Valley High: The Music Video
In 2013, Green Room blogger Maddie Gaw wrote a Song Spotlight about Drew Gasparini’s “Valley High.” The haunting folk rock ballad tells the story of a school shooting from the unique perspective of the shooters. Now, three years later, the song is just as relevant, if not more relevant, to the headlines flashing across our television screens. That’s why Calendar Boys Productions in collaboration with Jeremy Terry Productions is using art to tell an unusual side of the story. They are creating a music video for the complex story told in “Valley High.”
“Valley High” focuses on the reasons the shooters felt that their actions were their only option. “Everybody went down because they didn’t think I had it in me,” the trio sings between verses that detail being shoved into lockers, getting shamed for being gay, and being ignored by distracted family members. Bullied and abandoned by the rest of their world, the three boys in the song (to be played in the music video by John Michael Bradshaw, Nick Pecoraro, and Zach Solomon) join together to take down the people they believe have wronged them.
The idea for the video first came to producer/writer/director Christopher Michaels when he heard Gasparini’s song. He had previously been fascinated by school shootings. “We don’t often get to hear about what pushed these people to that boiling point,” he explains in a video on the production’s Indiegogo page. Michaels, along with producers Jeremy Terry and Lauren Gismondi, is currently trying to raise money to support the production costs of making a full-scale music video. Not many people know how much goes into making a music video of this scale, and the expenses include studio rentals, transportation, equipment, and design costs among many other details.
This unique project aims to not only raise awareness of violence in our modern day society, but to dive down straight to the source of what causes people to commit violent acts. High school bullying, especially in our age of technology, has become a huge factor when it comes to any level of violence among teenagers. The music video brings to the screen what Gasparini envisioned his song to be: a post-arrest confession by three young men who know they did wrong but believe they did it for the right reasons.
We live in a world and a time where humans commit horrific acts of violence against other humans almost every day. Our news channels are filled with opinionated commentary on police brutality, identity struggles, and school shootings. And it is precisely because we live in this era of history that art has become vital to our survival as a species. Through art, we can learn from our past, gain different perspectives, and maybe if we’re lucky, progress to a better future for our society.
If you’re interested in learning more about this Calendar Boys Productions/Jeremy Terry Productions project, check out their Indiegogo page. It includes video interviews with the team and the actors, as well as details on how you can help this project come to fruition.
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