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Ellis Paul on The Huffington Post

November 05, 2014

Ellis Paul on The Huffington Post
"It used to be that videos were meant for highly commercial acts who had a single to push and huge budget. I never thought a video mattered overall in the presentation of the song for a folk artist. We made our living off the left end of the radio dial and on the long trail of a highway. But today, I think videos are the most important way of presenting your music to the world...bigger than touring, streaming and radio. I'm recognizing that every song I write and the important songs from my back catalogue need to have a video for people to discover them with proper impact. The creative energy for the direction has to come from me, or there will be a disconnect between the songs integrity and the video.

"It's more important in the long term to have the music on YouTube than anywhere else but how do you afford it? And for every song? My new albumChasing Beauty has fourteen songs...

"Fortunately, the best way to shoot the video for 'Drive-in Movie' was a home movie style approach that took advantage of the versatility of the GoPro 3+ Hero camera and the music's story line. The only expense was the car rental and the admission to the amusement park.

"Luckily it turned out that this choice the most authentic way to present the song AND the most affordable. The storyboard made it obvious that the approach was perfect. The video has the feel of a couple taking a home video on a wild vacation spree. It's selfies, panoramic views, roller coaster rides. It's the movie you would've shot if you were on this very same vacation. It made the emotional content of the video feel authentic, like it was a real moment. I didn't have to pretend to be mouthing the words or stuck somewhere cliché playing the guitar to the track, which induces a feeling of posturing on a song this earnest.

"We didn't have to look hard for settings in Central Virginia-- there were great looking train stations and roller coasters and drive-in movie theaters within an hour radius of where I live in Charlottesville. Laurie MacAllister graciously agreed to tag along and to play a role in the story and help shoot the video. And the Go Pro 3+ Hero camera captured both cool vistas and the homemade vibe. It clearly wasn't shot with a crew and lights and make up, but how does it make you feel when you watch it? Do you laugh? Do you say 'Wow' at the vistas? This was so fun to shoot and I knew we were getting away with doing it for free.

"Virginia is a beautiful place. We shot in Crozet at a beautiful home, in Lexington at Hull's Drive-in Movie, in Staunton at their historic train station, and King's Dominion in Doswell. Hope you enjoy it."

- Ellis Paul

by Ellis Paul on his music video for "Drive In Movie" from the album 'Chasing Beauty', The Huffington Post

updated: 2 years ago