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Making my first music video

I was an MTV junkie. I especially liked the music videos that told a story. But when I first thought about doing a music video myself, I was curious: how would my passion for singing, writing and the power of the visual come together?


Here’s where it all starts, of course. I could have used a stock song, but I’m a singer and I’ve done some recording … and it just so happened that friends from the Mark Cameron Band had recently helped me record what I call the “Surrender Version” of Bette Midler’s classic song, “The Rose.” (It’s got a bluesy feel and a more upbeat rhythm.)


To find actors to enact scenes from True Surrender, we posted a project summary and request on We conducted two auditions. From those, we choose Zac and Jennifer … and luckily they were both available when we wanted to shoot. We gave them a script and a week to prepare…


I handled props, clothing, makeup arrangements and timing issues; my co-director took care of shooting scripts, lighting, locations and the camera folks. Thank goodness I didn’t have to do everything myself, because I had no idea how many details needed to be covered!


We spent one exhausting 12-hour day shooting scenes at a Physical Therapy department, a cemetery and a friend’s condo. For me, it was amazing seeing my words come to life – and without any dialogue! (I am still in awe of the actors.) The following morning we were up early to shoot video of singing (and guitar) along the Rum River near my home, and we wrapped it up later that week when we shot video of my 4-year-old daughter (whose cameo appearance is at the end of the video).


My co-director had to get all 140 minutes of footage onto disks (called “dailies”) … and then my sleepless nights began. I watched scenes for hours – evaluating the best parts of each, looking for those seconds when the camera caught something special. Once I had my favorite ‘bites,’ it took another two full days to pull it all together.


I could not have had a better experience creating my first music video. I was blessed with a great group of people to work with (I really enjoyed the creative interplay). This was truly a collaborative effort and I was both humbled and exhilarated. I love the video – and I hope you do, too.


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