Anthony Natoli sent us a first music video in January called Solution shot entirely on his iphone. We were so impressed by the exuberant results that we asked him to share his process with Luna fans on our blog. Below is a second guest post featuring his expansive and euphoric video, Only the Lonely.
“The response I got after we released Solution fueled me to continue to push the boundaries of both the camera and my self.
My first video took place in Winter so, logically, Spring was going to be the backdrop of the next one. And, since I used New York as a back drop the first time, I thought, “Well – how about an American road trip?”
I drove around the country for four weeks, clocking in over thirteen thousand miles. You fill up on more than gasoline to endure this. I was so grateful to have so many places to stop and rest on my way, from friends to family to our national parks. Luna Guitars was our biggest cheerleader, supplying not only a place for me to stay and recharge, but giving our team, The Force, two beautiful acoustic guitars from their Henna line.
The singer, LoLo (Lauren Pritchard), is a friend who we met last year. She came into our studio for a writing session on the same day she received news of an unfortunate tragedy. We didn’t write that day, but we connected deeply over a conversation that lasted hours. She came back the next week and we wrote this song. During the time between sessions, I heard my father tell a clerk at 7/11 that he loved them. It’s sort of his catchphrase, and a good one. When the clerk asked why he always said that, my father replied, “What if tomorrow never comes?”
That really struck me as truth. What happens if you don’t say “I love you” today? I was thinking about Lauren throughout that week, and the conversation we had about life, death, and love. When we all walked back in the room there was something obvious that needed to be written about. She had a title, I had a great opening line, and about an hour later we watched a beautiful song unfold. It was pretty magical. There’s nothing more incredible than a song writing itself.
I had a vision of a large group of people singing the words “I love you,” which turned out to be the bridge section of the song. Lauren has this way of phrasing a melody just right. It was simple, but it was the seed that grew into the video. I had also kept a pinterest board to help me catalog some of the visuals I was seeing in my head, just as I did the last time.
I shot the goodbye sequence with Shannon McBride and Jacob Bitzer with creative input from my writer friend Brian Martinez who helped me to finalize the vision of this section. I’ve never directed actors before, but felt very fortunate to be working with such talented people. Working with LoLo on her performance shot was of equal importance, and just as easy. I saw her as a preacher speaking the truth, who is reminding the world about what is important in life. We filmed it in her hometown in Tennessee. In my mind I saw a golden field, with the sun just on the horizon. Her parents showed me the perfect spot just around the corner from their home and the results far exceeded my expectations.
When I came home from the perfect journey around the perimeter of the United States, I began piecing the video together. Cutting the road trip footage as I filmed the goodbye sequence, LoLo’s performance and The Force’s rooftop performance in Brooklyn overlooking the Manhattan Skyline, I watched the scattered pieces of a puzzle start to make sense. It took longer than the last video by two months, mainly because it was much more complex.
Many things tried to stand in my way of doing this video. We had some late Winter snow that twice stopped me from leaving on my journey. Some people will support you when you begin something as bold and as ambitious as driving around the U.S. by yourself for months, but others will tell you it’s not worth it, or a waste of time. But I believe that if you don’t play the game, you can’t possibly win. Winning to me is simply making your vision a reality. So just go out there and do what’s in your heart. Turn obstacles into opportunities, and you can complete any action.”
If you missed the first installment, view Solution and read about Anthony’s creative process.
Follow Anthony on Instagram.