Frankie Ballard, ‘A Buncha Girls’ Video — Behind-the-Scenes
Frankie Ballard may be a Michigan boy, but there was no better place than Southern California to film the video for his summer anthem, 'A Buncha Girls.' The Boot stopped by the song's three location shoot to bring you all the hijinks that come when you pair the charismatic singer with five gorgeous women. (Watch the exclusive behind-the-scenes video below.)
"We are shooting the video for 'A Buncha Girls' out here in Venice Beach," Frankie told The Boot. "I'm having a blast. This is a lot better than the video for 'Tell Me You Get Lonely,' a lot more color. This video has nothing to do with loneliness. [laughs] This one is all about the girls, that's what we wrote the song about. It's about how they do their thing. They stick together and they always run in groups: girls' night out, ladies night, they go to the bathroom together. [laughs] They're always hanging tight. I wanted to write an anthem for them this summer, so when they're hanging out, going to the beach or doing their thing, they're cranking up this song. We're trying to showcase some of the things we're talking about in this song. A lot of the video is right from the lyrics, so it feels like I was a big part of the creative process."
Frankie was all smiles and full of energy halfway through the shoot, which is surprising since his call time was early in the AM. "The primary performance was the first thing we did," he explained. "I showed up at 6:30 to start getting dressed, but then we started shooting pretty early. That's probably the earliest I ever strapped on a guitar and tried to rock it out. [laughs] I wasn't quite warmed up yet; it's a good thing I didn't really have to sing it."
That performance took place at Santa Monica's Finn McCool's. "It was this little Irish pub," Frankie continued. "It was pretty cool. It was all me doing my guitar playing and singing."
After that, the crew traveled a few blocks south to the area of Venice, where the houses flank canals, emulating its Italian sister city. "This is our second location," Frankie explained. "This guy owns four of these houses right in a row, and they've turned the backyard into this big garden. It's a killer place. I'm so glad we got it, because it feels like the right vibe for the video."
By "this guy," Frankie is referring to actor Orson Bean, who plays 'Roy Bender' on 'Desperate Housewives.' However, as member of the 'Wonder Years' generation, Frankie is more impressed by Orson's wife, Alley Mills, who played the mom, 'Norma Arnold,' on the show.
"First, we were out here on the canals, on the deck, doing the margarita thing," said Frankie, before clarifying that the drinks were non-alcoholic. "I better not drink. We still got a long way to go today. [laughs]"
The next scene focused on the ladies and the video's real leading lady, a fully restored Ford Bronco. The girls surrounded the car, armed with only a map as they "decided" where to head next on their journey. Frankie made his way out to the driveway where the shoot was taking place in order to admire ... the vehicle. "That is a whole other level," he said with a smile.
It was then time for Frankie to prepare for his next scene, which meant a costume change and a little time with the hair and makeup artists. He did well in the makeup chair for the first few minutes, but then his feet started tapping. "I'm pretty uncomfortable," he admitted. "I know it's necessary but I never feel quite myself when I'm wearing lots of makeup."
To ease his nerves, one of the assistant directors came with some good news. "I get to drive the Bronco?" Frankie asked. "Yes!"
This is only the singer's second video, but he seemed like a well-seasoned pro as he finished up with his hair and wardrobe stylists. "It's fun with all the production and the people working," he admitted. "The food, the makeup, it's everybody working together as a big team. And, definitely, the girls. They got some pretty cute girls for this. [laughs]"
Pretty girls or not, the video-making process can get tedious from time to time. "Some of the repetition is tough," Frankie said. "You got to get a lot of different looks and energies, and you got to do things over and over to get them right. Other than that, it's been pretty easy. We get to be creative and have fun. It's a beautiful day out."
After some shots in the Bronco and along the street, the crew headed to the heart of Venice. "We're going to do some beach stuff and walk around the funky little areas," Frankie explained. "That's what's cool about Venice, there are so many different looks. It's not just beach or palm trees. The house we're at right now looks country, which is cool."
Venice Beach is known for its unique charm, which the singer-songwriter got to experience the night before the shoot. "We're staying on the beach and there were a couple bums fighting about something at 2:30 in the morning," he recalled with a laugh. "They were really going at it. There's some interesting characters on Venice Beach. Some of them have star quality."
Before taking off for the beach, Frankie made his only "demand" of the day: "We've gotta get a picture of me and all the girls before they leave."