Making Amber Lawrence's "Heart" Music Clip
I have always loved music clips. From a young age I used to watch Video Hits, Rage, Countdown and Saturday Morning Live. I even went into the studio audience of Saturday Morning Live and featured on their game show, “It’s Rockademic”. I used to get up at 5am on a Saturday morning to watch the Top 60 on Rage. I needed to see every clip and even wrote down the weekly charts, I was obsessed. On the list of the many things I wanted to do in my life, was make music clips. This year i finally got to fulfil this dream. I have two more due out very soon, but the first clip I directed is out now and I am one happy music fan.
Amber Lawrence is an extraordinary talent. She is a Golden Guitar award winner and one of the best Australian Country Artists. So it was a little daunting that the first clip I would direct was hers, especially considering that the first single from her album, “Outrageous”, had reached number one on the Country Charts.
I loved the song, “Heart”, when I first heard it. When given the chance to pitch for the clip, I sat down and watched a few hours worth of Amber’s previous clips (she really is very accomplished) and listened to the song many times. It was over this time that the idea for the clip began to surface, stories of people with heart - all brought together by a main performance by Amber in a darkened room that gets brighter as the clip goes on. After a great phone chat with Amber and her manager, Karen-Lee; myself and my producing partner, Nicholas Price, were booked to make the clip. I was ecstatic.
We broke the clip into two shoot days. The first day we would be shooting the story elements of the clip. So on a Tuesday in April during the school holidays, we started shooting. And it was an early start. We had a 6.30am call time. We were shooting in a public pool and needed to be out by the time it was open to the public. Amber’s niece, Sienna, was playing the young swimmer. My brilliant friend, Sareena Barnes, was the swim coach and I had pulled my best friend, Charlene Ramage, out of retirement to play Sienna’s mother. In a lovely coincidence, Sienna’s mother and Amber’s sister, Peta, had actually gone to school with Charlene.
Nick did an amazing job with the camera and the crew were exceptional as always. The first location was a hit and my natural nerves were subsiding. I think the first day was a nice transition, we were shooting narrative and I know that. I had filmed two seasons of a web series and a movie, this was my wheel house.
We headed over to my friend Emma’s place to shoot the next three scenes - yes, all the house shoots in the three different stories were all the same house - the magic of cinema. Again, I had used friends as actors and it made it all so much easier. The thing that I really love is that I am able to use my acting students in projects. The teen who wants to be a fashion designer is my great student, Clare. The two bullies are classmates of Clare’s, Emily and Beth. And the grand daughter of the widower, is my student, Indee. Plus the tiny girl who drops the sandwich, Imogen, is a student at one of the schools I teach at. I really enjoy being able to give my students this on set experience.
The day was a great one and while we started a little behind, we got through everything and finished on time with a product I was confident was going to be great.
The next evening we were hitting the studio to shoot Amber’s performance shots. This is when it truly felt like a music video. Amber was off in her dressing room getting her make up done by the amazing, Lisa Mangion. We had a gaffer rigging lights and the studio looked incredible. The lights and Nick’s camera work were polished and on point. Poor Amber had been quite ill and was losing her voice, plus she was very close to the release of her album and her wedding. So she had a lot on her plate, but she was a delight to work with. She is a consummate professional and a real talent. I learnt so much watching her perform, making small changes with each take.
It was a long evening, but a rewarding one. It was one I had been dreaming of for 30 years. I was a music video director and I was happy to make teenage Wayne smile. And what joy I got when I first saw the clip playing on CMC. Since then I have directed Amber’s new video, “Hell to Hallelujah”, and last weekend shot the clip for Arna Georgia’s, “1998 (Catching Up To Do)”. Both will be out soon.
It doesn’t matter how old you get, you can achieve your dreams at any age. I may be 44, but I have so much more I want to achieve.
Head over to the music video section on this website and check out the clip.