Tagged with: ‘Country Western’

Intrigued by the word in the subject line – “Collaboration?” – I opened the e-mail thinking that perhaps the message, which appeared out of the blue, was either tongue-in-cheek from a prankster or that it somehow had foiled the spam filter. The identity of the sender – Shantell Ogden – a name unfamiliar to me, only heightened my curiosity.

In the body of the e-mail, she described herself as a Nashville-based performing songwriter who had recently released an album titled “Stories Behind Songs.” She explained that my name – likewise unfamiliar to her – popped up in a Google search that led her to my website.

She was looking for pictures of trucks that could be assembled into a video to help promote an album track titled “I Miss Dating That Truck.” The video, in turn, would garner public exposure for my website via YouTube. Was I interested in collaborating? she asked.

Truck At Bodie 300x198 OLD TRUCK PHOTOS FEATURED IN YOUTUBE VIDEO PROMOTING COUNTRY SONG Truck At Ashley Acres 300x198 OLD TRUCK PHOTOS FEATURED IN YOUTUBE VIDEO PROMOTING COUNTRY SONG

Straight away, she had my attention. Teaming with another artist on a marketing venture would present a new experience, and I liked the idea of down-and-dirty mutual backscratching. As they say in the vernacular of the day, a “win-win.”

Specifically, the message continued, she expressed the desire to use selected photographs of mine as a visual overlay while the soundtrack ran – 3:14. Wow, I pondered, three minutes and fourteen seconds of (added) fame and glory. No monetary compensation would be involved, as the website exposure amounted to greenbacks-in-kind, if you will. Payment would be in the form of a source credit line and website link appearing at the end of the video. Fair enough, I reckoned. Let’s do it!

Noting that there is no paucity of images in my “Trucks” gallery, she inquired if it would be possible to select only those of Fords, as it was a Ford pickup that inspired the song. Not sure about that, I said to myself. Reading further, she explained that the photographs selected needn’t be of entire vehicles; “portions thereof” would be OK. The “portions thereof” qualifier might make the exercise doable, I reckoned.

Truck At Bodie1 300x198 OLD TRUCK PHOTOS FEATURED IN YOUTUBE VIDEO PROMOTING COUNTRY SONG Truck At Winery1 300x198 OLD TRUCK PHOTOS FEATURED IN YOUTUBE VIDEO PROMOTING COUNTRY SONG

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excited as I was at the prospect of world-stage exposure for my website – eyeballs from Talladega to Timbuktu and everywhere in between – I wondered whether I, a card-carrying Luddite, would be expected to “collaborate” as well in the production of the video. Not to worry, she said, she would handle the mechanics. Whew! My chances of winning the Daytona 500 would be better than those of creating a video for YouTube or any other outlet. Operating a camera with a modicum of facility is more than enough technical challenge for me.

Absolved of involvement in the nuts-and-bolts of production, I was eager to venture into what for me would be uncharted marketing territory. The first step, Shantell explained, was for me to paw through the Trucks gallery and flag images I deemed candidates for inclusion.

All told, there are more than 700 images in the Trucks collection. Would I be able to identify somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 to 45 – the number Shantell estimated would be needed to span the 3:14 run time? The clock was already ticking, as she was requesting recommendations within the fortnight. Meantime, she would be on the road, performing out West.

Truck With Black Lab 300x198 OLD TRUCK PHOTOS FEATURED IN YOUTUBE VIDEO PROMOTING COUNTRY SONGTruck With Flags1 300x200 OLD TRUCK PHOTOS FEATURED IN YOUTUBE VIDEO PROMOTING COUNTRY SONG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fortunately, the Trucks images are arranged in alphabetical order (ditto the Cars photos), those to peck through are all in one place. Within a couple of days I had lassoed 60-odd images, which I uploaded into Dropbox — a third-party media-sharing vehicle — and sent the link to Shantell. A representative handful are shown here.

Once back home in Nashville, employing iMovie on her Mac, Shantell turned her attention to assembling the video. A few days later she sent me a “working draft” to review and make any suggestions. Save for a bit of image repetition – namely, selection of like subjects or of different portions of the same vehicle – I thought it looked terrific and told her so.

Shantell had one more request: Would I please add a blog post announcing the debut of the YouTube video – scheduled for February 16 – and add links to my Facebook and Twitter accounts? Is the Pope Catholic? Of course I was willing, as is evidenced by what appears here.

I invite you to treat yourself to a savory slice of  songwriting served up Country style, and in doing so, meet Shantell Ogden. If you like the song, and I think you will, by all means buy the album or at the very least download via iTune the “I Miss Dating That Truck” track. Ninety-nine cents well spent. Additionally, please leave a comment at the end of this blog post, it would be much appreciated, as doing so helps my Internet-search rankings. If you also would add the links (one connecting to my website [tfblackphotography.com], the other to hers [shantellogden.com] to your own Facebook and/or Twitter accounts, we’d both be grateful for the marketing impetus provided. Here are the links to Shantell’s Facebook and Twitter accounts as well.