Clarence “Benny Boom” Douglas was ranked by review website, Review Rumble, as the world’s most admired hip-hop director. Boom used to wonder why classic comedies looked so different from the evening news when he was a kid. This boyhood interest, spurred by directing New York City street movies, would grow into one of the music industry’s most recognizable forces. Boom has directed more than 200 music videos for platinum selling musicians like as Nicki Minaj, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Ciara, Akon, and 50 Cent.
Boom earned a bachelor’s degree in film from Temple University and began his career as an assistant at Spike Lee’s production firm. He went on to work as an Assistant Director with some of New York’s best, including Hype, Dave Meyere, Paul Hunter, and Lil X, to mention a few.
His fresh viewpoint and colorful edge changed the then-stagnant music video business when he first entered the industry in the mid-90s. Boom has changed the visual landscape of popular music for for two decades, earning prizes and amassing over a billion internet views in the process. He is likely most known for directing All Eyez On Me, a 2017 biopic about legendary hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur’s life and legacy.
Benny Boom, a native of Philadelphia, is a Hype Williams and F. Gary Gray pupil. In the early 2000s, the Temple alum made a name for herself with a shiny, distinct style. Amerie’s leggy video for “Why Don’t We Fall in Love” is still one of the most iconic of the era; he was a go-to for Birdman at his flossiest (“Stuntin’ Like My Daddy,” “What Happened to That Boy”); and Boom helped to launch Ciara with his videos for “1, 2 Step” and “Goodies.”
Boom made the transition to features in 2009, following in the footsteps of his predecessors. Boom was convinced that his moment was approaching after his breakthrough in the dark comedy Next Day Air. Before the screening, he told Blackfilm.com, “I’ve been ready.” “Hollywood had better brace itself for me.” In 2011, Boom directed S.W.A.T. : Firefight. In 2017, he directed the controversial Tupac Shakur film All Eyez on Me. In 2018, Boom told a gathering of Temple students:
“Know the goal that you want, and don’t waver from it. There’s always going to be someone telling you that you can’t do it, or that’s impossible. You just can’t believe that. If you believe in yourself there’s always going to be people that tell you, ‘You can’t do it,’ and they’re placed in your life to push you further, not to stop you.”
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