2018 has been a year of tremendous opportunities for us. One of the projects that has really stood out to us was our flagship music video for Michael Richards entitled “I’ll Follow You”.
“Whether you pecan or pecan’t, the choice is yours.”
Mike approached us about this video in secret, because he wanted to surprise his wife, Kyriea, with it at their wedding. As per usual, we took it up a notch more grand than Mike had originally envisioned. We gladly accepted the project and had the idea of actually incorporating her into the video without her knowledge. Ross developed a fantastic way to get Kyriea in the video without her having any knowledge of the actual intent of the footage. He wrote up an INCREDIBLY hokey script for a pecan orchard ad that incorporated a couple, Mike and Kyriea, being brought together by pecans. I imagine you’re rolling your eyes, because I know I did. I don’t really remember anything in the script minus the ending tagline was “Whether you pecan (peecan) or pecan’t (Peecant), the choice is yours.” Kyriea agreed and our plan was in place.
The Song’s Origin
Mike wrote this song for Kyriea while sitting at a gig that nobody was showing up to. His wife-to-be was the only audience at that point and you very VERY RARELY ever go to one of his gigs where she’s not in attendance. He wrote this very simple, yet beautiful song for her. We offered to record the song for him and Ross knocked it out of the park! Mike often tells us “I’ve recorded for the last 20 years and I’ve never sounded as good as I do on this track!” After tracking Mike’s guitar and vocals, I began writing strings to accompany the song. Just a few days later, we had a product of which we couldn’t be more proud.
You have to understand that Kyriea is a juvenile probation officer, so it’s hard to lie to someone who is lied to by bunches of kids ever single day. Add to it that Mike is a TERRIBLE liar and you have a really interesting fabrication to uphold.
We had our first shoot at Mike and Kyriea’s home and Mike had to convince her to stay away for the entire time we were there. Needless to say, there was never a dull moment on this shoot. If you know Mike, you know that there are really no dull moments around him in general. The end of that night was intense to say the least, because we knew we’d only have about 25 minutes to load out of their home before Kyriea got there. She texted Mike and you better believe it was bedlam! But we got out and actually passed Kyriea on the highway back to Lubbock.
Our next shoot day was really a blast! We loaded into the pecan farm and really wanted to shoot some morning golden hour shots, because it’s AWESOME. The atmosphere, on the other hand, had different plans for us. There was some weird dust/dirt that had supposedly blown in from Africa and created this very interesting diffusion to the sun which basically killed the golden hour shooting. We altered plans and I think we were better for it.
I really love shooting Mid Morning and this pecan orchard location was stunning! We blew through all our takes by lunchtime and really had time to kill waiting on Kyriea to show up for the pecan commercial. In that 4-5 hour break something else magical happened. But you’re going to have to wait until the next project post releases to see that!
When Kyriea showed up, we had to rock and roll, because golden hour was upon us and we had to take advantage of it. At that point, I was REALLY glad we had our shot list ready and prepped. We could effectively divide and conquer all the shots to make the best use of our time. As a last “thank you” for Mike and Kyriea “helping” us with the pecan advertisement, I offered to shoot their engagement photos. This accomplished two things: We got better shots of their intimate interactions and it kept Kyriea off the trail of everyone’s true intentions.
The final step of this journey was to take the finished product all the way to Eagle Nest, NM, construct a screen and play the video during their first dance. Mike told Kyriea he wanted us there to play a slideshow of all their photos together during the reception that we put together for them. So our cover was solid enough. The reaction video really doesn’t do justice to the feeling in the room when we played the video. But, I thought I’d toss it in as a bonus.
We really hope you enjoyed reading this amazing journey as much as we enjoyed writing it. We love hearing your comments and would love to get your feedback on the project!