This was definitely one of our more unusual projects. We've enjoyed working for the Huntsville City School system for quite a while (you can revisit one of the campaigns here), but this was certainly something different.
The system's superintendent had seen a promo some years back for a national cable network — a music video featuring various personalities from different shows, each singing one line. The school boss loved this, and wanted to use the same idea to promote the goings-on at Huntsville City Schools.
Well, we certainly don't mind being "inspired" by something from the past (as they say, "There are no new ideas") but we did want to take this concept and put our own twist on it. It started with the music: writing new lyrics, coming up with a new melody, creating an arrangement, and having the whole thing orchestrated and scored.
Then came the singing... which meant location shoots at scads of schools with tons of people, and wrangling non-singers into delivering their lines: everyone from students to teachers, principals, cafeteria workers, and more... even the mayor.
The result showcased singing abilities in a wide range of abilities... which we think is part of the fun.
Shooting a music video almost always involves performers lip syncing a pre-recorded track, but this one had everyone singing live on location, Les MisÚrables-style. That was an extra twist that required everyone to stay on pitch, in the right tempo, and singing in the right key so all the footage would cut together well.
While we have used it for specialty shots before, this was our first production that we photographed entirely with our tiny Osmo Zenmuse X5 handheld stabilized camera. This let us work quickly and shoot 59 separate scenes in ultra high-definition 4K without it turning in to a gigantic slow production.
Phil Schmidt produced and coordinated the dozens of people and places involved, with Todd Terry directing each shoot and Joey Skelton assisting on sound. On the music side of things, we turned to Nashville's Dave LaGrande who wrote, arranged, and orchestrated the score.