Friday, December 16, 2011

Guest Blog and Giveaway: Tracey Cramer-Kelly and the Making of a Music Video

Tracey Cramer-Kelly is here on a stop for her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the military romance, "True Surrender". She's giving away a FALLEN SOLDIER T-Shirt to someone who comments on her tour stops, so don't forget to let her know you stopped by!

In the meantime, I was fascinated by the fact she made a music video and asked her to share her experience with us.


I was an MTV junkie. I especially liked the music videos that told a story. But when I first thought about doing a music video myself, I was curious: how would my passion for singing, writing and the power of the visual come together?


Here’s where it all starts, of course. I could have used a stock song, but I’m a singer and I’ve done some recording … and it just so happened that friends from the Mark Cameron Band had recently helped me record what I call the “Surrender Version” of Bette Midler’s classic song, “The Rose.” (It’s got a bluesy feel and a more upbeat rhythm.)


To find actors to enact scenes from True Surrender, we posted a project summary and request on We conducted two auditions. From those, we choose Zac and Jennifer … and luckily they were both available when we wanted to shoot. We gave them a script and a week to prepare…


I handled props, clothing, makeup arrangements and timing issues; my co-director took care of shooting scripts, lighting, locations and the camera folks. Thank goodness I didn’t have to do everything myself, because I had no idea how many details needed to be covered!


We spent one exhausting 12-hour day shooting scenes at a Physical Therapy department, a cemetery and a friend’s condo. For me, it was amazing seeing my words come to life - and without any dialogue! (I am still in awe of the actors.) The following morning we were up early to shoot video of singing (and guitar) along the Rum River near my home, and we wrapped it up later that week when we shot video of my 4-year-old daughter (whose cameo appearance is at the end of the video).


My co-director had to get all 140 minutes of footage onto disks (called “dailies”) … and then my sleepless nights began. I watched scenes for hours - evaluating the best parts of each, looking for those seconds when the camera caught something special. Once I had my favorite ‘bites,’ it took another two full days to pull it all together.


I could not have had a better experience creating my first music video. I was blessed with a great group of people to work with (I really enjoyed the creative interplay). This was truly a collaborative effort and I was both humbled and exhilarated. I love the video - and I hope you do, too.

When Major Aaron Bricewick is rescued from Afghanistan terrorists, he thinks the worst is over. But his personal journey is just beginning...

The first surprise is the amputation of one of his legs.

The second is the woman he left behind, now a widow with a 4-year-old son - and his new prosthetist (artificial limb maker).

He vows that losing his leg won't derail his career. But maintaining his outward appearance as a got-it-together officer becomes increasingly difficult as he faces one personal demon after another - and sees his career aspirations slipping away. And though he has no intention of expanding his life to include a woman, his heart has other ideas - and he finds himself questioning the very foundation of his personal beliefs.

When violence - and unexpected redemption - touch his life again, Aaron must make a stand. Which will he choose: duty or love?

About Tracey: Tracey’s work fuses writing, music and visual imagery whenever possible, and includes novels, short stories, essays and music videos. True Surrender is her second novel. Her first, Last Chance Rescue, is an Indie Award finalist. Her first full-length music video, The Rose (Surrender Version), includes scenes from True Surrender. Her writing draws from her experience as an Army Reserve paramedic and helicopter pilot. When not managing the family business, Leader Motorcycle Accessories, she enjoys motorcycling and outdoor activities with her husband and two young children.

Web site/blog:

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