Creating Carol of the Bells

By: Crista Guthrie

From the Top

Carol of the Bells was my first music video experience.

It was great and exhausting, but overall worth it.

I received an email from Trevor about mid-October. He introduced himself and who and what 92 Keys was, and that he was looking for a violinist for a Christmas music video. I was immediately curious and quite interested. I’ve always wanted to be a part of a cool music video, and I was impressed by the quality of their previous videos, so I figured I should take this opportunity. Plus, it gave me an opportunity to arrange my own violin part, which is something I love doing.

Trevor drove down to Rexburg from Boise one weekend and we talked about music ideas and whatnot over lunch, and then we rehearsed the song for a few hours. I looked at my class schedule and chose one weekend in November to travel to Boise to rehearse, record, and film the Carol of the Bells video. I stayed at my Aunt’s house in Caldwell, who so kindly fed me and provided a SUPER comfortable bed, as well as a ton of Christmas decorations which we used for the video.

I forgot how much I appreciated houses and comfy beds and homemade meals, compared to my springy apartment bed. Plus, 92 Keys provided gas money and other meals for me, so I did not have to provide any of these needs for myself for a good four or five days.

Day 1 – November 12

On Thursday Trevor and I rehearsed for a bit, grabbed lunch at Whole Foods, and went shopping for some decorations. We met up with Zach and his wife at a coffee shop around 2:45 pm, and discussed angles and other video business for the next few days. This coffee shop oddly closed at 3 pm, so it was a short visit. That evening we met up with Trevor’s friend, Dani Maxwell, and we went shopping at the mall for our wardrobe. Trevor bought a nice (and extremely expensive) velvet suit jacket (or tux?…I always forget the difference) from Express.

I bought a beautiful floor length black dress from Dillard’s. We probably spent two hours trying to decide between this black dress and another one that had some deep red on it. After finally deciding, we pigged out at Olive Garden a few minutes before they closed.

Day 2 – November 13

On Friday we drove to Blaine’s studio and spent about four hours recording the audio for the video. His studio was very well set up and he had a fancy drum kit that I attempted to play on for fun. Blaine was super welcoming and made me feel very comfortable recording, as he has had many years of experience. I hope we can record with him again in the future.

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Little Drummer Girl

After recording, we headed to the old chapel in Nampa where we were going to film.

The chapel is surrounded by a pond and freshly mowed grass. It is the perfect place for a wedding and other events. We had a few hours before it got dark, and we’re waiting on the film crew, so I took a power nap on top of my coat on one of the pews inside. After spending almost two hours on hair and make up, we finally began filming. Zach is a perfectionist when it comes to his angles and lighting, which I love.

Sometimes it took a long time to set up every single new angle, and had his assistant, St. John, and Dani and his wife and whoever else was there to hold lights in random spots. We even bought these cheap tiny candles to light up along pews. We thought these candles would last maybe twenty minutes because of how small they are, but they ended up staying strong for…8 hours? We were pretty impressed, and grateful that we didn’t set the place on fire since the place is made of old wood from 1899 or something.

The hardest shots we did were the ones with the doors open. WHY IS IDAHO SO COLD?! And so windy?? I will always be a Texan because I am such a wimp with cold weather. It was hard to act like I was warm and relaxed playing when we had those doors open, because I thought my arms would freeze and break off! However, Zach did his best to get the “cold” shot done as quickly as possible so I could warm up again. I think we finished filming for the night around 1 am. I was pretty tired.

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One of many breaks

Day 3 – November 14

On Saturday, I did not need to be back at the chapel until 5:30 in the afternoon, so I visited spent part of the day with my aunt visiting my cousin in Meridian, and then come home, took a long nap, showered, and left to go finish the video. I made sure I styled my hair and did my make up the same as the previous night, and we got right to work.

Around 9 pm, we were “almost done.” We really were almost done with everything, but I think everyone started slowing down a little more and it ended up taking 5 more hours to finalize everything. I was extremely exhausted after all of that. I slept very hard that night.

I drove back to Rexburg the next day and returned to reality. I spent some time listening to the final and mastered mix of the audio from Blaine and some video edits from Zach, and gave some feedback.

Release

The video was released on December 8th. I posted it to my Facebook page and Instagram, and continued about my busy day with school. When I woke up the next morning, the video was already at 15,000 views. I couldn’t believe it. I had a ton of Facebook notifications and emails and texts from people. I thought the video looked great, but I wasn’t expecting so much traffic in such a short amount of time. I’m glad the video has had such a positively strong impact on people and I hope to continue these kind of projects with 92 Keys!

Hey! Falling Slowly is our latest video! Neat.


By | 2017-01-19T12:42:20+00:00 December 14th, 2015|Blog|

About the Author:

I am a classically-trained violinist currently getting my Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance at BYU-Idaho. I am a lover of all kinds of music, and am quite the nerd within the classical community, so I hope I can bring a new approach to classical music for those who are not as familiar with it.
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