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The Essential List

The Essential List: Karena Evans

Get to know the director behind Drake’s huge ‘God’s Plan’ promo

 The Essential List: Karena Evans

Karena Evans’ career as a director only really began in 2015 when she began working as an intern for the veteran music video director Director X, who represents her through his production company Popp Rok (part of Mile Inn Collective). Since then though, she has helmed work for the likes of Nike and released a startling social commentary piece based around the Black Lives Matter movement. But her most recent work is arguably her biggest piece yet. Karena is the director behind the promo for Drake’s ‘God’s Plan’, which was released on Friday. The film is particularly interesting because it follows Drake as he donates the entirety of the almost-£1million production budget to various people and societies. Needless to say, it’s blown up since the artist leaked details of the project before it launched (with a neat shoutout to Karena).  

And so what more perfect timing to get to know her better? Check out her Essential List below.



Travel



o Place of birth: Toronto.
o Staycation: My bed.
o Vacation: Have to say Jamaica (after just visiting there).
o Place of work: Wherever I write the concept!
o Place of workout: Pure Barre (when I can get there).
o Mode of transport: "Uber everywhere" - it's bad.
o Miscellaneous Travel Essential: Can't leave the house without my healing stones and my essential oils.

Wearing healing stone bracelets, holding a film camera



Culture



o Artist: Daniel Caesar, of course.
o Musician: (& Artist) H.E.R. 
o Commercials director: Melina Matsoukas.
o Film director: My acting coach, Jock MacDonald.
o Photographer: (& my cinematographer) Jordan Oram.

"Me and my Cinematographer (& favourite photographer), Jordan Oram" 

o Film: Three random films that changed my perspective on storytelling in three different points of my life would be ‘Moonlight’, ‘Love & Basketball’ and ‘Before Sunrise’.
o Series: ‘Insecure’ all the way. Issa Rae is brilliant and it’s directed by Melina Matsoukas, of course.
o Commercial: Nike - ‘Equality’ (Directed by Melina Matsoukas… again).


o Music Video: ‘We Found Love’ - Rihanna (yep, you guessed it. Melina Matsoukas.)


o Video Game: I’m terrible at video games.
o Board Game: I can’t remember the last time I played one.
o Book: Right now, ‘The Seven Basic Plots’ (By Christopher Booker). A must-read.
o Graphic Novel: I tried to make something up… failed!
o Newspaper (off or online): Let’s be real, GOOGLE.
o Magazine: Vogue.
o Miscellaneous Art: Really into minimalism art right now.


Food and Drink



o Breakfast: Eggs, beans and toast - always.
o Restaurant: Grand Electric (THE perfect Mexican spot on Queen West).
o Cheap bite: A veggie burger from A&W.


o Working lunch: Still Grand Electric (just from Uber Eats).
o Dish: Veggie tacos.
o Snack: Popcorn is my kryptonite.
o Guilty Pleasure: Chocolate. Has to be milk chocolate. Some nuts in there works too.
o Bar: Hanmoto and Man of Kent of my go-to.
o Tipple: I’m a beer girl.
o Soft Tipple: A refreshing beer for sure.
o Miscellaneous food: Jamaican dumpling and plantain.
o Miscellaneous Beverage: Peppermint tea is my comfort blanket.


Kit



o Phone: iPhone of course.
o Computer: MacBook of course.
o TV: Netflix + a projector at home = vibes.
o Headphones: Definitely my wireless Beats! I just love locking myself away to write a treatment with those puppies.
o Camera: #35mm point and shoot for leisure. Always the Arri Alexa on the job.
o Soundsystem: BeatsPill for music anywhere, anytime.
o Pen / pencil: A smooth writing black ink pen is so satisfying.
o Where you document an idea: I carry my notebook everywhere. It’s the most organised chaos in one little place.
o Casual wear: You can always catch me in some Adidas track pants.


o Smart wear: My red fanny pack = my sidekick on set.

"On a tech scout - phone in hand, red fanny pack (that holds my oils, hand cream and chapstick), healing stones on my rings and bracelets)"

o Footwear: AF1s definitely.
o Watch: My iPhone.
o App: Instagram definitely.
o Website: Vimeo.com (probably my most visited site every day).
o Blog: LBB!
o Work program: Adobe Premier Pro.
o Digital work tool: Director’s monitor.

Director’s monitor / red fanny pack

o Analogue work tool: My MacBook.
o Morning grooming / makeup essential: I can’t go anywhere without my eyebrow brush.
o Miscellaneous Kit Essential: If you’re ever looking for lip balm and hand cream, I’ve got you covered.