A sequel is such a daunting thing because you don’t want to lose the magic and the charm of the first one. – Sandra Bullock
Returning for a second summer with Water Rocks! left the door open for so many opportunities to make it amazing just as last summer had been. Coming in to this summer, I knew I wanted to help with as many of the creative projects as I could. Particularly I love the videos… as you may remember from Please the Bees!
When given the opportunity this summer to participate in storyboarding a music video, I was really excited to jump on the opportunity! The project was a new song called “Keep That Soil Alive,” a throwback to the Johnny Cash era of country music.
Storyboarding is the process of mapping out the story that will be told in the video. To begin, I sat down with our director, Jackie, and got some preliminary ideas for the video. The main theme that she envisioned was female landowner empowerment. It was my job to help that story, of a daughter returning to the farm, come alive.
My creative process is almost always collaborative and I would be neglectful if I didn’t mention my coworkers’ role in bringing this video to life. Much of the story was thought up on the road as we traveled to different events. I talked out ideas with my peers and they gave feedback, especially when I wanted to make some of the scenes really complicated and involved….
Initially I had us going to at least three different filming locations that were not at all in close proximity to one another. Locations, I learned, are easily combined with some creative simplification. For example, a small test bean field can be a great setting rather than a full scale one, and utilizing B-roll (footage not necessarily taken with the rest of the story) helps out as a filler, too. The same simplification was done with the cast list. The characters needed to tell the story wore different clothing so they could play dual roles, as we only have so many interns and staff to help us in this endeavor.
Next, Jackie and I recruited actors and located a place to film. We decided on the ISU Horticulture Research Station, which had several different buildings we could use, including a farm house, as well as crop fields and equipment galore!
The weekend before we filmed I shared a few phone calls and texts with Jackie to make sure we had all the needed props. Because a few of the scenes involved dancing, we needed to have speakers, so I was in charge of securing those as well as bringing some costuming items.
On the day of filming, Jackie directed while I got the opportunity to participate once again in being a part of the video. You can see some of our action shots below and watch a clip of the song on Facebook to tide you over until the music video comes out later this year!
From here the video will enter the editing stage where the shots will be stitched together, with b-roll and the music added, as well. This process usually takes several months as other projects are also in production; for instance, I am currently in the process of drawing out the storyboard for a video entitled “Interesting Things Underground.” You may have heard the little ditty in the Conservation Dogs episode featuring Marty Adkins (Episode 18) – it’s his original tune!
And so the sequel has been a success and I look forward to my remaining weeks of the summer to see what it has in store!