Making the “Murder Ballad” Music Video

(find the video HERE, or below)

Murder Ballad: written and performed by Mary Scholz
Filmed on location at the Okefenokee Swamp in Waycross, GA

Directed by Lindsey Haun
Dir of Photography: Ruel Lee
Featuring: Shannon Murray
Edited by Mary Scholz and Lindsey Haun
Assistant Editor: Katherine Irwin
Color: Adam Bial and Lindsey Haun
Produced by Mary Scholz and Lindsey Haun

About the video production…

In January, in casual conversation, I told Lindsey that I wanted to make a music video for Murder Ballad.

She leaned in. “Do you want to make that music video with me?”

FUCK YES. I MOST CERTAINLY DO.

My friend Lindsey Haun is a badass, talented director, writer, producer and actor.

I had an idea. It involved boots in the mud. Water. Two women. Woods. Dragging.
Damp, darkness.
But I wasn’t quite sure what else.

“You mean a swamp?”

FUCK YES. I MOST CERTAINLY DO.

She had an idea. It involved how to actually plan filming in said swamp, and all of the killer things we could do with the video once we got there.

Pun, very clearly, intended.

In February we brainstormed, began to shape the plot. What we didn’t want. What we did.
She storyboarded, and I bought airfare.

In March we flew to southern Georgia. We kept it a secret.

 

We called on her great friend Ruel Lee to tell the story from behind the camera. His good nature, great friendships and knowledge of the swampland granted us access to some incredible locations. (THANK YOU!) He put us up, drove us around to find our settings, and captured those beautiful shots.

We called on my great friend Shannon Murray, who just happened to be in Georgia at the time, to come be in the video. Along with being a phenomenal actor, Shannon is also a producer and filmmaker herself, and ended up being an irreplaceable help on set. (And a total, total sport. That water was freezing.)
“Shannon, I have a project. But involves me murdering you in a bunch of different ways.” “What time do you need me there?”

We filmed over 3.5 days. Before dawn, after dark.

In the swamp. Inside houses. In attics. On back roads.

We used trucks, boats, boots. We got dirty. We got wet.

It was cold.

It was awesome.

The rest of March and April, Lindsey and I traveled, while Katherine Irwin organized the footage and did our initial cut.

In May and June, Lindsey and I edited together, separately, together again. I took over while she was traveling and we exchanged notes over email conversations.

Adam Bial kicked off the color.

Lindsey put the sweet, sharp, unruly nails in the coffin once she was home.

This video would most certainly not be what it is without that woman.

Or any of the artists involved.

Musicians, included. (Jason Hiller, Zachary Ross, Jorge Balbi, Ex Maxwell, Ty Bailie. Me too, but ya know.)

And now it’s yours.

Conversation and questions welcome.

(I’ll answer questions in the comments section, or on YouTube comments…or Facebook comments…)

Murder Ballad Music Video

Murder Ballad: written and performed by Mary Scholz
Filmed on location at the Okefenokee Swamp in Waycross, GA

Directed by Lindsey Haun
Dir of Photography: Ruel Lee
Featuring: Shannon Murray
Edited by Mary Scholz and Lindsey Haun
Assistant Editor: Katherine Irwin
Color: Adam Bial and Lindsey Haun
Produced by Mary Scholz and Lindsey Haun
[Learn more about the production itself, HERE]

About the video and song…

Sometimes, when we reach the end of a relationship – a very necessary end, that you didn’t even know was building up inside of you, we make big, bold decisions.

Something to break you free of where you were.

Sometimes, it feels as if we’ve done something hideous, and huge.

It’s usually shocking to others.

They didn’t see it coming. They don’t understand.

But they don’t need to. Only you do.

 

The thing about abuse is that it doesn’t have to come from your lover.

It could come from a friend.

A family member.

The thing about abuse is that it doesn’t always manifest in violence.

It doesn’t always show it’s bruises.

