Dear Ms. Branstner is the first video from We Are The Willows' album Picture (Portrait). It was shot in the Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota and edited all over the world.
Director/Editor/Camera: Zach Johnston Driver: Matthew Holmen Digital Painting: Jack Zohnston Add'l Painting: Michael Doyle Olson
Minneapolis based six-piece We Are The Willows are proud to debut the music video for their song "Dear Ms. Branstner", from the new album Picture (Portrait) Pt. 1, out November 4th on The Homestead Records. The lyrics and inspiration for all the songs comprising Picture (Portrait) Pt. 1,are derived from a series of 350 letters written by songwriter/frontman Peter Miller's grandfather to his grandmother while he was stationed in the Southwest Pacific during World War II.
The video for "Dear Ms. Branstner" was directed by Zach Johnston of the band PHOX and filmed in Fort Snelling National Cemetery where Miller's grandfather's ashes are buried. The video also features photos from throughout Miller's grandparents' history of war, courtship, and later family life. Says Johnson of the video's production "I felt a bigger responsibility making this video than I normally would with other bands. This song (and album) are about Peter's family, and the pressure to honor that story and create something universal was very real for me. I tried to tell a linear story about a couple meeting at a young age (during war time), falling in love, creating a family, and growing old together." All animation featured in the video was done by Zach Johnston and Michael Doyle Olson.
We Are The Willows' orchestral indie-rock ensemble features Miller's unique countertenor voice and guitar, supported by Jeremiah Satterthwaite (guitar/banjo), Leah Ottman (violin/voice/keys), Hilary James (cello/voice/keys), Travis Collins (bass), and Stephen Lindquist (drums/voice). Together they craft dynamic, intimate songs with instruments and voices combining to create energetic rhythms and intricate melodies. Their heartfelt arrangements evoke shared nostalgic feelings of love and loss.
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