Rich Lee: Behind his Most Iconic Music Videos The line between special effects and real cinematography

In this video, Ted from Indy Mogul (and Aputure) talks to Award-winning music video director Rich Lee about some of the popular music videos he directed including ones for Eminem, Lana Del Rey, Billie Eilish, and others.

In the interview, Ted asks Lee about the challenges in making these music videos, working with talents (Eminem apparently is a fantastic talent to work with from a director’s point of view, at least according to Lee).

One interesting thing Lee did was shoot some pre-production videos even before he got the contract to work on Lana Del Rey’s video. This notion of making at least part of a project even before you get the actual green light – just to make sure that you have something to show the client is something that we have been doing ourselves and it can be exactly what tips the balance in your favour – however it comes with a cost and can be time-consuming and even pretty expensive.

Lee mentions another interesting point about Lana Del Rey’s video (Love) and that is shooting a video with modern cameras (including Alexas and REDs) and Lo-Fi’ing (or downgrading) the quality in the post to match the feel of the song. There is nothing new here but using such high-end gear for this type of look is a bit rarer. The video itself used quite a bit of special effects and the most bizarre thing is that the only part where CG was used was for a really mundane shot of the car parking near the beach and that was done just to save the hassle of getting the car and shooting permits for another day (sometimes small technical setbacks lead to the need to make complex post-production decisions).

Next, the both discuss directing Billie Eilish’s music video (All the good girls go to hell) and some of the complex aspects of combining special effects in that video such as real fire and virtual fire (about 50% of the fire in the video is real and the rest is virtual). Interestingly the shot of the angel wings coming out of her back was shot on camera but it was done in reverse and edited in post to look like they are actually growing.

If you liked this video you will probably also love Ted’s talk with award-winning music video director Joseph Kahn on some of the most well known and memorable music videos of the past 30 plus years.

As always, you can find many more behind the scenes videos on the BTS section here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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