The Making of Front Porch Gospel: Autumn
All of the photography, whether film or photographs, was taken at or near Buddy Davis' log cabin in Henpeck, OH. This meant that everything was shot outdoors in natural lighting.
One of the real challenges of filming this music video DVD was having animals on set! When it came time to shoot the opening message with Buddy, we decided to have his dogs, Buffy and Casey, sitting next to him. Unfortunately, they had ideas of their own! Casey would not show his face to the cameras and sat, immovable, with his back to us. Buffy sat for half of a take before she decided to fall on top of Buddy and go to sleep. It took about fifteen takes before either dog would sit up, and that was only after a lot of coaxing!
Each song was filmed with two or three cameras running simultaneously. When a take felt satisfactory, we previewed the footage from each camera before moving on to another song.
Some of the songs were filmed in out-of-the-way places or spots that were not very easy to access with cameras and microphones. In the case of "At the Cross", Buddy appears in the hay mow of his barn. To accomplish this angle, we had to climb into the loft with a camera, in order to film the silhouette of Buddy playing his mandolin. By doing this, we eliminated the possibility of recording the sound on-site, so the audio was recorded later on a 4-Track and overlayed onto the film.
Another challenging song was "Mountain Railroad". This song required a number of different angles showing Buddy in all different parts of a train locomotive. It took about half a day to film this song. In order to move around the train freely for the different camera angles, we did not record the sound on location. It, too, was recorded later on the 4-Track.
For some songs, like "Blackpowder Rifle", Buddy's outfit complemented the lyrics. In this case, it meant a coonskin cap and a genuine Australian Outback raincoat, not to mention his blackpowder rifle and his old bowie knife!
Songs with lyrics that mention specific things (e.g., "Fall's a Beautiful Time of Year" and "Blackpowder Rifle"), meant taking film or photographs of as many of these things as possible. This is a photograph of Buddy when we were out searching for a mouse "pad". Not an easy thing to find! After searching through several old birdhouses, we finally found one. As soon as the front of the house was opened, the cameras had to be rolling, because a mouse is not a very obliging animal to film!
All of the nature shots were filmed separately from the songs and edited in later. We traveled all over the area filming flowers, insects, etc. (Here we are filming the first sunset to appear in "Beyond the Sunset".) It takes alot of film to get just the right clip. For instance, it took 45 minutes of film to find the perfect five seconds of apples hanging on a tree. By the time the one-hour video was completed, we had 40 hours of footage on tape and 500 GBs of film and photos on the computer.