The Filming of “Summerlea”

i’ve never been a part of something so magical as filming our first video with the other girls of belle starr. first of all, the song “summerlea” by fred eaglesmith is haunting, moody and suggests a sweet sadness. all our locations heightened this. we had the incredible opportunity of shooting at the legendary chelsea hotel in new york city (!) as well as on top of a giant skyscraper overlooking the empire state building and under a train bridge in brooklyn.

we had many lovely moments – and a couple of transcendental ones. –

we were shooting with the playback and all of a sudden, the heavens opened and we were drenched by a heavy downpour. instead of dashing out of the wet, our director, the inimitable jeth weinrich, grabbed the camera himself and with the D.P. and focus puller covering the camera with a tarp, he kept shooting!

the sudden rain was incredible. what luck! all the footage looked amazing – we all sort of knew something out of the ordinary had happened with kenny singing honestly and movingly getting slowly soaked with people rushing with umbrellas behind her to get out of the rain and jeth capturing it all.

another astounding moment was when all three of us shot close together with the play back. we were all standing in the window of the chelsea, with the famed neon sign behind us and we sang the song. it was the first time we’d all been able to hear each other’s harmonies coupled with the atmosphere of that once glamorous, now seedy room. wow. we all got goosebumps.

jeth is magical. he’s quirky and mercurial. maybe this is a hallmark of a great artist. i’d love to see the world the way he sees it. he’s easy to work with, fun to be around and he has a loyal crew of guys who are all princes.

we all felt so much a part of the process, so proud of the overall beauty of the shoot. due to some miscommunication, we ended up not getting a makeup artist….so we all did our own hair and makeup and we all wore our own clothes (although since we are similar sizes, we swapped a lot!) but i think this made the experience all the more special, more real. we felt the honesty of the song and what we want belle starr to be. we were all just singing fred’s stunning song, being ourselves.

i hope you enjoy the video half as much as we enjoyed making it. we are so thrilled with how it turned out and excited to show you. thank you to everyone who had a hand in it. truly, truly unforgettable.

a special thank you to jeth, joel stewart and our friends at cmt canada.

8 Responses to The Filming of “Summerlea”

  1. Coral

    I saw the video on CMT and am so glad I did. It kind of mesmerized me and now I can’t stop watching it. Such a beautiful song.

  2. Jeanine

    Just saw the video on CMT as well- amazing song and very well done. I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to hear real music that is not just cranked out to fill a CD and that is sang to stop people in their tracks. Very real, very honest, very well done.

  3. peter

    Another example of Fred Eaglesmith’s genius. Haunting track with an incredible performance and video.

  4. Andrea

    omg i saw this on CMT yesterday ebruary 4th I was channel surfing and this caught my attention, i dont even like country music and it stopped me in my tracks! I even spent 11 hours searching for it because i didnt catch the name of song or artist! but i found it!!!!

  5. James Watkinson

    Wow, so glad i heard your song on CMT, you ladies are so talented. The emotion that you put into your songs, both summerlea, and get me through december are beutifully done.

    I havent purchased a CD in years but i will be buying yours to support your tallent. I am blown away.

    Best of luck to you lovely ladies.

    James Watkinson

  6. Dwight Smith

    Just saw the video a few minutes ago on CMT for the first time.

    Very well done, and cool write up about filming it.. lots of success in the future.


  7. one of the most incredible videos I’ve ever seen. sounds nice too! i think this is the first time that I’ve truly felt like i could touch the visual textures as they leaped off the screen and slapped me in the face. i first saw the video on CMT, then youtube, and now off your site and i still can’t get enough. there’s just something so real about all the performances that when coupled with the music speaks so loudly, and yet is so gentle. congrats mr. jeth weinrich and the band.

  8. JH2

    I came across your haunting video when looking on Youtube for Eaglesmith’s version which I love. I was so taken with the stunning harmonies great arrangement and the beauty of the visuals.

    This is an absolutely wonderful take on a great song which has long been a favourite. I can’t wait until you have more music available as I am definitely now a fan.

    All the Best.