Director and cinematographer Rachel Klein, signed to SLMBR PRTY, brings a unique perspective to her work, informed by a background in visual arts and a focus on documentary storytelling. 

With an eye for detail honed through her experience as the cinematographer for the SXSW Grand Jury Award-winning Shithouse, Klein captures stories that feel both urgent and authentic. 

With an emphasis on empathy and a knack for creating intimacy, her Favourite Things reflect a curated space filled with flora, fauna and old TVs.

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The Photos

I’ve carried around these old photos of my parents since I left home at 18, and they have always had a front-and-center display in my spaces. 

There are more up-to-date photos, but I am most drawn to things with a little love already worn into them (although the cracks were added to the frame of my dad and me after we used it in a music video a few years back! Oops!). 

My family and I have always been close, yet I’ve lived on each coast, a thousand miles from Texas, for the last 15 years. It’s partially why my longest photo project to date, Flyway, takes after a term for migratory paths home. 

So much of my work is deeply nostalgic and sentimental - and a good portion of my personal films and photo projects have even followed my family directly. 

We are far from perfect, but there is so much love - and dedication to one another - and I feel so grateful daily for how my family has influenced the woman - and creative - I am today. 

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The Plant Children

If you live in Brooklyn long enough, you’ll eventually get into a bit of astrology (or witchcraft, obviously). 

I’m a Taurus and have a live + work space in the heart of such trends: Bushwick. So, creating a visually appealing yet equally cozy environment is crucial to my creative zen.  

As an earth sign, this manifests most clearly in a plant addiction! Nearly every sunny surface is prioritized for my plant kids, and most friends (and lovers) have left the apartment with a propagated plant in tow (mother of thousands, anyone? I have about 15 more to offload!!). 

I think it’s good to enclose yourself in living things. And I adore watching how light filters through the different leaves throughout my day. 

Plus, my plants can also be a bit like a self-care mood ring! Whenever they start to look sad, I know I’m probably worse for wear as well (likely coming off a pitch or job, equally dehydrated!). 

A friend once told me to “think about watering yourself with love when you water your plants!” 

The TV

My Grandma Ev - the light of my life - gave me this TV to use in a short I was shooting when I first moved to NYC. It was a strange little monster film about grief that I made with two close friends, and it is still very dear to me - likely for the equally strange but wonderful time in my life it reminds me of. 

Shortly after, I filmed a documentary following my grandma (all of us filmmakers do this, right?!) - exactly one year before she passed. I shot 14 obnoxious hours of footage and (endearingly) annoyed the crap out of her. But I wouldn’t take back a single second of a shot. 

Evelyn was and still is the most influential woman in my life. As I’ve stated before, I think most of my creative career has revolved around grasping these little fleeting moments of life and the people in it. 

Grasp them and make them as eternal as I can (as a hard drive or a film stock might allow in this short life we are given!). Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping (my all-time favourite) has much to say about such things. 

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The Tiny Friends

I will go out of my way to take even the most basic household items and make them lovely, quirky, and playful. 

I recently decoupaged dried flowers onto a dry-erase board so my organization can feel floral! 

I want every item I encounter to spark some small sense of wonder or joy (Taurus maximalist!). I’ve had the best time reconnecting with certain parts of myself and my personality as I’ve built out my workspace with this in mind. 

In high school, I admittedly fell down the Deviant Art trend of photographing train miniatures in non-miniature worlds (if you know, you know). On a whim this past year, I picked up a pack of tiny friends and scattered them throughout my workspace for friends (and my six-year-old neighbour) to find! 

Since then, I’ve moved them about in accordance with my moods, made little paper houses for them, and had a fever pitch Science of Sleep-esque mid-winter episode of hot-glueing a bunch of cotton ball clouds for a particular landscape painting of mine (I swear I have creative references after 2008). 

Anyway - it’s all a lot of fun!

The Polaroid Camera

For those who know me and my endless energy - I wear a couple of hats professionally, including 'photographer'.

My most recent obsession has been shooting B&W film with one particular vintage Polaroid camera - the SX-70. 

My best friend and fellow photographer (one of my biggest inspirations), Antonio Ysursa, introduced me to it, and it’s with me constantly now. 

I love, love the dreamy, otherworldliness of this camera, and I’ve especially enjoyed applying that look to some of my personal doc photo projects. 

It’s a nice place where my more whimsical style can merge with my non-fiction work - which will forever be the dream and goal I’m hoping to push my work further towards!

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The Rooftop Garden

I could not survive NYC, or this industry, without my rooftop garden. 

It brings me so much joy, peace, and space from the otherwise constant inertia of life. 

I grew up outdoors, and nature has always brought balance and wonder to my life. 

When I moved to NYC, I quickly learned I had to bring the green things to me. 

I love getting lost in the literal weeds (and flowers and leaves) - learning about different bugs and ways to harvest your own seeds and grow the perfect melon. I love sharing this space and all its produce riches with friends. 

I love that it asks me daily to step away from my desk and grab a fresh perspective from up high - or down low with something buzzing!