I probably say this all the time, but one of the best parts of my job is getting to go places and see things that the average person doesn’t get to. On Monday, country music artist Billy Gilman was filming a music video in New London, so I went along with Rick Koster to do a quick story.
Gilman is from nearby Hope Valley, RI, and became popular at a young age with the song “One Voice.” I only vaguely remembered the song, and was not familiar at all with the now 25-year-old’s current music career. Judging by the reactions on Twitter and Instagram, a lot of people would have been star struck to be there. I was actually more excited to see the technical side of filming a music video. The crew was small, but they had a smoke machine and a remote focus control for the camera, two toys I’ve never had the chance to play with.
We started with an interview. We were promised five minutes, but Billy sat down with us for about twenty. He was super friendly, and spoke very openly about the challenges he faced as a former child star, and as someone who had recently come out publicly in the fairly conservative world of country music.
They had been filming scenes around New London for most of the day, but I had to fit the shoot in between assignments, so I only got to see one scene on stage at The Garde Arts Center. I was excited to see the technical side of the process, but also a little weary of getting in the way. The few times I’ve been on or around a film set as a journalist, I got a very chilly reception. I totally understand this, as the crew has a lot to get done and don’t need other people in the way.
Director Alec Asten and the small crew from Firesite Films could not have been nicer. I was able to shoot right up on stage with them, often looking over their shoulders while they rolled. I didn’t have a lot of time, so being able to move freely around them made it a lot easier to get the shots I needed and get out of there. If I had more time, I would have liked to shoot from the seats in the theater to get the opposite view, and also more cutaways of the camera operator would have helped. Also, had I had time earlier in the day, seeing them filming around town would have been nice.
As it was, I had to leave after about 30 minutes to get to a pair of high school basketball games. I edited my video on the MacBook after the games were over. I look forward to seeing Billy’s video when it’s released.