Interview With Clifton Collins Jr. About His Jamey Johnson Music Video For The High Cost Of Living Song

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Officially Plugged In’s Clifton Collins Jr. (Capote, Star Trek, Sunshine Cleaning) is not only talented in the film industry, but also in the music industry by directing high profile music videos. One of Clifton’s latest music videos is with artist Jamey Johnson for his “High Cost Of Living” 2x Grammy nominated song! Clifton not only directs and produces the video, but he stars as the lead actor in it as well.

I invited some fans to send in questions for Clifton to answer, so please enjoy the Q&A interview below… after the music video…

Rina aka @RinaDonRocco (Twitter) asks: That was an amazing video. I liked the story the song tells and the portrayal is awesome! My question is: From a Directors point of view, did you notice it to be any harder/easier to star in the video while also directing it?

Clifton: That’s a good question. Ya know actors have been directing themselves since the beginning, weather it’s making a choice for an audition, or directing themselves in a film… Orson Wells, CITIZEN KANE, Jody Foster, Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, the list goes on and on. I think the toughest days were those in which I was by myself. All the shots at the Church when I am alone, I was really alone. So I’d set the cam up and let her run, checking the shots after every take. I’d like to think that the choices I make as an actor are going to be the same emotions that the director would like to get out of me, so they kinda go hand in hand. Because we had very limited crew, I tried to get all the set ups incredibly tight and planned out so that I may focus on the performance part. For all the reasons mentioned is where the challenges lie, and I love a good creative challenge. I think that is part of what makes me tick. :)

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Jessica aka @jade_kadir (Twitter) asks: “You both direct and act in the video, which I imagine must have been a bit of a juggling act. What are the creative differences between the two roles?”

Clifton: Much like in acting in a film project one always hopes for creative harmony, a shared vision and a wonderful collaboration. Although I did do quite a bit of the primary shooting, I brought on a dear friend to operate B Cam and to edit while we shot. He was good to bounce ideas off of, but for the most part I was exploring and collaborating with myself for the ultimate vision. I must confess that I had far less fights with myself than I thought I would have, and thank God cuz’ I’m not always the easiest to deal with!

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Jenn aka @sgnmbr1fan4life (Twitter) asks: What is your main musical influence and do you think that gets portrayed in the music you make? Great video and I wish you continued success!!!

Clifton: I’m going to take the “music influence” back to something deeper, and that would be the creative influences that my grandfather instilled in me, work ethic etc. With that I go straight to pure inspiration, what does the song make me think and feel? Where does it take me, will these visuals, be it on the nose, or abstract take my audience to the place that I go to emotionally? More importantly, does my vision for the video compliment the song and artist’s purpose? Jamey Johnson is a very simple and profound writer. There is so much honesty is what he says and how he says it, he is masterful. The last thing that I wanted to do was to desecrate this man’s message, so I sat with this song in my mind and my soul for hours on end. I feel I got quite a bit of not only the message of HIGH COST OF LIVING but being that I shot this on spec, It allowed me the freedom to be able to add an interlude for which I use Waylon’s cover DREAMING MY DREAMS, believing that the sentiment of DREAMING MY DREAMS can lead one and/or even be an unfortunate catalyst to leading one to a HIGH COST OF LIVING. We all want to be loved, accepted, and appreciated. When we are not, we act out and become self destructive. There is beauty in that too. I hope I’m making sense here.

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Tiffannie aka @Tiffannieamber (Twitter) asks: What was your inspiration for the tone of the video? Personal experience, the song itself, an idea you came up with in the shower? If it was personal experience, what drove you to change that aspect of your life, as it’s plainly seen you’re doing wonderfully now.

What was the best part about it being a video? the worst?

Clifton: For starters, it was listening to the album THAT LONESOME SONG as a whole. From there one can just re-listen to the lyrics and music over and over again. Also at that time I happen to be in Iowa shooting THE EXPERIMENT w Adrian Brody and Forest Whitaker. After discovering THAT LONESOME SONG (thanks to Zac Brown, U rule Z !! ) I decided that the sentiment of the album went very well with the place that my character in the movie happened to be in. So in a sense I was kinda double dipping. I really like to get into a crazy zone with my characters, often neglecting my friends and fam, thank God they understand my process and always support me! You guys know who you are, so THANKS FAM!!

Delving into this character allows me to become very close to him, almost being him on a daily basis. So I suppose that one could argue that it is a very personal experience. Also it’s no secret that in Hollywood there is no shortage of people with substance abuse problems. If you don’t know somebody personally then certainly you can find somebody who does know someone and draw from that experience. Thanks for that thoughtful question; I hope I’m not confusing you in my answers.

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Paulette aka @thruthelense (Twitter) asks: If you had the chance to do “High Cost of Living” over, what would you improve/change?

Clifton: I wish I hadn’t of blown my propeller shaft in my Caddy driving 125 mph! :) DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

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Thanks to Clifton and everyone who sent in questions! Please leave a comment if you have any further questions about THE HIGH COST OF LIVING music video.

*Be sure to also subscribe to Clifton’s YouTube Channel and check out his other videos… Click Here

**The Experiment Happens on DVD and Blu-ray September 2. -Source: MovieWeb

::: View Clifton’s Officially Plugged In Video and Websites :::