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Creative's stories - Rafe Jennings

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1 year 3 months ago | Guides

2016 was quite a year for Radar Creative Rafe Jennings, from being shortlisted at the Radar Awards to winning at the UKMVAs for his Radar commissioned video for rising star Will Joseph Cook. We caught up with him to chat about his career, ambitions and advice to fellow film-makers...

Watch the YouTube video below or read on for the transcript...

1. Who are you?

Hi, my name’s Rafe and I’m a film director who makes music videos, commercials and short films.

2. When did you decide to direct music videos - and what did you first do about it?

I first decided I wanted to make music videos when I was a teenager  I had a MiniDV camcorder so I went around and filmed things, and then made fan videos, and put them on YouTube. So that’s where I started really. I just decided “I wanna make them” and went out there and made them.

Rafe and his award

3. How far have you come from starting out, to where you are now? (What's different?)

Things have changed quite a lot since I started out. I’m not filming on MiniDV anymore, though I probably would again. I think the one thing I know about filmaking is the more that you do it the better you get obviously and the more you can narrow the gap between what you have in your mind and what ends up on the screen. So I think that’s the main difference between when I started out and now, is that I can get much closer to what I have in my in my head and my idea. And that’s through my own skill and having a great network of very talented people around me. All those things come together and help you grow as a filmmaker.

4. Has Radar helped you on your journey? (If so, how?)

Radar hasn’t just helped me, it’s been absolutely crucial in getting me where I want to get to.
It’s allowed me to write lots of ideas, it’s allowed me to talk to artists and labels and it’s also
allowed me to make lots of music videos and that’s the best education you can get,  So I think Radar is the bridge between emerging directors and the music video industry, and from that standpoint it’s a really amazing service.

Will Joseph Cook - Take Me Dancing

5. Where are you heading? (long term goals, short term goals)

My long term ambitions are to direct feature films & TV. I think music videos are a really good way of going about because you get to work with bigger budgets. You get to hone your skills as a filmmaker and you also get to build up your network  I think those are the things I’m going to be looking at doing in the foreseeable future just to prepare me for later on.

Rafe at the UKMVAs

6. What are the most useful lessons you can pass on to newer directors?

I think for some advice, firstly always make sure you have a contract, even if you get on like a house on fire with the client. And always make sure that the client and the label are somehow involved either creatively or in the decision making of the project, so that when you present them with something at the end they’ve had some input on it and therefore don’t get any nasty surprises.

Secondly if you fail, see it as a success because it means you’ve tried.

Thanks for watching and good luck

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