Homeschool Mom Teams Up with Emmy-Award Winning Director for Epic Music Video
It’s been almost a decade since singer-songwriter Thena Beam has released an album. Once a regular performer at clubs across Los Angeles, the mom of two young boys is now more likely to spend time in front of a white board than an audience. She’s spent the last four years tutoring at a home school coop her boys take part in.
So Thena was a little surprised when the father of one of her students told her that he wanted to make a video for one of her songs. She had shared the song with a fellow tutor, whose husband turned out to be Emmy award-winning director Alejandro Guimoye. Guimoye said that when he heard the song for the first time, he could see an entire story in his head, and he knew he wanted to film it.
The song itself also had an unexpected beginning. Thena wrote Man of Sorrows in 2007 after viewing a painting of the same name at the Uffizi Museum in Florence, Italy. She was so moved by the painting that later, she woke in the middle of the night and scribbled down the lyrics of the song in its entirety. “The words, melody, and chords were all there in my mind with such clarity,” remembers Thena. Although the song came to her quickly, it was five years before she was able to record it in the studio. Like many things in her musical career, the road to the filming of this video has been long and winding. “For years my focus was on my music career, but having kids was a total game-changer,” Thena says. “In some ways, it’s a sacrifice for me to be homeschooling my boys, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s a lot harder these days to eke out a song, let alone produce it, but I still have a passion to write and express my heart through music. The demands of motherhood have ended up being a gift to my creativity because I’ve had to become more efficient, out of pure necessity,” she laughs.
The video features a couple living on the western frontier and explores how they deal with an untimely death. It’s been over 70 years since anyone called Bodie, California, home. But the sweeping location made the perfect backdrop for the period video. With winter around the corner, Guimoye and his team had a short window before the park became inaccessible due to the location’s high elevation. “Thanks to the Mono County Film Commission and the wonderful rangers and staff at Bodie State Historic Park, we were able to film at one of the most iconic places in California’s Eastern Sierra,” Guimoye says. “Man of Sorrows is one of those projects that stays with you forever,” reflects Guimoye. “From its tragic love story, message of comfort and redemption, stunning film locations, and the unconditional giving from everyone that came together to make this happen, it was truly a miracle. I’m humbled and blessed to have been a part of it.”