RESPECT, Perfect Timing Featuring Ian Wolfson
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, director Ian Wolfson has built his career by banking on the talent exploding out of his steely hometown. With a sharp eye and a commitment to pushing fresh, outside-the-box concepts, Wolfson-who shoots under the name Rex Arrow Films-has delivered videos that have racked up well over 100 million views online, including one for a song named after a certain real estate mogul turned reality star, which has logged over 50 million views. Now, that’s a full clip.
When are you at your most productive? I have a very set routine. I have to wake up early and get my day started, but sometimes several hours will go by before I start working. Part of my day is definitely warming myself up for working in the early evening. It’s almost like I need to get up so I start the day on a good foot. Sometimes we won’t get into shooting until 8 o’clock at night. Come 8 o’clock, though, there’s something in my brain that switches on.
What’s the longest you’ve ever worked on one project? We had a full week of pre-production [on one of my latest videos] because we shot out in L.A., and I had never shot there before. It ended up being three full days of shooting. Now we’re in post-production. We shot on a state-of-the-art camera that takes an entire week just to process out the file for editing. This is definitely the longest work process from beginning [to] end that I’ve been on. At the same time, what we’ve aimed to accomplish is incredibly ambitious, not only for the budget but also for a music video.
When do you know you’ve nailed it? I’ve only had one shoot where I felt that way. Again, it’s this latest video. Maybe it’s because we had so much time to plan out what we wanted to do. Sometimes when I’m on set, I get this suffocating fear that I’m not getting the best shot. However, I’ve learned that having that fear pushes me to push myself. It’s really not until I get into the editing process that I say, “We’ve got something really cool here.”