect brief to come along from a client. So I just started making videos for Instagram that I thought were funny or used a cool video technique.”
The clips featured Peter, with his glasses and distinctive moustache, jumping into a puddle and disappearing like it was a swimming pool, or multiple versions of him running around, or him eating a chili pepper and his head cartoonishly ballooning and exploding.
“Within a few weeks of uploading my first few videos I noticed that they were getting shared by other people, then other bigger accounts,” he explains, “and so the whole thing then snowballs, so I decided to add more videos which seemed to multiply the success.
“Then back in July I got a message from Snoop Dogg one day to invite me over to talk about making some videos. Next thing I know I’m at his own giant green screen studio filming him for a new song! A couple of weeks later, and Snoop is delighted with the video, and said he wanted more.”
Peter, who lives with his wife Caitlin, two dogs and a cat in Mount Washington, north-east Los Angeles, recently finished shooting four videos in a week for Snoop and other artists, all of them songs from Snoop’s new collaborative album Algorithm.
This weekend one of the videos he directed, for the single No Smut On My Name, was released.
Peter revealed why he moved to the US via Canada a decade ago for more career opportunities.
“I spent seven or so years in advertising and design companies in Belfast, learning my trade, and then I spent five years in Vancouver, working in an intense video production company as the resident art director and motion graphic lead, before making the move.
“LA is drenched in opportunity, and there’s good money to be made if you’re not afraid of old-fashioned hard work.”
Immediately there was a demand for his animation and video skills, mostly in social media or online advertising, and once Peter and Caitlin had gone through the visa process and bought a home, there was “no looking back.”
As for the future, Peter is cautiously optimistic.
“I’m going to see where this goes. It would be really interesting to venture into this part of the industry, doing more music videos,” he explained.
“I’m unable to disclose anything about it, but some other opportunities have already opened up off the back of this — keep watching this space. It’s been a very interesting year.”
You can see Peter’s videos — and keep up with his travel exploits — via his Instagram account @peterquinstagram
Watch Peter’s new Snoop music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuKBxVKZUjI&t=1s&ab_channel=SnoopDoggVEVO