Patrick Linehan ’21 and Zain Elwakil ’21 collaborate on music video for student band NONEWFRIENDS

two digital content creators at laptops with video and sound equipment
Patrick Linehan (left) and Zain Elwakil (right) at work on the music video

A partnership forged at the Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars at Bird Library took to the streets of New York City over winter break to film a music video for the student band NONEWFRIENDS.  From hanging out in the back of a Volkswagen as it cruised down Park Avenue at 3:00 a.m. to film the band, to setting up a large white backdrop in the middle of a small side street in the West Village at 5:00 a.m. to catch the sunrise light, the project was an adventure in creativity.

Zain and I (Patrick) were videographers for the shoot, which took place at four different locations throughout the city over the course of three days in December. We worked with a lighting duo to get just the right hue and intensity for each shot, particularly outdoor scenes in the chilly winter air.

One location was one of the oldest bars in New York, The Ear Inn, which was closed due to COVID-19.

The video, which was months in the making and involved a team of 15 people, will be released this summer with the band’s current project.

Zain and I met this fall as two new members of the LaunchPad student team. Zain was brought on as an Orange Ambassador for special creative projects and I started as a Global Media Fellow working on digital content for the LaunchPad.

As soon as we met, we appreciated each other’s work and consistently talked film making and creative pursuits. This video presented the perfect opportunity to collaborate on a project.

I reached out to Zain in October to see if he would be interested, and he agreed. Zain has been working on a series of creative spotlights for the LaunchPad, and his skills are highly sought after throughout campus. I have been connected with NONEWFRIENDS for two years, and I have filmed music videos for them before.

As soon as Zain and I talked with director and band member Jackson Siporin we knew the team would work wonders. We had several meetings throughout the month of November, planning logistics and creative direction, including how to abide by all of New York City’s COVID-19 regulations. We collaborated with friends with expertise in lighting, production and music. We watched hours of music videos for inspiration, dissecting shots and reverse engineering them. 

When the week came to film, we were fully prepared, except for the weather. A major snowstorm rocked New York on the day we planned to film, so we had to switch up the shoot and think on our feet. In the end, we were able to complete the vision.

Zain is currently editing the video together to be released after the spring semester.

The LaunchPad helps make these kinds of connections possible through a community of like-minded people who are passionate about creativity. Those connections and creative teamwork were central to the project’s success.

Story by Patrick Linehan ’21, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photo supplied.