A hugely talented and creative individual. Rachel Palumbo is perhaps best known for her work as a film director and her debut feature Sapere Aude is available now to view via Amazon Prime. However, she’s now made to the move into music world and has stepped behind the camera to work with rising talent MARG on the video for her single “Moving”. Inspired by Tom Ford and currently working on and writing new projects, Rachel spoke to ThisIsTheLatest about the one band she’d love to work with, her upcoming film Rocket Man and the advice she’d give those looking to follow in her footsteps.
TITL: As someone who is a part of several sectors of the creative and entertainment worlds, at what age did you first know you wanted to make being creative as you are a career path?
Rachel Palumbo: I always loved photography from a young age, but when I really started thinking that I wanted to get into film and pursue it as a career was when I was around 14 or 15 and I started created music videos and short films with my siblings. I had so much fun doing it that I found myself filming and editing for hours on end. I figured I wanted to be a part of telling stories and creating things by doing something that I loved and enjoyed.
TITL: Which directors/actors and other creatives most encouraged and inspired you to pursue that path and would you say have most helped you get to where you are now?
RP: I’m creatively inspired by Tom Ford. I love his aesthetic and I think everything he makes is so elegant and beautiful. I especially loved that he transitioned from fashion into directing and that he carries his style so effortlessly across both mediums. It’s inspiring that he didn’t think he could only be one or the other, and did both so well. I also am inspired individually by so many creatives that pushed through and believed in themselves and their passions no matter what anyone told them.
TITL: Your debut film Sapere Aude is on Amazon Prime. Given the advancements in technology, how do you feel about having your short film tied exclusively to a paid streaming service as opposed to releasing it online?
RP: I liked that Sapere Aude was a little more exclusive when it first came out. I see the pros and cons to both. But for us, it was exciting when we found it distribution online. It gave it a bit more significance for us to have it on a paid streaming service than uploading it online somewhere.
TITL: What can you tell me about “Rocket Man” that’s coming to DirectTV soon?
RP: “Rocket Man” started in a coffee shop, with myself and friend/co-producer and actor Alex Cubis grabbing coffee and deciding we wanted to make something together. We wanted to deal with the topics of success and finding significance through what you do. Through Rocket Man, I wanted to explore what it is like when things don’t pan out in life exactly as we had planned or hoped. This film was so much fun to make and I had the privilege of working with such an amazing team who all helped create something beautiful. Directing this film made me fall more and more in love with directing and helped me realize that this really is where I want to be.
TITL: You spent several years making films, so why have you decided that now is the right time to make the slight transition towards more of the music world?
RP: The first thing I ever made was a music video. I have always enjoyed the creativity and artistic freedom that music videos give you. Narrative films take a long time to make from start to finish and I like to keep myself busy creatively – one reason I also love photography so much. It just felt natural to be directing music videos to keep myself imaginative and creative.
TITL: How did you come across MARG, and how did the two of you find the collaborative process for the video you made together?
RP: MARG and I have been friends for a while now. I was always inspired by her fashion choices – I think that’s what we originally bonded over – and I loved her music and think she’s insanely talented. A couple months ago we were doing a photoshoot together and she was showing me her latest music and asked me if I wanted to direct one of her videos. We talked about what we wanted it to be like, sent each other our inspiration and both had the same vision for the song. She wanted to film it on a VHS camcorder and that was something I had been wanting to do for a while, so we got ourselves a Hi8 and the rest is history.
TITL: If you could direct a video or short for any musician from history, who would you choose and why?
RP: It would have to be The Eagles. I love their music and style and they are so insanely talented as musicians. I always get lost in their lyrics and I can only imagine how inspiring it would be to work and collaborate creatively with them. Besides, I would have loved to just hang out with them!
TITL: Are there any other projects in the pipeline you can tell me about?
RP: I just have a couple of projects we’re in the process of writing – but not far enough along yet!
TITL: Finally then, what advice would you give to someone looking to make their way in the creative entertainment world? What three traits would you say someone most needs to help ensure they stay focused and achieve their goals? What’s left for you achieve?
RP: I would say to stay true to yourself creatively, obviously be inspired by people but know what you like, stick by it and trust it. I got so distracted at times by trying to copy someone else’s style instead of just embracing my own. That’s what’s going to make you stand out and make you different from everyone else trying to do the same thing.
Three traits – passion, perseverance and positivity. You have to have passion about your goals and really want them enough, or else you’re going to give up when it gets hard. Perseverance because there are always going to be ups and downs. When you’re down just remember you can only go up from there – but you won’t get there if you don’t push through. And finally, positivity because life is just a journey – trust that journey. As soon as you realize that you’ll never really feel like you have “arrived” then you can enjoy life and the moment, because really, that’s all we have.
I’ve SO MANY THINGS left to achieve, directing a feature, more music videos, and also creating a few brands.