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The Making of “What a Friend”

Don’t let anyone ever tell you making a music video is easy … because it’s NOT! But in the end, it’s ALL worth it for you, and for the testimonies, memories, and stories made. Hopefully by now, you’ve watched the NEW official music video for the song “What a Friend”, but if not, watch it below. You’ll probably enjoy this BLOG a whole lot more 😉

Ever since the making of our 5th album, What Lies Beyond, the track “What a Friend” has been one of the favored numbers. From little children, to adults, to even a dancing parakeet, it has by far received the most feedback … including “karaoke” and dancing videos from many of you! But creating a compelling music video that best tells the song is where it gets tricky. Louisiana swamps or a calm flowing stream in Tennessee pastures just doesn’t sell it. Plus, there are already plenty of videos online set in “wonders of the world”! We needed to do something different. Needless to say, we spent long hours late into the night on phone calls, FaceTime meetings, and surfing YouTube looking for ideas with our media and marketing manager, Nathan, and creative friend, Emilie. After some time, we came up with a dramatic story plot and had a cast of 12 dear friends ready to give of their time to be a part. Things were under way … or so we thought!

Blowing up balloons downtown Baton Rouge, LA.

The weekend came quickly and everyone flew or drove in to Baton Rouge from different parts of the country to shoot this video in 48 hours. Last minute Walmart supply trips, location scouting and mapping began, but it wasn’t long before we realized the impossibility of pulling off a major project like this without a larger production crew, reliable weather conditions, and more time. With lots of questions and concerns, we knew if the LORD was in the making of “What a Friend OFFICIAL Music Video”, HE could do one of two things: Give us ability and wisdom to miraculously pull off the original plot, or two, HE could inspire a completely different plot. The second option took place as all were gathered around the kitchen bar hours before the shoot was to begin.

In a desperate search for new ideas & creativity, Nathan threw out a random idea … which ended up not being so random after all. “What if … a little boy with a desire to do something kind and show the love of Jesus to strangers, walks around town passing out yellow smily-face balloons?” he said. After some thought, the idea seemed feasible and the search for balloons began! Spirits perked up, and everyone moved forward in one mind that this was the right direction!

Saturday morning, we all gathered downtown Baton Rouge and began walking towards the square where a crowd of people were gathered celebrating the completion of a 5K. With 30 “yellow smiles”, elaborate camera equipment, & a team of 8 carrying survival supplies, we were an interesting site to say the least. Though the sun was hot, and the camera gear heavy, everyone was a trooper … especially our little actor, Hayden (age 5)!

No more fake smiles!

Next task? … The music performance part! We made the mistake of not checking the schedule of events downtown Baton Rouge beforehand, as our perfect serene location near the riverfront overlooking the city had completely turned into a crowded festival. We didn’t have time to waste as the perfect camera lighting was slowly fading. Another moment of slight panic! But after some time of re-scouting, we landed on the portico of the River Center’s Performing Arts Center. A place with childhood memories. A place we had walked across many times during family ventures to see the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra perform! It was a long & exhausting shoot, but there’s nothing so rewarding as a hard day of work and the amazing feel that comes when you slip into comfortable clothes and gather around the table for a hearty, well deserved meal.

From the equipment rental company’s generosity, to the anonymous donors who covered the ENTIRE cost of the production, there are too many details to write about!!! We were simply blown away by the goodness of our Lord who brought everything together for His glory so that we could share with the world “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”!

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  1. sherry…leaving a comment about how excited I am to find good music and enter the giveaway.

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