Thursday, November 1, 2012

Exclusive DB Congress Interview Part 2: Behind The Scenes of Dierks Bentley's Tip It On Back Video

In a 2-day shoot filmed outside of Athens, Georgia, Dierks Bentley's video for his current single, "Tip It On Back," features a couple (Sarah Ames and Jason Burkey) struggling to keep the family farm.  They go out on the town to 'let it all go' at - where else - a DB concert.  Director Wes Edwards and Producer John Burke (5-1-5-0) captured a surreal sequence of them reminiscing about their childhood.  Read our interview with Wes HERE.

Thanks to our DB Congress Chart Reporter, Carrie, we know the song is #21 this week on Mediabase and #23 on Billboard's "airplay" Chart.  Two of the three songwriters told us their thoughts on the video:
"I absolutely LOVE the video!!! It's fantastic and I really hope that helps push the song into the top 20." - Ross Copperman

"The video is pretty much amazing. Me and my wife and daughter huddled around the computer and watched online.   It was eerie how similar the feelings the couple in the video went through were to some of the feelings we have been through.  It feels like my life.  It's got the tough days and the fun nights when we blow off steam.   I love the end, tipping on back the for sale sign. If you can't tell I'm pretty over the top happy!!  Unreal cool."  -Jon Nite

An American Idol Hollywood contestant (Sarah) and an actor in the 2012 motion picture, October Baby, (Jason) shared their experience on the set of "Tip It On Back" with us through this exclusive interview.

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Jason, we know your background is in film, television, commercials and theatre. Which film or TV show do people most recognize you from? You’re from Atlanta, right?

The film people might recognize me from is a movie called OCTOBER BABY. It was #8 in the box office when it opened in theaters March 23rd and can now be found on DVD everywhere in Walmart and in Redbox. I'm originally from Chicago.

Sarah, your Twitter profile says “you can catch me singin’” in Nashville, TN. Tell us about your musical journey. Is acting also in your background?

I’ve been singing ever since I was really little and began to take it more seriously as I got older. I spent two years in the USC Thornton School of Music Popular Music program, and it was during that time I participated in American Idol Season 10, but was cut during Hollywood Week. It was at USC that I really began to write songs and do my own shows. I then decided to leave USC and move to Nashville. For the last year and a half, I’ve been in Nashville writing, meeting new people, and singing! Acting is definitely in my background as well, as I have taken acting classes inside and outside of school since middle school and have been in many plays and musicals.

How were you chosen to be in the video?

Sarah: My agent in Nashville called me to the audition. I auditioned for the director and then he chose Jason and I!

Jason: I came in to audition for the role. Apparently I did something right!

What did you think won you the part?

Sarah:  I auditioned, and Jason happened to be auditioning after me. After Jason auditioned, the director ran out to catch me and called me back into the audition room with Jason. He then had us do some scenes from the video. I think Jason and I had the look the director wanted for the video, and we had chemistry during the scenes.

Jason:  I think the chemistry that Sarah and I showed in the audition may have been a deciding factor.

Did you know each other before the video? If not, what did you do to get comfortable with each other to be “husband and wife”?

Sarah: We didn’t know each other before the video. As an actor, you have to be ready to put yourself into any character, whether or not you know the other actor in the scene. Jason and I got to know each other a bit before we shot the video because there was some down time between shots.

Jason:  No. We met at the audition and then again once we got on set. Sarah is a fun, laid back girl so I think our personalities clicked; made it easy to pretend like we liked each other on camera.

How did you gear yourself up for the emotions you portrayed so well throughout the video?

Sarah: I just really put myself into the mindset/situation of the character and let it flow naturally. I understood that their love was stressed by hard times, and I really put myself there and tried to let those feelings go.

Jason:  Just lived in the moment. Wes gave us clear direction for each scene so we knew exactly what had to be done and where our characters were emotionally throughout the video.

How much did you know of Dierks and/or his music before getting the job?

Sarah: I definitely knew about Dierks and his music before getting the job. I love his music—really talented guy.

Jason:  I knew of his music pretty well before doing the video. I dig his songs.

Did you know the song (Tip It On Back) prior to being in the video? If so, what were you doing when you first heard it?

Sarah: I actually hadn’t heard “Tip It On Back” until I found out about the video—I should have known the song! It’s a great song.

Jason:  I did not hear of the song before doing the video and the first time I heard it was onset. It was in my head for the next week at least after that.

Have you been in any other music video? If so, how did the TIOB experience compare?

Sarah: I have been an extra in a couple other music videos, but this shoot was by far my favorite. Everyone was so great to work with.

Jason:  I’ve done a handful of other country videos. This particular shoot was great because it was a two day shoot and it was in Athens which was a fun town to film in. We had a great crew to work with as well which made it a blast.

