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The Real Story Behind 52nd ACM Awards Video Of The Year Nominee "Forever Country" Go inside the Artists of Then, Now & Forever clip that's nominated for Video Of The Year presented by Xfinity.
Posted on Mar 27, 2017 11:00am


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work with some of the biggest names in country music's history?

Director Joseph Kahn—known for his work with pop megastars like Britney Spears ("Toxic"), Backstreet Boys ("Everybody"), and Eminem ("Without Me")—branched out to direct the video for "Forever Country," a gorgeous medley of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads," Willie Nelson's "On The Road Again," and Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You."

The moving vignette, currently nominated for Video Of The Year presented by Xfinity at the 52nd ACM Awards, features appearances by 30 music legends, including Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, and more.

In the interview below, Kahn details his experience directing the all-star video.



How did it feel to be nominated for Video Of The Year presented by Infinity by the Academy Of Country Music?

Joseph Kahn: It's a great honor! I grew up in Texas, listening to country, so it's really trippy suddenly being in the mix and being part of such a historic part of American culture.

Tells us more about how you achieved the visual effects, and how you used them to accomplish your overall vision?

Kahn: We shot everyone against greenscreen, and then I sent out cameramen everywhere to shoot plates. I went to Nashville early and just drove around shooting.

My longtime VFX partners, Ingenuity Studios, really outdid themselves generating as many VFX ideas as I wanted.

It was really the only way to do it with the schedules of the artists and the time frame we shot it in, so the VFX house really had to pull up the slack in the back end and make it all work.

What's the symbolism behind the backgrounds crumbling and reforming simultaneously?

Kahn: It's a metaphor for the history of country music, and it's ever changing evolution, as well.



How did your previous experience working with an incredible roster of artists help you coordinate so much talent for one video?

Kahn: I love working with artists. I am an artist, too, so whenever I interact with creative people, it's just a great opportunity to vibe new types of perspectives and creativity.

I absolutely loved working with country artists this time around. They're just such good, down to earth people. No fuss, no massive egos. My crew was blown away by the punctuality and professionalism of every one of the "Forever Country" artists.

And, getting to direct a legend like Dolly was a thrill. I have to admit, with as many artists I've worked with, she made me nervous! I'm still nervous!

What would fans be surprised to learn about this video shoot?

Kahn: This Asian-American video director likes country music. I'm from Texas. Surprise!

Who will win Video Of The Year presented by Xfinity?

Learn more about the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS.com.