Melanie Meriney’s ‘Notes From Nashville’ #2 – Filming the “Lifeboat” Music Video

Welcome to a great new regular feature on Belles and Gals, where Nashville based singer songwriter Melanie Meriney tells us all about life in Music City. In today’s second piece, Melanie tells us all about the making of her latest video for her fantastic ‘Lifeboat’ single.

Hi guys! Melanie Meriney here. Since this series is just based on my personal experiences as an artist trying to make it in Music City, I thought I’d walk you through some of the cool projects I’ve gotten to work on, one of them being one we did back in September.

So, recently I released my first music video for my single “Lifeboat”. We did some promotion, and along with appearing on Hot Disc’s top 20 show, it also got a slot on one of the largest country music television shows, Great American Country (GAC), which was so cool! I remember watching GAC as a kid in my pajamas on weekend mornings, seeing artists such as Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood right when they were getting their start. I don’t have cable at my house (musician life! Money priorities, people.) but my brother watched it at home and said it was right in the mix with the new Blake Shelton “I’ll Name The Dogs” video and Eric Church’s “Round Here Buzz”. ‘Wow’ moment for sure!

I want to start by saying I LOVE doing music. Writing, recording, and performing are my lifeblood. But working on the music video was just plain fun! You know when you’re driving around in the car, singing along to music, and you pretend you’re Taylor Swift or something in your rearview mirror? Maybe your lipstick is super on fleek that day, and so every word of “I Knew You Were Trouble” just looks super sassy and music-video-y (yeah, I know that’s not a word)? And the person in the car next to you is debating between calling for help or pulling out their phone to film it? That’s what it was like. Except it was real. And because my video guy is amazing, he made it look ridiculously professional.

Honestly, my only goal going into the video was to make a video that wasn’t lame. I know that’s kind of a dumb goal, but I feel like there are only good videos and terrible videos—there’s not really an in between. Either you look like you know what you’re doing, or you look like you filmed with a handheld in your parents’ basement. Luckily, Doltyn (from DS Creatives, look him up) knew what he was doing.

The first day of the shoot it was supposed to rain but ended up being stiflingly hot all day. We filmed at Percy Priest Lake first with me singing in the lifeboat (to the encouraging yells of drunk partiers on pontoons) and then at the cliffs where we prayed no one would report us for cliff jumping. My actors, Connor and Will, were such good sports and took the 30 foot jump in stride. I forgot the part where the boat could only carry four people at a time over to the cliffs, so my friend Angelea and I hiked three miles through the woods to find everybody.

The second day we were competing with daylight since everybody had to work earlier in the day. We filmed the house scenes with the actors and filmed the truck scene on the way to the lake since we were cutting it close on time (basically we threw Doltyn in the bed of the truck). The truck also temporarily ran out of gas on the way there. Once there, Connor and Will did the jump scene a few more times to catch all of the different angles. Back at the house, after pizza, I filmed my rainy window scene. Because it wasn’t actually raining, one of the co-producers, Carissa, was basically just spraying the window with a hose. We ran the song through about three times and that was it!

Filming the video was almost like getting to be in my own little movie—kind of like someone let me access my inner child and play pretend at being a big deal for a couple days. It was so much fun, even with all the stress of getting everything to come together. I can’t wait to do another one, but in the meantime, let me know what you guys think of it!

A huge thank you to Melanie for this second in a series which will give a fascinating insight into the life of a singer songwriter in Nashville. To find out more about Melanie, follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Check out her YouTube channel and hit up her website too! 

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