A powerful song about a couple who are reshaping their lives was made even more powerful by skillful film making from director Reagan Elkins and musicians Maggie McClure and Shane Henry being comfortable in front of the camera.
The title of the song and music video is “Revival” by the wife and husband duo whose band is The Imaginaries.
The seven-minute package creates an audio and visual experience that only a well-done music video can deliver. And, it points to the couple’s Christian faith, heavy with themes of repentance and renewal.
“It’s about making this change – this sort of spiritual awakening – and making the change from these bad ways and darker past into a new road of choosing to do the right thing in life,” Henry told Free Press Saturday in an interview following their streaming Okie Shorts interview session for deadCenter Film Festival.
The couple’s music features a unique blend of Henry’s skillful handling of the Dobro guitar using a metal slide and the couple’s seamless harmonies.
Good musicians accustomed to performing in front of live audiences often seem to take to acting on camera more quickly than others. The sense of timing and delivery from one art can transition to another.
That seems to be the case as Henry and McClure glide through this video telling the story with their faces and movement as much as in their music.
We asked about getting comfortable in front of the camera.
“I have spent lots of time in front of the camera I know Shane has as well,” said McClure. “And every time that you are in front of the camera it gets more comfortable.”
“For us, we’re the most comfortable when we’re performing, obviously, but we’ve gotten better at speaking and now kind of transitioning into some acting opportunities as well,” she said.
Henry and McClure both said Elkins was a very good director in that he interacted with them in the same way he would in a any other film production.
“It makes a huge difference when you’re working with someone like Reagan who makes it very comfortable and easy to be in front of the camera,” said McClure.
Henry added, “He directs. He doesn’t just stand there and say okay just have fun now. He’s very forward.”
The couple both felt that the engagement Elkins offered in the process made the music video more than just a filming of a stage performance turning the song’s story into a visual one as well.
Elkins takes a buck-stops-here approach to making any film.
“As far as like the story, though, there’s a lot riding on a director,” he said. “You’re the one that’s taking control over the story. If it falls short, it’s really your fault.”
Elkins said one of the big challenges of a good music video is to tell the story in just three or four minutes which is even shorter than more film shorts seen at the festival each year.
“It’s very difficult to get a legitimate story in a short amount of time,” said Elkins. “It takes a lot of work and a lot of prep. And so I think that’s discounted a lot of times.”
The three used several different locations in Oklahoma to collect the images they needed to tell the story. But, the story evolved in the process of filming – a dynamic often told by filmmakers of all sorts.
“We shot this video and realized after we had shot for the first four days that we didn’t capture the sort of back story,” said Henry.
So, they went back and added in more of an abrupt “Bonnie and Clyde” type of beginning to add depth to the transformation the couple makes from a life of crime to a legitimate life.
Not only is the video a part of the Okie Shorts as a part of the virtual festival offering, but it was a part of the Okie Shorts free-to-the-public presentation in downtown Oklahoma City’s Scissortail Park on Saturday, June 14.
The deadCenter Film Festival continues on for the rest of this week through June 21. There is plenty of time to watch a full complement of films in the time remaining since the festival is 11 days ending June 21.
Passes may still be purchased on the festival’s website at deadcenterfilm.org.
For our extended coverage of the deadCenter Film Festival see the sidebar on our homepage.