What I Learned From Directing My First Music Video

As a Video Producer and Lifestyle Host for Refinery29, I'm used to being on camera. I shoot, on average, three videos per week and I love to produce and art direct, as well. So when my older brother, Robbie, asked me to produce and appear in his acoustic pop-rock band, East Love's, music video, it was an easy "Yes!" I'd never directed a music video before, but I create video content all day long, so how different could it be? Check out the final version of East Love's original song, Sweet Arizona, below — as you've probably guessed, I'm a pretty proud sister!
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Here are some of the most important lessons I learned from producing my first music video:
1. Have a clear vision! From the very beginning, I knew that I wanted the video to have Wes Anderson vibes; I have this thing with color blocking, and I wanted to play that up. We created a vision board and secured all of our outfits and props way ahead of time.
2. Make sure to do a dry-run (or 10). Before we arrived on set for our shoot day, we did a thorough walk-through of the studio space and spent hours building (and breaking down) our sets. We all agreed that we couldn't have knocked the video out in just one day without that preparation time.
3. Work with a solid team. I co-produced the video with one of the bandmates, Alex Goldstein, and we quickly brought on Nick and Chris Libbey, the brother duo from Sparky Stories, to shoot and edit the video. I also involved Keith Greenbaum, an incredible NYC-based photographer, who kindly provided our lovely studio space. Without this power team, we wouldn't have made the magic happen.
4. Have fun! If you're shooting a music video and you're not having fun, are you even shooting a music video?
I hope you fall in love with Sweet Arizona and listen to it on repeat for hours and hours. ​Shout out to all of East Love's crazy-talented band members: Rob Fink, Lukas Effman, Alex Goldstein, Alex Utay.
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