Isaac Rentz On Directing Paramore’s ‘Still Into You’ Video
By now we have all seen Paramore’s new music video for the quirky sweet love song, “Still Into You” – heck the thing has over 2 million views on YouTube already! The new video is without a doubt a new look for Paramore and captures the carefree feeling of being in love and wanting to shout if from the rooftops. I dare you to watch this video and not end up with a huge smile on your face dancing around your room. #musicrules.
So who was the brilliant man behind the camera cooking up the vision for this video? Well his name is Isaac Rentz of More Media and he directed this 3:41 masterpiece! We sent him a few questions to answered for us about working the band and what inspired the video. Check it out!
What was it like working with Paramore on this project?
They’re just great human beings. They were one of those bands where, weeks after the shoot, the crew is still talking about how nice they were to work with. When I was a kid, I thought that all of my favorite bands were best friends who hung out all the time. Like, I assumed Wu Tang and Weezer all lived in the same house and went on wacky adventures together- I think Paramore is probably the closest thing to that idea. They’re like this fun group of friends out of a cartoon or something.
What inspired the treatment for the video, it’s so cute!
Thanks! I didn’t want to make the video a love story. It just felt too obvious. I told the band that instead of showing what love looks like, we should show what love feels like. I tried to come up with metaphors to describe what the high of true love is like- “love feels like waking up in a room full of cakes”, “love feels like riding a bmx bike through a room full of fireworks”, etc.
I also wanted to make a video didn’t have any complicated story lines or plot twists. There are certain artists that you should just put in front of camera and let them do their thing because that’s way more exciting to watch than any story I could write. What would you rather watch, Paramore in a banquet hall full of exploding fireworks, or some director trying to remake their favorite scenes from Breaking Bad?
How much involvement did the band have with making the video?
They said they didn’t want to play instruments, and they didn’t want the video to be too literal. Other than that, they gave me complete freedom to just experiment with the idea and have fun, which is an amazing amount of trust to give a director. They were good sports. I asked them to do all kinds of ridiculous stuff and they never said no. They’re totally fearless.
What were some of your favorite moments from being on set that day?
Our first set-up of the day was Hayley performing with the ballerinas. I was nervous because we didn’t’ have a rehearsal day for Hayley to get comfortable with the dancers, and I was afraid that she would look stiff when they danced with her. She talked to the choreographer for 2 minutes, watched the ballerinas run through their routine, and was like, “ok, let me try a take.” She went with the feeling of the song and nailed it right away. She did that sort of thing all day long, surprising the whole crew with her ability to improvise.
It was also funny watching Taylor and Jeremy egg each other on during the shoot. I feel like there was an unspoken competition to see who could do the craziest trick on the bmx bikes. It started with them popping wheelies, and escalated from there. At one point I started worrying that they were going to end up taking the bikes down a staircase or go through a wall.
Hayley mentioned Tim Walker’s photography was a reference for the video, can you speak to that as an influence as the videos director?
Tim Walker’s photography definitely has a romantic innocence that we referenced. But I drew from a lot of influences- Sofia Coppolla’s Marie Antionette, various Italian Vogue fashion spreads, Japanese and Korean music videos. This might sound weird, but I watched the A Tribe Called Quest video for “Buggin Out” a bunch before we shot, because I wanted to keep reminding myself to create simple situations and just let the band be themselves. That video is so awesome- it’s just some talented, charismatic performers rapping in front of colorful walls. I kept thinking, this is what I want, but with a band, about a love song. Our crew also drove around Austin that week listening to a playlist that was half Rossini, half Drake, so I’m sure that influenced the video, but I’m not sure how.
How did your career as a director start?
It was a complete surprise. I was in college getting a history degree and designing t-shirts for bands on the side. One of the bands asked me to direct their music video and I pretended I knew what I was doing because it sounded like fun. One thing led to another and pretty soon I didn’t want to be a history teacher anymore.
I love pop culture but I grew up in a household that didn’t have MTV and didn’t really go to the movies very often, so I always feel like I’m catching up on stuff all of my director friends have known about since they were kids. I’ll be like, “have you ever seen the video for November Rain, it’s so crazy!” and they’ll look at me like I’m from another planet. I seriously just saw Return of the Jedi for the first time last month. Don’t tell anyone.
Great job Isaac — the video rules! For more on Isaac’s work and the video’s producer Stephan Buchanan, check out MoreMedia.tv. They have made A TON of cool videos!
What do you think of the “Still Into You” music video?
Let’s talk music, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.