Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 11/10/2017

Story by Matt Pangrac - Photos courtesy of Brandon Gordon - Martin photo courtesy of FLW Communications

Kansas City, MO – Scott Martin has had a presence on YouTube since 2010, but over the past year-and-a-half he has become a major player in the YouTube fishing community, pumping out content on a weekly basis that routinely garners over 100,000 views.   His channel currently hosts playlists that include highlights from his popular Scott Martin Challenge TV show, a VLOG-series, instructional pro fishing tips, and a web series.  

Over the course of his 18-year career with FLW, Martin has collected a record six FLW Tour victories, an FLW Series win, a Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita in 2011, and the 2015 FLW Tour Angler Of the Year title.  He has over $2.7 million in career earnings, and has qualified for 18 Forrest Wood Cups (including the 2018 Cup next August on Lake Ouachita).  

During the 2017 FLW Tour season, Martin documented nearly every day of travel, practice, and competition, utilizing a myriad of portable cameras to give viewers a unique view into the life of one of the most decorated professional anglers in tournament bass fishing history.  

Behind the scenes, the man responsible for shooting, collecting, editing, producing, and distributing the vast majority of this online content over the past year is a low key 25-year-old film school graduate from Kansas City, Missouri – Brandon Gordon.   

If you’re one of the subscribers to Scott Martin’s YouTube channel, there’s a good chance that over the past year you’ve become acquainted with Brandon, Martin’s fulltime cameraman who makes an appearance in the majority of Martin’s web-series and VLOG-series videos.  

After graduating from Full Sail University in Florida, Gordon began applying for jobs in the film industry in 2014.  With zero experience in the fishing industry, he ended up working as a camera operator for BlacktipH, a YouTube channel based in Florida hosted by Joshua Jorgensen that specializes in extreme saltwater fishing videos.  

It was through his work with BlacktipH that Gordon first met Scott Martin, who is active in the saltwater fishing scene when he’s not competing on the FLW Tour.   After a year behind the lens filming and editing for BlacktipH, the company began filming more content themselves, and Gordon began exploring other opportunities in the film industry.   

“That’s when Scott (Martin) called me up and asked me to come work for him,” Explained Gordon.  Since October of 2016, Gordon has worked for Martin, filming and editing the majority of his YouTube and social media content.  

“I knew a little bit about bass fishing tournaments, but I had never attended one or watched one. It was all brand new to me,” he explained.  “We didn’t really have a plan to begin with, but Scott really wanted help growing his YouTube channel.   Over the course of time, things just started flowing together and then the whole thing really took off.”  

Scott Martin had roughly 43,000 YouTube subscribers when Gordon came on board.  As of November of 2017, that number has swelled to over 208,000 subscribers.  

“I’ve really had to think about how to make bass fishing look cinematic or epic.  My main goal is to try and grab the attention of people who don’t fish or watch fishing, because that is the majority of people.  If I can get that audience, it means I’ve done my job,” stated Gordon.   

Coming from a non-fishing background has helped him produce content that is appealing to the masses.  “It’s a good position to be in.  Before this job, I would have never even looked up fishing on YouTube, so I’ve been able to approach it from an ‘outsiders’ perspective and use my own experience to figure out what works when it comes to capturing the viewers outside the fishing world.”

During each tournament week on the 2017 FLW Tour, Gordon estimated that he worked around 80 hours filming, editing, and producing content.   The typical setup includes two cameras mounted on Martin’s Ranger, one camera mounted on Martin (chesty), one main camera that is used for blast-off and weigh-in shots, plus a drone that is used for areal footage.  

“The one thing about fishing is that you can’t really plan a particular shot.  You just try to have your equipment in a good position and hope for the best.”  Throughout the 2017 season, Gordon stated that he worked his way through nearly 500 hours of recorded footage.   

He said that the biggest adjustment over the past year has been the travel schedule that has included frequent trips to Martin’s home in Florida, as well as travel to every FLW Tour stop during the season.  Most recently, he accompanied the USA Bass team to South Africa where Martin and eight other professional anglers competed in the Black Bass World Championships on the Vaal River.   

“I knew that I was going to be traveling when I took the job, but I didn’t know just how frequently I’d be away from home,” he explained.  “There’s just a crazy amount of travel when it comes to fishing bass tournaments. It’s a little stressful because there are a lot of curveballs, but overall it’s a lot better than your average desk job.”  

One side benefit of spending so much time with Martin is that Gordon has become acquainted with a rod and reel for the first time in his life.  “I’ve learned a lot about fishing techniques from both Scott and Roland Martin.  I must say that going from never fishing before to fishing with them is a pretty dramatic jump.   

“Now whenever we go out and film, I’ll pick up a rod after we are done and I’ll make a few casts,” Gordon continued.  “That’s something that I would have never done before, but it has definitely piqued my interest.”  

He points to his personal best 6.56 pound largemouth that he caught while filming with Scott and Roland as the highlight of his brief fishing adventures.  “We were crushing them that day and catching bass back-to-back-to-back.  It was such a good time.”  

Along the way, Gordon as developed a sort of cult following of fans who are avid viewers of Martin’s YouTube channel. “Some of Scott’s fans have come up to me and asked for my autograph, and that really weirds me out,” he said.  “I’m not doing this to be famous – I’m here to help push Scott’s career further ahead.”  

When it comes to his own career, Gordon hopes to remain in the fishing industry for the near future before pursuing bigger dreams. “I really enjoy doing all of this stuff and I’d like to stay in the industry for a few more years.  Down the road, my ultimate goal is to become a director of photography on feature films in either Hollywood or Pinewood Atlanta Studios.”