January 30, 2019

Behind the Scenes: Shooting the Music Video for "True Life"

Ashton Harris




As many of you already know, we recently released a music video for "True Life" from our latest album. Our creative team (Bethany Creative) heard this song for the first time back in October and immediately fell in love with it. We knew even then that we wanted to create a video for it.

Taylor Coleman, our director and producer for the music video, says, "When I first heard 'True Life', I was taken in by all the voices, layers, and textures in the song.... It sounds so full, like a ballad. It made me think of a very smooth dance.... So I wanted something that wrapped you in like a dance would. That's where the original idea of the camera movement circling around the set came from. From there, I knew when it circled around James in the bridge, I wanted instruments to be revealed one at a time."

Like any project, you go in with a plan and a vision, but you learn a ton while actually doing it. While setting up to film this video, we found that we really needed a full day with our equipment just to get comfortable with it. On the night of the shoot, delays with our set lighting pushed back our start time almost five hours! Thankfully, everyone on the team had an awesome attitude and powered through the night. The shots with James Stockstill were filmed in the early hours of the morning, and we didn't finish filming until 4:00 a.m.

After we got a rough cut of the video, Taylor pulled in some of our creative staff to get feedback. We decided on the night of the video shoot that we wanted to do something with glitches - those short flashes of different shots in the video. The first glitch of the video is intended to surprise the viewer and foreshadow what's to come. Andrew Holley mentioned the idea of the glitch, and we ran with it. We had some rough sounds for the glitch at first, but we pulled in Brian Edwards, our audio engineer, to help us get a sound that would work. Brian was able to grab parts of the song and reverse it, giving us a sound that could be heard on all listening devices. Mithun Abraham came up with the idea of the split screen because we had a lot of beautiful footage with handheld cameras that we wanted to use, but they didn't flow with the smooth shots that we got by using the dolly (a wheeled cart). To use some of those amazing shots, we decided to go with a split screen to marry the two.

We love how the video turned out, and we're so thankful for the hard work our creative team put into this project. They shock us every time with their amazing work! If you love the video, share it with your friends and let us know what you think!






Production Notes

  • Camera: C300 Mark II
  • Lens: Zeiss Cine Set
  • Equipment: Fisher Dolly
  • External recorder: Atomos Shogun Inferno

Film Team

  • D/P: Taylor Coleman
  • DP: Andrew Holley
  • 1st AC: Isaac Suttle
  • 2nd AC: Mithun Abraham
  • LD: Ryan Ryder
  • Grip: Chaz King
  • PA: Kamber White + Alex Rodriquez

Musicians:

  • James Stockstill: piano + lead
  • Nate Munsell: guitar
  • Ross Hebert: bass
  • Andrae Harrison: percussion
  • Jake Johnson: 2nd percussion

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