Exclusive Interview with Nathan William (Director of the “Worn” Video)

We’ve heard many thoughts from fans regarding the new music video for “Worn” since it went viral yesterday – most comments regarding the video note the beautiful cinematography and stunning visual effects. We spoke with Nathan William, director and editor, about the production. 

Alex: Who came up with the concept for the video?

Nathan: The band and label first planted the seed of the concept and it just grew from there. They first and foremost wanted it to be beautiful, and then they mentioned the idea of leaves re-attaching to a tree and I just ran with it.

Alex: How many hours did it take to shoot, and how many hours were put into post-production?

Nathan: All the footage that made it into the final took a day to shoot. We used only the sun to light it and we shot from sunrise to sunset, which in early January is about a 10 hour day at best. Post production took about two months. A lot of that time was just spent creating the overall look with the vfx and modeling the tree. I finished all the vfx in After Effects at 4K resolution so it took awhile to process all that info. I probably won’t work at that high of res next time, haha.

Alex: What was the most difficult part of producing the video?

Nathan: The most difficult part was actually just finding the time to work on it amidst some crazy personal struggles. Throughout pre-production, production, and a lot of post production, my two year old daughter was in the hospital for some serious medical complications so I literally had my computer set up in her room and I was editing and doing vfx in between talking to doctors and dealing with the struggles of hospital life and test results. It’s really amazing to me because I feel like the pain and wear of being in the hospital for a long time with my daughter helped me communicate the feeling of being worn through the video. I thank God for any way He can use my family’s experience there for his glory; to minister to others who are yearning to see redemption win…

Alex: What was your favorite scene to shoot?

Nathan: It’s weird because pretty much nothing you see in the final looked that way when we shot it, so finishing a shoot like that with a lot of green screen isn’t super satisfying because you still need to use your imagination a lot when you look at the footage. So in light of that I’d say the full band performance shots were my favorite just because their performance was so passionate that it was already very emotional even before all of the vfx were done.

Alex: Was there a specific message you wanted to get across? If so, what was it?

Nathan: I have on the top of my notes, “Make this video glorify the King!” So that’s first, and after that I really just want people to get wrapped up in what if feels like to see redemption win.

Alex: How did you get involved in the production of “Worn”?

Nathan: I first met Mike Donehey a handful of years ago at a conference where Tenth Ave was leading worship. We ended up spending a few days together afterward and we’ve kept in loose touch ever since. This was before Tenth Ave was very well known and before I was even doing music videos. Since then they’ve picked up speed and I’ve grown as a filmmaker until this past summer when Mike and I were chatting and the idea came up of me doing their next video. So I submitted a few treatments and the rest is kind of obvious, haha.

Alex: Did the end product fulfill the original vision of the music video?

Nathan: Yes. I never feel like I finish a video, I just eventually have to let it go. That was for sure true with this one but I am definitely pleased with how it came out.

Alex: What other projects are you currently involved in?

Nathan: I’m currently directing and doing vfx for some good friends – for two different bands, Come Wind and Wolves At The Gate.

Alex: Do you have any advice for aspiring filmmakers?

Nathan: Focus, read, research, experiment, work hard, do work you love doing and that matters. It all sounds super cliche but just because it’s old advice doesn’t make it less true. As Dave Ramsey would say, “It’s the same advice your grandma would give you only we keep our teeth in!”

Alex: What’s your favorite Tenth Avenue North song?!

Nathan: I think my favorite is The Struggle… that chorus blows me away. In a close second though is Losing just because that message is so needed.

Alex: Thanks so much for your time, Nathan!

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