Visibly.

At first.

The thing about abuse is that it can be mental.

Verbal.

Emotional.

Sexual.

The thing about abuse is that it can come from someone who has other, non abusive qualities.

The thing about abuse is that it doesn’t just effect the relationship it’s happening in.

It doesn’t just effect the way you are with one another, or the way you feel.

It begins to effect the way you treat other people.

Abuse is given, and then abuse is learned.

That’s what this video is about.

That person you become when you’ve been abused, for too long, and you begin to abuse in return.

The song, I wrote from the perspective of someone taking an axe to their relationship in order to end it, and start fresh on the other side.

Not an actual axe, not an actual murder – just the final end to something that needed to end long before.

The moment when you wake up, and realize what this relationship has been doing to you. How you’ve been manipulated. Made small. Abused.

The moment you say “Enough is Enough.”

The video features two women, because I wanted to explore the blurry line of intimacy in female friendships, and the ways it’s used in unhealthy ones. Relationships where they keep each other down, in order to keep each other close. We can talk more about that later.

For now, I’ll just say this.

I do not support or condone violence.

But I do support the healthy end to an unhealthy relationship.

A Mournful Noise

When I wrote “A Mournful Noise” in 2012, I was writing to find the vibe I wanted for my album.

I was writing an emotion without words.
I had moved in with my best friend and was going through my divorce.
I was feeling hopeful about new beginnings, but was overcome with sadness about what had passed.
I was alone.
I didn’t have much fancy equipment.
I set up my computer and microphone in my living room and recorded guitar and vocals.

I tried to re-create in the studio then for the intro to the record, but it didn’t sound the same.

And so I decided to use the original demo. It’s raw, simple, and meant to set the tone.
The tone of the song comes back in to play for “One More Day,” and it’s rawness is reflected in “Walk Away,” which is not even a demo – just a steam-of-conscience song I wrote while sitting in my nearly-empty-apartment upon moving to Los Angeles.

The video for “A Mournful Noise” is simply meant to convey the same feelings.
Waiting. Wondering. Mourning. Sitting in solitude.
The moments before you choose.
The moments after when you know what comes with the choice.

 

It was filmed in a similar manner to that which it was recorded.
While on tour this summer, I had a day off in St. Louis.
I decided to take some test shots in the beautiful home I was staying in.
I didn’t have any fancy equipment or any crew members.
I didn’t wear any makeup, I didn’t asses how I looked.
I had just woken up and worked out and was sweaty and road weary.
I was alone.
I was tired.
I had been in so many cities in various countries, in homes that weren’t my own.
I was happy in my travels and music making, but was ready to feel at home.

I liked the test shots. They were simple. It was raw. The backlight was beautiful.

So here it is. Just a feeling.

Rock On Philly Mag Premiere’s “Run Baby, Run”

Rock On Philly

Watch: Mary Scholz premieres her new video for “Run Baby, Run”

By  on February 19, 2015@jenniferlogue

SingerSongwriter-Mary-Scholz-2014-RS-300x199

Featured Image courtesy of the Artist

Singer/Songwriter Mary Scholz, who has Philly roots but is currently based in LA, is premiering her latest video, “Run Baby, Run,” on Rock On Philly.

The song and video explore the theme of  running forward towards your own happiness, whether it be pursuing a dream or just creating the life you desire for yourself. It’s told from the perspective of a person who has been given such advice as, “don’t ever wait until tomorrow for your time in the sun,” and is now passing those words back to that same friend, who also needs a reminder.

The video also follows the journey of the creation of the album The Girl You Thought You Knew-from the studio, to its release and its subsequent 2014 US release tour.

Watch the video below and tell us what you think! Also, be sure to check out “Run Baby, Run” in ourOfficial Love Run playlist here.

 

2014

Holy cow, 2014. What an insanely busy, wonderfully exhausting year you were.

