John Smith – Hold On
It was an absolute pleasure to create the official music video for “Hold On” by John Smith.
When John approached us to create a new music video for him I honestly had no idea John was also from Wales. As with all our music video treatments we create, we listened to the song on loop as we ideated. What ended up getting presenting to John was a psychedelic love letter to my homeland of Wales. The COVID pandemic has made international travel near impossible and, while I consider the USA home after living here for near two decades, Wales is still the motherland and my true home. Wales is the land of song, beauty, magic and dragons and not being able to go back home for a visit has left me with a sense of longing for Wales and her wonderful allure. Only another Welsh person will fully understand the passion and love we all have for her and our music video for “Hold On” helped sooth my hiraeth, if only for a little moment.
The “Hold On” music video was shot over numerous days in both South and North Wales. Many of the landscape scenes show key places near my home town that I have a soft spot for and wanted to share with the world. From the moors above Markham, through the lanes over the mountain that drop into Wattsville. Mix in a variety of small valley town vignettes and other landscapes we focus heavily on Welsh places that will forever be etched into my mind. These moments were then mixed with the places in North Wales that feel the same to John. While we shot John’s favorite North Wales places we also shot John performing in a variety of scenes – from deep foggy forests through the top of Moel Arthur mountain that has one of the best views in Wales. The mountaintop of Moel Arthur ended up looking like heaven thanks to the deep fog on shoot day with mother nature and Wales herself helping us change the tone and vibe of the music video to match that of the beautiful song that is “Hold On.” We called in one of our longest film making collaborators Richard Shelton to be the Director of Photography for the “Hold On” music video. Richard is from my home town and still lives there to this day. As such, he also interjected his love of Wales in to the mix through his stunning photography to round everything out.
We decided early on we wanted to play with the very time intensive process of frame by frame masking across a variety of scenes so that we could visually drift in and out of thoughts, feelings, moments and dreams. At times the viewer is left wondering if John is really there, maybe he died, is he asleep? We never really answer this question, instead we offer the viewer a trippy, psychedelic mind fuck that fits the tone of “Hold On” perfectly. The final piece of the puzzle was stunning performances by John in a variety of gorgeous locations that look like they were pulled straight out of a Hollywood movie that were shot beautifully.
The music video was shot and edited in 6K so enjoy the extra high resolution while watching in its full resolution above.