Jonathan Strickland Music Video – How it Came to Be

Recently I had the pleasure of being involved in a music video shoot for Jonathan Strickland, a rapper from Huntsville, AL. He’s very talented and in his song Hope City he makes several references to comics and pop culture. Specifically, he references Tony Stark, Michael Scott, Superman, Pepper Potts, Bruce Wayne, Bane, Killer Croc and Wolverine. Strickland is down to earth, super nice, and knows how to work a crowd.

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Strickland (pictured right) outside "The DeeP Comics" in Huntsville during national Comic Book Day.

The organizer of the music video shoot is a good friend of mine whom I met at National Free Comic Book Day this year at The DeeP. When I first met Jason, he was taking video asking people who they were cosplaying as and why they were there (and everyone would obviously say “free comics”)1. It was a promotional video for The DeeP. When he released the promotional video he added in Strickland’s song Hope City Strickland liked the video so much he asked Hough about shooting a music video for him to help promote his music.

Hough responded with something extraordinary. He had recently met Santiago Cirilo (Julio from The Walking Dead) at a convention. He was able to get Cirilo to agree to be in the music video.

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Santiago Cirilo (left) and Jason Hough (right)

Securing Santiago was only one piece of the puzzle. Hough had already worked out a great premise but he needed a good supporting cast. The premise was simple: there is a zombie outbreak at a comic convention. So a call went out over the internet for cosplayers and zombies. By having Santiago involved, excitement was increased and participation was high.

It was only fitting to have cosplayers in the music video since the promotional video for The DeeP is what got the ball rolling. The premise also fit the song pretty well considering the vast geek culture references. Additionally this video shoot was a great opportunity to promote Santiago, Strickland, The DeeP, Blogmen Media, Sylvester Photography, and Sparky Cosplay.

The music video was shot in two afternoons and while I was there I met some great new friends. Everyone acting in this video really got into it.  On night one, I was dressed as V for Vendetta and during one of the shots a zombie girl was so intensely acting that she actually ripped my pants. Luckily my pants stayed together (for the most part) until I got to my car to change into some others.

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On night two I dressed as Smallville’s Clark Kent and I got the opportunity to get zombified.

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By the time the night two was over, we all felt like a bunch of Zombies. Even Santiago. But I wouldn’t trade in the experience on anything.

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The music video will premiere at The Geek Gathering in Sheffield, AL (September 20-21).

1 I was surprised to find out that Jason knew that my superman jacket was specifically from Smallville Season 10
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