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.