This is the story of the making of a music video. Before reporting how it was made, YpsiNews.com is proud to report where it was made – In Ypsilanti, Michigan. Ypsilantian Ken MacGregor is a strong proponent of supporting local businesses. With this music video he is trying to do his part to bring national, perhaps even global, attention to our city as a place of “enormous creative potential.”
It started with an idea for a song, but since MacGregor, the man with the idea, couldn’t write music, play music, or even sing – he needed help. He found it in Adam Dahl: singer, songwriter, guitarist. Together, they hashed out the lyrics, and within an hour had completed “How Was I To Know?” They played the song for friends and family with positive response. Dahl & MacGregor both got the song stuck in their heads and figured that was a good sign. Adam commented, half-joking, “We should make a music video!” Ken responded, “You know… I know people who do that.”
MacGregor sent out emails and used his connections with local Ypsilanti talent to set things in motion. He said, “I could see it in my head, and once I could do that, I knew I could make it happen in the real world…or at least on camera.” Ken contacted videographer Scott Hatkow, who agreed to work pro bono saying, “I’ve always wanted to do a music video.” MacGregor also called upon Kelly Jean Passage, the female lead in a zombie horror / comedy he’ll be shooting this summer. Passage loved the song and was enthusiastic about being in the video. Matthew Fulton, a buddy from high school, now a Kung Fu instructor happily agreed to choreograph the fight scenes. A recording session was scheduled, filming locations were confirmed and they were ready to go.
Kelly Jean Passage had never studied martial arts, a key element of the video. After a month of rehearsing fight choreography, Matthew Fulton had her looking like a mighty warrior, very convincing on camera as a competent Kung Fu practitioner. Matthew also provided the armor used in the video and appeared as an extra. The first day of shooting was devoted entirely to the fight scene, and was shot over five hours on a day with intermittent rain showers. They had to stop taping often to run into the garage out of the rain. Shooting would resume when there was a break in the clouds. MacGregor ended up ill after shooting scenes where he repeatedly had to fall on the wet grass. His enthusiasm still evident he remarked, “It was totally worth it. We got some great footage!”
The gym scene was shot at Ypsi Studio, a small fitness and wellness center in Ypsilanti on Michigan Avenue. Julia Collins, the owner, donated the use of the space and agreed to fill in as an extra. MacGregor also called in Dave Rahbari at the last minute as an extra-extra-extra playing three different parts. The final location was Haab’s Restaurant, an Ypsilanti landmark. There, the production was aided by a very helpful staff, including the bartender who made the actors fake cocktails to drink.
The video went up on YouTube on June 1, and is already closing in on 1,000 hits. YouTube has begun putting ads on the video, which can be assumed means they think it’s doing pretty well. It’s definitely a positive statement about the local talent in Ypsilanti.
WATCH VIDEO: How Was I To Know?