Laguna Alum Tours Europe with Shawn Mendes

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By Amy Orr | LB Indy

Connor Brashier, 19, of Laguna, filming at a Shawn Mendes concert in Amsterdam. Photo by Josiah Van Dien

In March, 19-year-old Laguna Beach native and videographer  joined internationally renowned musician Shawn Mendes for a seven-week European concert tour. Traveling to 16 countries, from the Netherlands to England, Connor delivered professional, high-caliber work even though he is still a teenager.

Mendes’ manager, Andrew Gertler, found Connor when he was filming the tour of artists Kygo and Frank Walker. According to Gertler, Connor stood out because of his work ethic and fresh eyes.

The young videographer often blends footage from different cameras to create engaging content. His range of equipment includes a 1964 Canon AutoZoom Super 8, a 1995 Sony Handycam, a Sony a7S II DSLR, and a RED 8K Helium Cinema Camera.

A 2017 graduate of Laguna Beach High School, Connor is currently a 19-year-old sophomore at UCLA. Thanks to his film major father, he began using cameras at a young age, pushing himself to become proficient.

“We can’t take credit for his skill,” said his father, Craig Brashier. “He watched videos and learned from the internet.”

Connor’s parents first noticed their son’s passion when he started making skimboarding videos in junior high.

“I loved the way that videos could show the excitement of the sport,” Connor said. “I became obsessed with editing and perfecting the timing to make the cuts fit the music.”

His dad remembers young Connor spending an hour working on five seconds of video, just to make sure that every detail was right.

In Connor’s eyes, his finished work is never exactly right, even now.

“I’m pretty hard on myself,” Connor said, “I always think it could be better. But I think a lot of artists are that way.”

Sam Dameshek, another Laguna local with international success in photography, is one of Connor’s longtime friends. Sam said that, as youngsters, he and Connor found they preferred filming sports to participating in them. Before they were old enough to drive, the two were hired to shoot footage for major brands.

Through the years, their professional paths have continued to cross; both traveled to the Netherlands for the Shawn Mendes tour.

“I’m really happy to be doing what I’m doing with one of my best friends,” Dameshek said. “Connor is someone who chooses to be quiet and let his work speak for itself. He is the yin to my yang.”

Connor said the feeling is mutual.

“I attribute a lot of my success to Sam,” Connor said. “When we were 15, we spent a month working in the Hollywood Hills for Hawker, learning how to interact with older people. We were incredibly young, but they trusted us. We got the job done and we made a lot of connections.”

Connor believes this early exposure to a Hollywood lifestyle, with lots of money and fast cars, helped center him.

“It was a crazy world, but having that experience allowed me to focus on who I am and how I was raised,” Connor said.

Connor’s parents said that his early success forced him to face hard choices at a young age.

“He had a big job offer that would have required him to quit high school, but he made the decision to stay and finish and go to college,” Craig Brashier said.

Connor admitted that balancing work and school has been difficult. This year, he had to finish the last two weeks of UCLA’s winter quarter, including a final and a paper, while filming overseas.

Despite the challenges, he said he is enjoying the journey.

“Sometimes I pause and I can’t believe this is my reality,” Connor said. “It’s tough to put it in perspective. I’m seeing the world and having the time of my life. But no matter where I go, I am still the most peaceful and happy in Laguna.”

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