Over the past couple of weeks I had the distinct pleasure of trailing Justin Wu around New York City as he shot his Empire State of Mind video for Jay Z’s site Life + Times. In short, that meant hanging out with a bunch of awesome guys (the film crew) and taking photos of amazing girls (the models). Highlights included getting my c-walk on with Selita Ebanks; going way up town to that McDonald’s in Harlem with Jenny Albright, Dierdre Reimhold and Leilani Momoisea; meeting – and subsequently falling in love with – Shu Pei; and hanging with Ataui Deng’s absolutely gangsta bulldog (you’ll see why below). Justin is a total sweetheart in real life, but he transforms into this uber professional, authoritative director onset. There is no way your average person could organise and execute such a highly polished – and potentially disastrous – production, but he just steps up and owns it. The guy is going to be huge. Who knows? Maybe he’ll turn up in the lyrics of a Jay Z song someday.
Dierdre Reimhold, Leilani Momoisea and Jenny Albright.
Special thanks to Justin Wu, the models and the Life + Times team for giving me such incredible access.
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