Did you find the video treatment uplifting or sad?

Sarah: I think it is both sad and uplifting. The video is a progression of emotion—from sadness, to its release.

Jason:  I found it to be hopeful. It was a very real look at how financial pressure can effect a relationship, no matter how strong it is. I also liked the carefree nature of the song; not letting life’s worries get the best of you.

What surprised you the most about filming the video?

Sarah: I was really impressed by how nice Dierks was to Jason and I, as well as the extras. I had always heard that he was a nice guy, but he was super appreciative, down to earth, and friendly.

Jason:  I think I was surprised at how many Georgia students showed up to be extras in the concert scene. They brought a lot of energy to the set and seemed to really enjoy the whole experience.

What was it like to work with Dierks? Can you share some of your conversations?

Sarah: Dierks was great to work with. He was positive, funny, and appreciative. Dierks and I crossed paths in the theater and he knew my name, shook my hand and personally thanked me. He said he saw my audition tape and thought I did a great job and was happy to have me there. Really nice of him!

Jason:  Dierks is a standup guy. Very nice and genuine. I remember he made his way through the crowd and approached me to say hello and tell me how much he enjoyed my audition tape. I was honestly shocked that he even watched it. I like how involved in his own career he is and that he takes time to connect with people. Those are rare qualities to find in someone who’s as well known as he is. It was refreshing.

We know the concert portion of the video was filmed at the Georgia Theater? Where was the rest of the video shot?

Sarah: The first part was shot at the Georgia Theater. The second part was shot on a farm outside of Athens. It was beautiful and the family living in the house was so sweet.

Jason:  We filmed at a farm house on a beautiful piece of property belonging to a very nice family who loved having us there. It was a great location.

Was that real beer in your cups? How many “takes” did that scene take? ;)wink

Sarah: Yes, that was real beer! There were countless “takes” taken throughout the shoot—too many to count! Dierks’ performance shots took around 3 hours. Jason and I were still filming our scenes in the theater when Dierks left.

Jason:  We spent an entire day in the Georgia Theater. Couldn’t even  begin to tell you how many takes we did! haha

Were you a part of the audience when Dierks did his “stage dive?” Or were you edited in later?

Sarah: We were in the audience!

Jason:  Yes, Sarah and I were standing in the middle of the crowd when he dove. It was pretty cool.

Jason, did you hammer that sign into the ground yourself, or was that a stunt double? (haha) Admit it, your favorite part was pulling it out of the ground at the end of the video as if to “tip it on back.”

That was all me! No need for a stunt double. I spent a solid few hours hammering that thing in. It was a great workout actually.

Was there a “script” ahead of time or were you “directed” on site?

Sarah: We were directed on site, but we did have some idea of what we had to do ahead of time.

Jason:  There was a treatment that we read over to understand the story, but pretty much we were directed on set.

What was your favorite memory of the day? Funniest moment?

Sarah: Meeting Dierks was great and spending time on the farm was really fun. It’s difficult for me to recall the funniest moment—maybe Jason remembers one!! I do remember the cows on the farm being pretty funny to watch. We saw a calf that had been born the day before we got there!

Jason:  Oh thats a tough one... My favorite memory was probably going to Dierks’ show after we got done filming at the Georgia Theater that night. He performed for the students there in this impromptu show; that was definitely a good time.

We learned a little about the behind the scenes story from Jenny Sue, who did your make up. You both looked great! What was that like working with your own make-up artist? 

Sarah: Thank you! Jenny is so sweet and so great to work with. She was always there for touch ups during shots. It was so nice to not have to do my own make up-- I could just relax while she worked her magic!

Jason:  Jenny Sue had her work cut out for her! It takes a lot to make me look decent for camera. She did great!

Photos below are from Jenny Sue's blog.

Sarah Ames and Jason Burkey on set; make up by Jenny Sue

Jenny Sue, Sarah, Jenny's boys shown in the video, and Jason

How do you feel the final video turned out?

Sarah: I’m really happy with the final result. I really think it turned out well and captures the essence of the song. Wes Edwards did an amazing job with this video, as always!

Jason:  It turned out exactly as I envisioned. I think its great!

Did you have a party for the crew after the video was all done?

Sarah: No, not a party! We had been filming since 7 am on the final day, so by 4 pm, we were tired and needed to drive back to Nashville!

Jason:  We did celebrate a bit by going to the Dierks show. Again, it was a solid crew to work with so we had a lot of fun working together for those two days. Good memories!

In DBTV Episode 80, go behind the scenes with Dierks and the crew as they film the video for "Tip It On Back."

Watch the official video for Dierks Bentley's, "Tip It On Back."

Be sure to VOTE for the video on CMT and GACTV Top 20 EVERY DAY!

You can follow Sarah, Jason and Wes on Twitter at these links:

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