Ruston Kelly’s “Mockingbird” music video

I’ve worked on a lot of music videos. And I mean a lot… as in twenty-three at my latest count. Some of them I’ll never post about because, let’s face it, some jobs we just do to pay the rent.

But thankfully most of them have been great projects with great people. And this new video for Ruston Kelly falls in that category.

I worked with the brother/sister director team of Stephen Kinigopoulos and Alexa King last year, and when the opportunity came up to work with them again I jumped on board. We shot for three days on this video, and it turned out beautifully.

Find people you like to work with, and keep working with them.

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“Prelude” short film update

Excited to announce that “Prelude” has now been accepted to its second festival. Both Nashville Film Festival and Hill Country Film Festival will be showing my film in late April.

Super proud of the entire team that came around and helped me bring this dream of mine to the screen.

NF “Therapy Session” music video

Doing NF’s Therapy Session video was one of the hardest things I’ve done emotionally as an actor. While we were shooting, I felt like the backseat passenger in a car watching something going on through the windshield but powerless to do anything about it. The character just took over–which is what I wanted–but it still didn’t cut the sick feeling. Between takes, I had to keep going over to Danielle to ask if she was okay. Her vulnerability just made it feel that real. I don‘t understand how total method actors do it.

I’ve never been in an abusive relationship. I’ve never struggled with cutting. I’ve never been threatened or trolled on social media, but I’ve had friends who have . . . and I’m so sorry. I’m thankful Nate’s willing to tackle subject matter like this. It’s not pretty. But it’s real. People all around are crying for attention. Crying for help. Crying to be loved. Open your eyes.

Walk with Me – essay and poem

city couple

It was something about the way they moved.

As I sat at the stoplight, wipers swiping away the nighttime mist, I noticed one couple in the crosswalk among the choke of pedestrians—nothing flashy about them; nothing exotic. Both trim, moderately attractive. Him with the first signs of gray flecking his temples. In her heels, she nearly matched his height. You wouldn’t see them on the next Vogue cover. If I’d only seen them captured in a still frame, I wouldn’t have given them another thought.

It was the way they moved—that’s why I looked.

Her arm linked through his almost casually, but there was a sense of knowing–a sense that a subconscious conversation flowed effortlessly between them. It wasn’t the syrupy arm-holding you see from sex-drunk couples, or the static, toneless grasp of numbed partners who’ve spent decades surviving each other.

They walked purposefully with a confidence that spoke to years of teamwork, of going to war together, of time spent digging in each other’s souls and coming away with the treasure of knowing—each safely offering up their naked truth to the other’s intimate embrace.

And in that moment between scarlet and emerald, they found the gaps in traffic, evading the clogged clumps of gawking tourists, and disappeared into the night.

I want real
With you
No saccharine
Glamorous charade
No mummified ages
Spent aimlessly
Roiling
Toiling
Ending up
Nowhere.

Together
Weathering
What life can deal
I don’t care
If the house always wins
Because I’ll take
My chance
With you.
-ijs

Luke Bryan “Strip It Down” video

I had the privilege a few weeks back to work on Luke Bryan’s new video for his hit single “Strip It Down.” Rollingstone Magazine even featured a nice write-up to go along with the video launch (you can check it out here).

It really was a blast. We shot for two days, knocking out the “country” scenes at Luke’s farm down in Franklin, TN, and the “city” scenes the next day at the Twelve Twelve condos in the Gulch. The “city couple” was an actual real-life engaged couple out of Atlanta. Rudy and Malone are both models, and we all had a great time hanging out. Abbi (who I’ve worked with on multiple shoots now) played my wife, and evidently we sold our chemistry pretty well because at one point we got asked “So, how many kids do you guys have?”
Cue awkward laughter all round.

 

Stay – short film

Almost a year ago, I sat in a Starbucks working on a short story. After posting it, TK McKamy, a director friend, suggested it should be turned into a short film. Fast-forward to this year, and the dream is finally complete. I have to say a huge thank you to some of my friends who stepped up to help me:

Justin Robinson (DP and editor), Andrew Bradford (1st AC), and Page Lynch (audio): these three ninjas work enough magic to put 10 guys to shame. I would put the fate of any film I do in their hands with complete confidence.

Leslie Hanson, Olan Rogers, and Rachel Vaughn: thanks for helping with the locations, they worked out beautifully.

Abbi Butler: for making sure we all had food and doing pretty much anything else I needed help with.

And last, but definitely not least, Annie Kearney: thank you for bringing this story to life; you were wonderful, my friend.