Album release, spring tour, fall tour, music videos, Susan G Komen fundraisers, HMMA nominations, radio interviews, album reviews, magazine interviews…and 19,650 miles of driving to get there. I’m tired just thinking about it!

It wouldn’t have been the year it was without my amazing friends and family – each concert attendee, each album reviewer, each venue booker, each host in each city, my spring tour mate and adventure partner Sarah Ault (I love you, lady!), my publicist Jorey Blake, each musician that joined me on stage (Sean, Jaydon, Brandon, Chris, Demetri, Hilary, Erin, Sarah, Sara, Phoebe, Kyle, David, John, Harold, Kubby, Sander, Paul), Elyse for lending me her keyboard, road buddies Alexandra, Mike and Ian, each photographer, radio station, music video participant/editor/filmmaker/crew (Jason, Jordan, V, Jessica, Sean, Chelsea, Matt), car repair shop and everyone I met along the way. You are the people that make it possible for an indie musician like me to have a year like I did.

I am so grateful for you all.

 

Special thank you to everyone who watched and fed my kittens (Chelsea, Tommy, Sheridan, Sarah N, Sarah A, and most especially Kevin!!) and to Alexandra for sharing the huge drive and cat wrangling with me from sea to shining sea.

 

 

It started with a map…

 

So this is happening on my computer right now.

 

As you know, I’ve been in the studio since July working on the album. As you also know, we wrapped up production on it last month. As you may have heard, I’ve been planning the album release tour since September, and it’s beginning to take some nice shape if I do say so myself.

But what you probably don’t know is how these things get put together when it’s an indie artist like myself. So I figured I’d let you know how I fill my days, and how I end up traveling so much.

 

Usually the first question that I get from people when I talk about the album or tour is “How do you pay for all this?” 

To answer that – I work a lot. When I was just starting out in the business I used to try to act like I was making all of my money from musical pursuits, but let’s be real here – that’s not true. In a way it was – when I was living in Philly, my source of income was shows, teaching voice lessons and singing funerals for nearby churches. Out here, it’s performances, teaching voice lessons, waiting tables, transcription work, film production jobs, etc. Whatever it takes to get the album finished and the tour funded. For the album, of course, I did an IndieGoGo fundraiser and raised just over $5,000, about 1/3 of the cost of creating the album. And that’s doing it “on the cheap” with gracious discounts from talented friends and referrals. I am SO grateful for my generous donors because it lightened the load and made creating the album the way that I wanted to much more possible.

But if we’re being realistic, it’s just a damn expensive pursuit. So here I am, temping as a receptionist, writing this blog on my lunch break.

 

You can see why independent musicians (like myself) get upset when people think that they should get music for free. I’d love to make that music for free, too. But everyone deserves payment for their expertise – studios, engineers, musicians, instruments  – the list goes on. And that’s just production. Once that’s done, it has to be mastered. There’s design work. Photo shoots. Reproduction costs. Shipping costs. Promotion costs. Merchandise costs. It costs to put it up for sale online. It costs to run the website. It costs to have your domain name. It costs to copyright your material. Not to mention the usual – rent, food, phone, insurance, etc.

And without a label, all of that cost falls on the artist who, until a cd is purchased, is not getting paid.

 

This is not a complaint, mind you. It’s an explanation. This is the profession and life I’ve chosen for myself. One I Love with all of my heart. But there’s nothing easy or cheap about it. And sometimes I think people get hung up on the “glamorous” side of it. The things that I feel extremely lucky for, which is all of the interesting and different day-to-day experiences, the people I get to meet and the places I get to see. But while it may look like a carefree life, it is an extremely tiring road that continuously tests you. Not one of the beautiful musicians that I know is “living like a rock star.” They’re living so they can do what they love. And I find that to be a most admirable way to live.

 

The next question I get is usually “Do you have a manager?”

I do. Her name is Mary Scholz. 😉

 

“Well do you have someone that does your booking for you?”

