Published on Wednesday, September 30, 2015
From bringing back fond memories of growing up on the farm, inspiring farmers to continue their noble work even in the face of opposition, or helping show consumers what farmers are really like on today’s farms, the Why I Farm Movement is truly making an impact.
One thing that also makes a big impact is music. There’s something special about hearing a story through song that really resonates with people. Through our partnership with The Henningsens, we have had the opportunity to expand our impact even further through the Why I Farm song and music video.
In my first Behind the Movement post as your “assistant tour guide”, I shared about the release of the Why I Farm song and introduced you to The Henningsens and their farm. Now that the music video has been released, I am excited to give you a behind the scenes look at what it was like to make a real life music video.
Making a Music Video
While our team is very experienced at shooting video, making a music video was new to all of us. But since the Why I Farm movement means so much to so many people, we wanted to make sure the music video did the song justice. So we decided to take on the challenge ourselves.
Creating the concept for the video was a big team project – the entire team had ideas and input that contributed to the final outcome.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
The video opens with historic farm and family pictures from both the Henningsen and Beck families. The actual idea for the picture frames was a last second decision. We had talked about the idea early on in the process, but didn’t go with it right away. About a week before the video shoot we circled back around to the idea and all agreed it was the right direction to take. Farming is full of stories and traditions and what better way to represent that than with images from those moments in time.
“In the video you see us standing in a really cool old barn, which symbolizes the history of agriculture and you have all of these pictures,” said Aaron Henningsen. “Some from the Beck’s family and some from our family. In seeing this you appreciate the heritage of farming, but the song is about the next generation too. I hope that when people watch the video they are encouraged that farming is not just a thing of the past, it’s also a thing of the future and it’s how the world eats.”
After we had the theme, the next decision was where to film the video. Our original plan was to build a set inside one of our warehouses at Beck’s, but that would have been impossible with our time constraints. Soon after that, Spencer, one of our multimedia specialists on the team, came across a local barn called Mustard Seed Gardens.
Nestled in the heart of Noblesville, Indiana, Mustard Seed Gardens is a unique setting, rich in history with roots dating back to the mid-1800s. Located on the original Metsker Plantation is the “Olde Barn,” which has been completely converted to a one-of-a-kind wedding and event facility that is used for weddings and corporate events. It was a gorgeous place that we could completely transform into our set - it was the perfect fit.
The entire staff at Mustard Seed Gardens was so great to work with and helped us in whatever way was needed. They allowed us to use the Metsker House, which was originally constructed in the 1800s, for hair, makeup and wardrobe, and made us feel right at home.
Over the next several days and nights we went to every Goodwill in Hamilton County, IN and bought every picture frame they had. We had the team broken into shifts and took apart every frame, printed a photo to put in it, wired the frames with fishing line and/or twine and started building the set. It was a sprint. We worked around the clock from 6:00 a.m. to 2-3:00 a.m. for three days straight to make it happen.
This whole process was a whirlwind, but a fun one. When we showed up the morning of the shoot, we knew it would be a long day. But the pure adrenaline from this amazing opportunity, and the constant goofiness from The Henningsens helped combat our exhaustion.
One of my main responsibilities during this process was coordinating the schedule for the day, planning the additional content we filmed, as well as communicating all of those details with the band. We had to shoot the music video, photographs, and promotional material all in one day, but The Henningsens were fantastic sports throughout the whole thing.
We’ll be sharing some of the additional content we shot over the coming months. So stay tuned to our Why I Farm social media pages!
The Best Songs Come From Stories
Beyond showing the band, we wanted the video to have a strong storyline.
“That, in our opinion, is why the Why I Farm videos are so successful,” said Shawn Smith, creative lead at Beck’s. “They tell great stories. Through brainstorming and many meetings, we decided the thing that most farmers would be able to relate to was telling the farmer’s story through the next generation’s eyes.”
We planned to shoot the first half of the video from the child’s perspective. Then, mid-way through the song, flip the perspective to reveal that the son had been with him – following in his footsteps, ready to help, ready to learn, and wanting to be just like his dad.
And where better to film this portion of the video than on The Henningsens centennial farm in Atwood, IL. You can read more about our initial visit to their farm here.
As with all of our Why I Farm video shoots, our team starts very early in the morning and works until late at night. We want the world to be able to see those gorgeous sunrises and sunsets that farmers get to experience every day, so the plan for this music video shoot was no different.
Our crew and the video talent spent two days filming at The Henningsens farm, and we couldn’t have asked for a better setting and atmosphere. The weather was perfect and it was a very relaxed set. Everyone in the Henningsen family was there to help us with whatever was needed…even their dog.
“I can’t say enough about our in-house team,” added Smith. “It’s one thing to come up with the idea on paper, but to actually bring that idea to life is the real challenge. We have an incredibly talented team – the sky is the limit when it comes to ideas and what we can produce. It’s exciting to be a part of it.”
Thanks to everyone who helped this music video come to life. It is something our whole team and The Henningsens are incredibly proud of and we hope that it will impact people for many years to come.
“We want the story of the farmer to be not only heard, but appreciated by people in other professions because I think that’s very important going forward,” said Aaron Henningsen. “The need for farmers is greater than ever today so I just want everybody to hear that song and to see that video and have a greater appreciation for what farmers do.”
Author: Chelsea O'Brien
Categories: Why I Farm
Tags: Why I Farm, Beck's Hybrids, Why I Farm Behind the Movement, The Henningsens, The Henningsens Why I Farm, Why I Farm Music Video, Mustard Seed Gardens
Beck's Hybrids marketing associate, social media specialist, southern Indiana native and advocate of agriculture.