Music Video Miracle: The Liahona
Every music project has a miracle. I love this one.
The story needs a little prologue. Last fall when I received a Facebook friend request from a man named Matt. We had one mutual friend, my friend and co-writer, Blake Gillette, and it appeared that he lived in California. His children looked very sweet, and I remember thinking they would be great to have in a video someday.
Fast-forward 6+ months.
Planning a video shoot in a state 13 hours away is a daunting task. We had to find a studio in California to record Abby’s solo, find children to come to be part of our video, and find a perfect location. Surprisingly, the first two items on that list were relatively easy. Becky found a great studio with a wonderful engineer for Abby to record with and it didn’t take much social media networking to have a long list of children and families happy to come for the video. I even remembered to reach out to Matt, and he and his wife Cecily were excited to have their children join us.
Matt & Cecily's three sweet kiddos in the video
The last item on that list, however, proved to be a major stumbling block: none of the cities wanted us to film a video in the middle of July on their beaches. July is the height of beach time in Southern California, and people flock from all over the country to spend time on those beautiful sandy shores–my family included. Every beach would be packed with people, and we didn’t want to be in anyone’s way or worry about getting “video bombed” by unsuspecting beachgoers.
I started weighing my options. 1) We move the shoot until September. 2) We only film Abby and Janey in California and film the chorus parts in Utah. 3) We somehow get Abby to Utah and film here. I didn’t like any of those options. None of them matched my vision for this song, and all of them had compromises I didn’t want to make.
There was a fourth, long shot, “Hail Mary” alternative, but I didn’t know if it would be possible: getting in touch with someone who lived in a community with a private or semi-private beach and receiving permission to film there. There are a handful of beaches in Southern California that are only accessible through gated communities. The beaches themselves are not private, per se, but, because they aren’t easy to get in or out, there are significantly smaller crowds.
After hours of weighing out options, speaking to local photographers and city officials, and combing through website after website trying to find something that might work for us, I paused, and I prayed. After explaining my situation, I told Him I needed to know what he wanted me to do. I asked for a miracle.
Upon finishing my prayer, I turned back to my laptop screen to get back to the endless internet searches, but the Spirit spoke to my heart and told me to stop. “Email the families.” I didn’t quite know how emailing the families would help us, but the impression was persistent, so I typed up an email and pushed send.
“I am having a really hard time finding a location to shoot this video. If you have any suggestions for me, please let me know! If anyone has connections to someone with a private beach, I think we could film there.”
I was shocked when, within a few minutes, I received a call from Matt. He said that he had a good friend who lived in one of those very rare gated communities and thought it was worth a shot to see if we could get permission to film there. After several days of back and forth–and about a million prayers–we were able to figure out all the details and secure the permissions we needed.
The beach Matt lined up for us could not have been more perfect. When you watch the video, notice that there was not a single person in the water behind us! We also weren’t in anyone else’s way. The beach itself was breathtaking with cliffs surrounding the cove on all sides. The waves were big and beautiful and crashed on the rocks behind the children. It was fun when the water rushed up under the children’s feet, and they squealed with excitement. The skies were clear, and the sunset was magnificent. It was a lovely evening and a memory I will forever treasure.
I do not believe in coincidences. I am grateful for a God who truly does hear my prayers, guides my course, and speaks directly to my mind and heart. I know he puts people in your life to bless and to bless you. As I follow where He leads, He will open doors and make miracles happen in my life and with my music. I promise He will do the same for you too.