I do. Her name is Mary Scholz. I currently manage myself and do my own booking, and have been working this way for the past 7 years. When I’m working on a tour, I map it out first, literally on a map, as well as a calendar, and then start contacting venues and booking agents in the cities I’ll be stopping in. Sometimes I’ll contact another songwriter from that area. Sometimes a friend will put me in touch with someone they know in a town that’s new to me. We work out show details, artist cut of the door charge, etc.

Then I save. Gas. Tolls. Food. Drinks with friends. The occasional site see cost.  And I rely on the generosity of the people who open their homes to me to cut out hotel costs. And I rely on the promotional work of the awesome fans in each city who invite their friends to come to the show. And that’s how I get to meet so many new people. And that’s how I get to sit on stage and talk about life, love, loss, loneliness and laughter.

And I’m GRATEFUL for it all. Grateful that I’m able to work. Grateful for the jobs that I acquire. Grateful that I live in a country where I, as a woman, may freely pursue the life I want to lead. Grateful for the talented artists who have donated their time when I was in crunch time crisis mode with the budget. Grateful for YOU because you’re still reading.

I’m not sure what my point is anymore. I look at that map and it is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. It’s a lot to save for. It’s a lot to do solo. But it’s going to be amazing. I’ve got a publicist on board for this tour and already so many amazing hosts lined up for cities that I can’t wait to return to, and cities that I can’t wait to introduce myself to. And I’ve worked 9 shifts this week at three different jobs and I’m about to fall asleep.

 

And I think I just wanted to chat about what’s been going on in the world of Mary Scholz.

Did you make it through? You deserve a gold star. Also, I love you. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

“Beautiful, Tortured Mess”

So last summer my good friend Brian Alan shot this acoustic video for my song “Beautiful, Tortured Mess” – and now it’s time you see it 🙂

 

I’ve been in the studio for the last month working on the album, this song included, and it’s sounding AWESOME.


The audio for this video was recorded with Brandon Slavinski at Red Letterbox Productions – where, coincidentally (not really), I am finishing up the album 🙂

 

Enjoy!

Christmas – Coming Home, “Naughty or Nice,” and fan submitted photos

Well it’s been a busy few weeks! But let’s start with this: I am SO excited to get back home to Philadelphia for Christmas!

 

I know a lot of people who are far from home most of the year and are excited to be traveling back to their families and where they grew up over the holidays…so this song is for all of the gypsies headed home, and all of the amazing people that I can’t wait to hug! I put together this acoustic version of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” as my gift to you, so make sure to download it (free) and add it to your holiday playlist!

I also put together a little video to go with the song, so if you are interested to see how the Scholz’s celebrate Christmas, here’s a little taste. Plus you get to see me recording the song as well 🙂

“Naughty or Nice”

 

Who caught “Naughty or Nice” on the Hallmark Channel? It’s original air date was November 24th but it will be airing all holiday season, so if you missed it, check your local listings to see when it’s back!

 

According to their numbers, “Naughty or Nice” was the highest rated movie of the year for Hallmark – so I’m pretty excited to have been a part of that!

My first time watching was at the same time as all of you (west coasters) so I got some friends together and cozied up with milk and cookies (chocolate chip, of course) to kick off the holiday season.

 

Fan Submitted Photos:

 

Thank you to everyone who sent in photos – both of me on their tvs or them with me on their tvs!

Here are some of my favorites!

Anna and Lucas – some of my smallest and most adorable fans!

I’m on the big screen in Hermosa Beach! Thanks to Matt and Bryan for sending this one in!

Jimmy, Mary and Hilarie…and a Christmas tree!

My Mama and the Movie Poster!

For more photo fun, check out www.facebook.com/maryscholzmusic

My Life Under the Covers – “Carolina in My Mind” by James Taylor

My Life Under the Covers

By Mary Scholz

 

Song Two:

“Carolina in My Mind” by James Taylor

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of James Taylor is my Dad. He always loved singing along in the car wherever we were headed. Like Amy Grant, I don’t remember the first time I heard one of JT’s songs, but they are intertwined in so many of my childhood memories.

