My name is Sam Kaplan. I’m interning for Harrell Fletcher, along with Duncan Cooper.
This video has been on my mind the past day or two, for a variety of reasons:
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First of all, great song. But more importantly, I’m intrigued by its use of photographs, especially with regard to the title of this blog/symposium/thing: “among friends.” At first, I wondered just who the people in the photographs were. Are they really David Archuleta’s friends? Were the photographs just a bunch of pictures of friends that he had lying around? Or, were his friends asked to pose for the pictures specifically for the video? Or again, were the “friends” not friends at all but just actors appearing in a music video?
Then I realized that there was another possibility, a possibility that was more relevant to the kinds of issues that artists like Harrell and Jen care about. Even if David’s “friends” were really just actors at first, it’s certainly possible—and in fact likely—that after shooting a music video with him, they weren’t just acting as friends anymore; they were probably all pretty friendly with each other. (Watch some of David’s video blogs on his YouTube channel—he’s always talking about all the new friends he’s made at photo shoots, concerts, recording studios, etc.)
From this perspective, I think it makes sense to look at this video as a kind of art event like one that Jen or Harrell would do. A bunch of people come together to do something, creating new relationships with each other along the way. The photographs—and even the video itself—might be viewed as mere documentation of the event, evidence that those relationships were created and exist.
Possible future event, somewhat “Learning To Love You More”-style: get a bunch of random students together and shoot a music video for a song they all like. Photograph the production of the video. Insert the photographs into the video as part of the narrative. Make new friends.