Last night I had the opportunity to watch Darius Rucker rock a concert from a stone’s throw away. It was an awesome show but it wasn’t even the coolest thing I did that day. You see, while I was a stone’s throw away from Darius during his show I was practically chest-to-chest with him that afternoon when I had the opportunity to be in his newest music video. It really is a great story.
For the better half of this past week we knew that Darius Rucker was going to do some filming for his next music video during his stop in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area. Come Friday we got word that his team wanted Coastal Carolina University students to come out several hours before the show and help with the filming of a scene. It was all set up, students would meet by the track at 3:30 p.m. where the shooting would take place.
Our students came out to take part. However, 3:30 p.m. rolled around and Darius’ people were having second thoughts. On a sweltering hot southern day, the director of the music video decided to ax the outdoor concept and invite all of the students inside the HTC Center (our campus arena where Darius would be performing that night) and do the shoot there. We migrated the students inside to the main concourse of the HTC Center. It was there that the video team started to play on repeat “Homegrown Honey,” the new Darius single that they were producing the video for. At the same time, students were signing waivers as consent to participate in the shoot. With everything under control and the concert not set to start for a few more hours I said “What the heck” and signed the waiver to participate myself.
After the waiver signing we walked to a hallway outside of the locker rooms in the HTC Center. They lined the 40-50 of us up on both walls of the hallway. First thing you need to know: The people who made up this video crew were different animals. Although a little stressed with shooting a video they joked around and had fun with us the whole time. The director came over to me and tried to give me a high five but I awkwardly left him hanging! He joked with me and then gave me a Darius Rucker t-shirt to put on. I then took photos of his crew with one of their iphones and redeemed myself.
After the photo session they started going over the concept of the scene we were shooting. Darius would simply walk down the hallway singing “Homegrown Honey” with us lining his pathway. During his walk down the hallway five actors would come in at different times and dance around him. The star of the music video (besides Darius) was a tall, skinny blonde whose part in the hallway scene was to cut in when Darius walked by and take a selfie with him. She stood exactly across from me. After they went through the directions and did several rehearsals with someone playing the role of Darius, we had to play the waiting game for Darius to actually arrive. One crew member kept saying “We gave him the 15 minute warning” then 15 minutes later “We gave him the 10 minute warning” then 15 minutes later “We gave him the five minute warning.” It was after this that another crew member quickly chimed in by saying “That means he will be here in 15 minutes.” Everyone laughed.
You could tell people were starting to get anxious. Many of these students had tickets to the show and wanted to get back home real fast to get their concert attire on. As the minds of several of us extras started to wander, Darius Rucker walked from one end of the hallway down to the starting point of the hallway where the shooting would start. While many people didn’t even realize he was walking right by us I threw my hand out and he shook it while replying “What’s up man?”
The whole shoot Darius Rucker was businesslike. Wearing his traditional black garb he made a couple jokes about not caring too much for video shoots. When a crew member told Darius that the director thought the first take was “okay,” Rucker responded by saying “That means he hates it.” We probably did five takes of the scene. They had us dancing at first. Then they changed it to no dancing. Then they changed it to us moving into Darius’s path right when he got close to us. Then they changed it to us filling in after Darius passed us by. They finally seemed to get what they wanted and then they kicked us all out of the hallway and instructed us to wait outside in the lobby area. They said to not leave because they were going to pick a handful of us for additional shooting.
After we all went out into the lobby the second-in-command to the director came out. In the mass of 50 people he looked at me, grabbed me by the shoulders, and said “go back in.” I was the first person asked to do additional shooting! I went back in the hallway where the paid actors were standing around. Then six other extras, all completely elated at getting chosen for additional shooting, joined me. Darius came back in the hallway and welcomed us! This time when Darius walked down the hallway for the shooting, the director instructed us to not pay any attention to him at all except to subtly acknowledge his presence. We did the shot three different times. We were then released.
I have no idea why I was asked to go back for the second shoot. There were many younger and better looking people than me. But I embraced it and did my best to not look like the biggest idiot alive. They gave me a blue solo cup to use the whole time as a prop. Now I am totally prepared to watch the video and see that my ugly mug is deleted from the entire video but I admit it would be kind of cool if I make the cut. I enjoyed the opportunity to witness the creation of a music video and meet Darius Rucker. I will forever be a big fan of the song “Homegrown Honey.” Don’t Blink.
* As I said, Darius was dressed in black clothing for the shoot. He wore no hat.
* Pictures and video were strictly forbidden during the shoot.
* Those of us lucky enough to hold a blue solo cup had it filled with water by one of the crew members.
* The actors also had solo cups…but they were filled with booze.
* The actress who stood directly across from me was gorgeous and she knew it. She spent majority of the time in the hallway looking at her image through her iphone and fixing her hair.
* The crew was awesome. They kept the mood light and positive.
* Darius Rucker’s smile could light up the darkest, biggest cave on the planet. While the smile wasn’t there in between takes it turned on the second the camera did.
* They filmed the concert scenes of the music video during the show last night. In fact, Darius had to perform “Homegrown Honey” twice to get the footage they needed.
* The star of the video, the one who stood across from me, danced with him on stage during the “Homegrown Honey” performances.