Back in September, a long-time friend of mine, Matt Szczygiel of MJS Live Productions, was working as the Dimmer Technician for Luke Combs’ 2019 tour. Around then, he contacted me with the promise of a potential project for the upcoming year. A while back, Matt had overheard a conversation between members of Luke’s creative and video team. At the time, there was no video content on the wall during Luke’s #1 hit song: Beer Never Broke My Heart - The title track of the tour - just IMAG, or live shots of the show; And they wanted content.
Using a pre-existing neon sign graphic, Matt created an animation that was used in the show for the rest of the season. Having turned the heads of management, Matt was urged by members of Luke’s team to put in a bid for all the content creation for the upcoming 2020 What You See Is What You Get tour. That's when I got his call.
Over the following month, we conceptualized and detailed video content ideas for a number of his songs, and consolidated them into a proposal that Matt would present to Luke’s management team. By late December, we had our answer. We were contracted to make 10 songs worth of video content, focusing primarily on his #1 hits and tracks off of his new album.
From December until January we worked to create, review, tweak and finalize our content, building every bit from scratch, filming scenes where we could, and sourcing stock video components. The process involved vector creation, photo manipulation, content sourcing, and culminated in the assembly in After Effects and Premiere. Near the end of January, with solid rough versions in hand, it was time to travel to Nashville for tech rehearsals.
Working alongside Luke’s production manager Jerry Slone and Lighting Designer Kevin Northrop of Silver Bullets Design, and with approval from Luke’s Manager Chris Kappy of Make Wake Productions, we worked all hours to take our rough versions and develop them into usable finals. We flew in Zac Gaetano of NBC Universal to assist in shooting one video for the song Angels Working Overtime during this period as well. We worked tirelessly to perfect details, and there was no shortage of late nights. One concept was even scrapped. Yet, by the end of the week, Luke himself emerged to participate in a full, technical run of the show, including visuals. Our work was complete, and accepted with accolades from all parties involved.
In total, we have 9 songs worth of content actively touring with the Luke Combs team. These include videos for Hurricane, Beer Never Broke My Heart, 1,2, Many, and Beautiful Crazy. We are incredibly thankful for the chance to have worked with the Luke Combs team and look forward to future projects with them.