Ironically this song for us was about beginning again…and we filmed it in a café…on a Wednesday (see Taylor Swift’s lyrics). No kidding. But what’s crazy is we didn’t plan it that way. Just like so many of our songs and videos, miracles made it happen…
We were writing another cover tune and it was flowing like molasses uphill in January.After beating our heads against the wall for too long trying to make it work we stepped back and reset…and decided to begin again.But like so many things in life the struggle had a great payoff. While we were writing the cover-tune-fail we found inspiration from a classical piece, as we often do — J.S. Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze” (Cantata No. 208 — you can hear a version of the original here). As we were listening to this piece it called to memory a tune from Taylor Swift’s album, “Red.” Her “Begin Again” melody and Bach’s Cantata seemed so well matched it was a mash-up made in Heaven. We switched to Swift’s tune immediately and our arrangement finally started flowing like the Fountains of Versailles.There were even moments (especially the Bridge melody of “Begin Again” and the primary melody of the Cantata) when the two seemed to play off and echo each other naturally. We wanted this arrangement to be a mix of the two styles — a pastoral, classical feel paired with a pop-country vibe … polished off by a bit of Valentine romance.
Then it was on to find a location! We just did what we always do…find a bunch of locations that have potential only to find, at the last minute, that they don’t fit, can’t work, or won’t allow us to film…then, after all we can do, we’re gifted a location by a miracle!The day before we were scheduled to film, one of us woke up with an image in his head — a vision of a green European garden café. Where could we find any living plant, let alone a quaint outdoor Euro-café, in the middle of winter in Utah? A GREENHOUSE! As this blessing would have it, we found a perfect indoor garden setting in a greenhouse with a café vibe that was just what we had envisioned. And it was 4.3 miles away from where we were meeting! On top of that, an employee there said she was a “big fan” and went straight to the owner for us…who turned out to be a high school friend of Steve’s parents! And what day could they fit us in? A Wednesday. We don’t believe in coincidences. Life’s too meaningful to believe in meaninglessness.
Video Tech Info:
This video was shot using our new Canon 5D Mark IIIs. We used a technique know as “lens whacking” to get the filtered sunray light look on some of the scenes, courtesy of our good friend Shaye Scott who joined us on this shoot. We couldn’t quite fit a jib in the greenhouse so we used a very long monopod to simulate a couple jib shots.
How the heck did we get the piano there? We pushed it.
If you’ve read this far in the description you are a true TPG Groupie
“Begin Again” written by Taylor Swift, featured on her album “RED” and published by SONY ATV
Arrangement written and produced by Al van der Beek, Jon Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson
With inspiration from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata No. 208 “Sheep May Safely Graze”
Jon Schmidt: Piano
Steven Sharp Nelson: Cello, Cello-percussion
Al van der Beek: Percussion
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Al van der Beek at TPG Studios in Utah, USA
Video produced by Paul Anderson
Filmed and Edited by Paul Anderson & Shaye Scott