 

Ah, childhood memories.  This one brings me back to the summer, too.

 

I have various events in mind, the first one being my very first concert, which was at the E Center in Camden, New Jersey (now the Tweeter Center).  I remember sitting on a blanket on the grass enjoying our lawn seats and watching the people all around. It was most definitely the start of my insatiable need to be at big events – I love the communal feeling of hundreds of people gathering together in the name of a mutual love (usually music) and kicking back and relaxing. Or not relaxing for that matter. Dancing, laughing, protesting (depending on the large event I was attending – I just love to be amidst the power of a gathering of people.) Live 8 was incredible for me (Philadelphia, 2005) – thousands of people gathered to listen to music and raise awareness of world issues? Bring it ON.

 

But back to the E Center…I remember feeling bad for my Dad who shuffled off a number of times to buy food or drinks for us three kids while my Mom kept an eye on us – we were so young! I knew that he was the one who wanted to sit and listen the most, even though he never said a word of complaint.

 

I also remember loving to listen to him sing, and loving how my Mom’s response would be “if you had pursued singing you’d be famous like James.” People love to hear my Dad sing. He cantors at our church every Sunday and is always greeted afterword by warm comments from congregation members about how they love knowing he’ll be the one going up to lead the song.

 

He plays the guitar like JT too – always so protective of that beautiful old Martin he has.  Dad (and Mom) bought me my first guitar (a Takamene), taught me how to string it and tune it, and showed me some of his tricks.

 

The reason I selected “Carolina in My Mind” is because as a kid (from maybe the 4th to the 7th grade) we would vacation in North or South Carolina, depending on the year. We always drove, and many of those long hours were filled with sing-a-longs. Most vividly I remember singing with every James Taylor album and the soundtrack to the animated Disney movie “Tarzan.” It’s the reason for the line I wrote in my own song, “Find Myself,” which reads as follows:

“Carolina, where have you gone?

Nights when the moonbeams shined so strong

And all of my days were filled with song…”

 

FUN FACTS about “Carolina in My Mind”:
James Taylor wrote and recorded this song in 1968 while he was recording at Trident Studios in London for Apple Records (Label of the Beatles).  He was writing about being home sick for North Carolina.

 

The line “A holy host of others standing around me now” is in reference to the fact that the Beatles were recording The White Album just a few rooms over.

 

The original recording, released as a single and then later re-recorded for his Greatest Hits album, credits Paul McCartney on bass and George Harrison on backup vocals.

 

Awesome. 

 

After watching the video I’m sure some of you are wondering who that other family is! Well my best friend growing up, Maggie, moved to Georgia when I was in the 5th grade. So our families would meet up in the Carolinas for vacation – it was always a total blast 🙂 Love to the Scholz and Kelly families!

Busy Bee…Music Videos, Filming,

It’s April already? We’re knee deep in editing for the “Water Rising” music video and “Hide” is almost ready for your viewing pleasure as well!! Here’s a couple of screen shots…

 

In case you didn’t catch it (which you probably didn’t because I didn’t really tell anyone about it…) here is a screen shot of me in 90210 – it was the music festival episode and you can see me walking around a few times as well as right behind the main characters here…

I’ve also been a busy bee working on “Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie” on the production end, doing some location scouting, extras casting and Assistant to the Directors on set. I’ll also be working as an actor for the film closer to the end of the shoot. I love working with this crew – it’s been a great experience! I’ll post more photos as the shoot goes on.

So I’m keeping busy!

On  a more personal note, I’m endlessly enjoying the beautiful weather and hiking that Los Angeles has to offer…here’s a shot from a hike I took to the Hollywood sign on Easter Sunday!

 

 I hope all is well with you – Happy Spring!!