Directing “Thank You” music video

Khalil Ismail and I teamed up once again for another one of his music videos. Now, this isn’t exactly a surprise collaboration, being that we actually work together daily with music and other business. But as a writer/actor, I can’t exactly say that I get the chance to be behind the camera directing everyday, so this was an honor and a challenge that I excitedly embraced.

Now, this wasn’t my first roll in the directing hay. Back in 2009, I co-directed one of KI’s first videos for the song, Sometimes,” which ironically also featured Maimouna Youssef, as does “Thank you, haters.”

Our first instinct was to call up Antar Hanif, childhood friend of KI’s and my go-to guy for such projects. Antar is one of those geniuses who just “gets” the look and idea a director is going for. I would describe a shot and he’d pull out a lens and get it. I would explain a certain technique I wanted to go for; he would jimmy-rig the camera and pull it off some kind of way!

After two long, cold days shooting, and thanks to Naimah Sharif for allowing us to shoot the concert scene at one of her events, we were able to come away with a product I was very happy to be a part of.

Without further adieu, I give you “Thank You, haters” X Khalil Ismail: