"You loving me, I feel like flying..."
Tracy Cruz's Joyful Rain music video was an endeavor for Ivory Sky Media, a real jumping off point for our company that we strived to make a mark with. As the first serious music video we produced, we wanted all of the technical aspects of it to be done correctly and it was paramount that every scene show off our different skills.
That being said, a lot of time was put into this video, and shooting spanned across several days. Just as the video itself begins with the piano scene, so did the shooting process. Filmed at Emmanuel Baptist Church in San Jose, CA, the director of the video--Allen Ross himself--was featured on the piano. Setting the camera up in multiple locations to capture a variety of angles, Allen both managed the camera and played the piano. Even after all this, he was able to get a ton of B-roll footage to spice things up.
Then, a night of shooting took place at a VTA station and park near Allen's home. This time, Tracy was a part of the action, singing for the camera and bringing out her charm. Because the whole theme of the video was "concepts of joy", the team wanted to create a juxtaposition between the happiness derived from love and the loneliness that one experiences without love. The relatively empty railroad tracks were meant to represent the lonely side of this dichotomy. There had been additional clips filmed at the park as well, but they were eventually cut from the video.
Another day led Allen and Tracy to the home of Mike Thomas, specifically his backyard,
for the shots of Tracy under the tree of lights. Here, they really just wanted to play around with the lights to see what they could get. It was an idea they'd had for a while, and originally it was mean to take place in a really secluded location but the question of what they'd actually plug the lights into came into play.
The last day of shooting found itself in Allen's garage. Equipped with a green screen, Tracy invited her three backup singers (Phaedra Jones, Anthone Jackson, and Megan Richofsky) to sing their hearts out in front of a green screen. Everyone had a fun time when the confetti rolled in. Allen got to throw it in the air above everyone's heads as they sang.
So with all the shooting complete and plenty of footage, it was time for editing. This was where Allen learned a few valuable lessons about the importance of makeup and wardrobe. With the new HD DSLR cameras, every little detail was visible in the footage. "Face acne and every stray hair" becomes visible, so Allen had to spend time in editing "covering up things that we could've gotten right when we shot." In retrospect, more attention should be placed on all those little things during shooting. Also in regards to shooting, Allen learned just how difficult it is to get motion shots without accessories. It takes a lot to get smooth footage without any shaking while you're walking or running around with the camera.
In the end, shooting and editing Joyful Rain was a great learning experience for everyone involved. Check it out above if you haven't seen it yet. Enjoy!
Written by Danika Lam