As a new filmmaker, I’ve been chomping at the bit to put my skills to work on various projects that showcase my talents, skills, experience, and interests. Ever since I met Jackie Daum back in May 2009, I’ve wanted to work with her on a music video for her debut music album “The Sky Inside”. Two years later, we finally created the opportunity. And the culmination of our creative collaboration is this music video for Jackie’s single “Going To New Mexico”.
About the production process:
Read my previous blog post from right after shooting this video as well.
While typically there’s a lot of pre-production work that goes into creating a music video or a movie, Jackie and I decided that we wanted to have more of a fun, spontaneous process for creating this video. Jackie had gone through a rigorous pre-production process on her “You Give Me Air” video, but wanted to try something different on this project. And I felt up to the challenge as well. Jackie even chose the single Going To New Mexico in sharp contrast to You Give Me Air, which is much slower and more contemplative. We knew Going To New Mexico would be a more fast-paced and energetic video. So the only pre-production work came down to logistical things like figuring out when and where. We settled on a weekend in March of this year and chose for her to visit me in Phoenix, AZ. We knew that we wanted to film in the desert so that we could get a bit of a “New Mexico” look into the song. And parts of Arizona aren’t too far off from looking just like parts of New Mexico.
At the time of shooting, I was living in downtown Tempe, a part of the Phoenix Metro area. One night while driving home, I got the idea of filming some scenes for the video with Jackie walking on the bridge over Tempe Town Lake. But with a large concert going on the night of the shoot, we were confronted with having to shift locations at the last moment. So instead of the bridge, I thought of shooting at a light rail train station nearby, thinking that could present an interesting venue. And of course it did! Our first night of shooting was about 3 hours long. With trains buzzing in and out of the station the entire time, we both felt completely energized there and captured about half of the footage we would end up using in the video at that location.
The next day, we starting driving from Phoenix to Globe via U.S. Highway 60. Jackie had this idea of shooting in front of an old wooden fence. And then BAM! We ran across an old wooden horse corral by a trailhead along the highway. So our second location clicked into place for about 2 hours. We also shot at two further locations along Highway 60, one of which we didn’t end up using at all in the video. I think what guided Jackie and I through this spontaneous process was our mutual commitment to making the video with whatever options presented themselves. I wanted to see simply what we could put together with just the two of us, shooting “guerilla” style! And I think the results speak for themselves. While it could have been nice to have more of a structured narrative weaving through the video, I also like the loose narrative we crafted here.
After shooting, we started editing a rough cut the next day. And we found that we wanted a few additional pieces of footage at the light rail station, so we went back from an hour or two more. And by the time Jackie left Phoenix just 5 days after arriving, we had all the footage for the video and about half of a rough cut. The video then simmered on the back burner for a few months while we both worked on other projects. But we got the opportunity to get back together for more editing for 2-3 days in San Francisco while I was up there on a work trip. We locked ourselves in our “editing studio” and went to work fashioning a full rough cut for the video.
For another month, I worked on the final editing, color correction, and other little touches to finish the video, getting it ready for its world premiere on YouTube on July 13, 2011. In the course of 4 months, we were able to shoot and edit the video and package it for distribution. It was an exciting process with Jackie as an integral part throughout. I couldn’t have done it without her enthusiasm, commitment, energy, and creative ideas! Thank you Jackie…for the opportunity to collaborate and complete my first music video. I’m already planning the shoot for my next one with another musical artist whose a friend of mine. And that one will actually be shot in New Mexico…so looks like I too am “going to New Mexico”!