"What was I thinking?" laments a young girl as she sits barefoot on rocks strumming a black guitar. Just a few feet away, a group of people cluster around a monitor, but 17-year-old Taylor Braun stares off into the distance with a look of determined enjoyment.
"Cut!" yells an equally cherub-cheeked director, from behind the monitor. "That's a keeper!" Nearby, the 18-year-old producer talks with the extras and takes care of prop logistics.
The Clark's Grove neighborhood in Covington was temporarily transformed into the set of a music video Thursday as a local production company Triple Horse Productions filmed the video for the first album for Braun, an independent Nashville-based singer-songwriter.
The video was a leap of faith in many ways, for the artist, director, producer and production company owner, Karl Horstmann. It's the first full-fledged video for the artist, but it's also the first professional production for Horstmann's daughter Rachel, 17, and company intern Kelsie Scholes, 18.
"It's crazy," said Scholes, taking a few minutes between takes. "It was definitely a sink or swim thing," she said, of taking on the project with Rachel.
Together, the two scripted, mapped, scouted and proposed the project mostly on their own, with guidance and backing from the adults. "It's hard for some people to take a 17-year-old or 18-year-old seriously," said Scholes, with a laugh.
"We've been letting the fight their own battles," said Karl Horstmann, proudly looking on as his daughter worked with Braun to make her feel comfortable dancing in front of the camera. "We've been teaching them the business end of it," he said, such as insurance matters and the cost of catering.
In some ways, it's a natural fit for Rachel, a McDonough rising high school senior who grew up around productions and whose extended family is involved in television production and directing.
"The environment is not new, but being in charge is new," she said. Just a short time before, she was the one taking direction from the crew members, she explained, but was now the one being consulted for decisions.
Town Center Coffeehouse owner Linda Skrobot said she was excited to see the process of how a music video was made. Skrobot was contacted about the possibility of using the Coffeehouse, which catered the event, on Tuesday, and two short days later, the crew and artists arrived.
"I think it's a great idea. It's a great venue," said Skrobot, adding that several people on the crew expressed surprise at finding the area tucked away.
Covington and Newton County is no stranger to the lights and cameras of film crews, having served as the backdrop for many projects, including "In the Heat of the Night," "Dukes of Hazzard," and most recently, Tyler Perry's "The Family that Preys." A movie called "Between Yesterday and Tomorrow" is tentatively scheduled to begin filming September at Gaither's Plantation.
Braun, who opened for singer Jewel last year, had been playing guitar and writing songs since she was 7 years old and plans to release an EP sometime in the fall.
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