What started out in one Los Angeles-area man’s garage as a virtual love letter to his long distance girlfriend has morphed into a nationwide phenomenon. Walter C. May, a television creative director, recently saw his longtime girlfriend leave her native Los Angeles to matriculate at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business to obtain her MBA, putting May in the middle of an unplanned long distance relationship. As a creative and chivalrous gesture of his affection, Mr. May wanted to make a unique “video love letter” with hopes of social media organically taking his video across the country to her. He then enlisted the help of his roommates, unsigned Los Angeles-based rock trio The Daylights to help compose the perfect song to accompany the video he had in mind. I Hope This Gets To You was born. Thus far, in the first 48 hours of its release, the video has been viewed in excess of 150,000 times.
May’s video demonstrates that you don’t need a big budget to make a big impact. “I wanted it to be simple, something really anyone could have done. We shot the video in my buddy’s garage on a Canon 5D one Sunday afternoon, and I spent maybe $100 in total, buying black bedsheets and stuff. I didn’t want to go overboard, to show that the thought really does count,” May told The Village Voice this week.
As for May’s roommates, Ran Jackson, Ricky Jackson, and Svend Lerche—who together comprise The Daylights, they were more than happy to help lend a hand. “Truthfully, we kinda owed him. Walter did us a favor and made the video for our first single for next-to-nothing, we wanted to return the favor,” said guitarist Ran Jackson. Although some critics online have suggested that the video is merely a promotional effort for The Daylights, the band insists that the motivation for helping out their friend was genuine. “Did we know that if the video was well received, that it could be a positive reflection on us? Sure, but that doesn’t mean that the backstory is any less ‘real’,” says The Daylights’ Ricky Jackson
Despite its humble beginnings, I Hope This Gets To You has taken on a bit of a life of its own. The most easily identifiable catalyst came from a pair of celebrity tweets, first by actor Zachary Levi (TV’s Chuck) and later that day by singer Katy Perry. Shortly thereafter, The Village Voice and influential technology blog Gizmodo picked up on the video and the number of views began to skyrocket. But to achieve the video’s intended affect, May had to take some drastic measures in order to be able to make the concept work, “I had to block her from my Twitter. She studies so much she doesn’t check it a lot, so hopefully she won’t notice for a while. But our friends and her friends at school have all been given the gag order, so it really has to be some random way she’s going to see it.”
A romantic at heart, May succinctly states what anyone who has seen the video feels, “It seems like we’re far apart, but we’re living in a very different world these days, and we can feel close without having to be close every day. I wanted to show how we try to make the world a little smaller.”
“I Hope This Gets To You” video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjgtxVxE14A
“I Hope This Gets To You” video EMBED:
About Walter C. May
A Dallas native, Walter moved to Los Angeles in early 2004 to grab a hold of his place in the City of Dreams. Since then, he has made a name for himself as an offline editor working on commercials for EA Sports, Ford/American Idol, Chevrolet, Snickers, and Domino’s Pizza. Recently, he has been exploring his director’s hat by working with new major label and indie acts such as Katy Perry, The Jonas Brothers, Mickey Avalon, Drake Bell, Andy Davis and The Daylights.
His association with the young Hollywood crowd has also led him to collaborate on new media and viral projects with Zac Levi, Joel David Moore, Nick Swardson, Paris Hilton, as well as others. No matter what the next challenge may be – directing, editing, or his next haircut- Walter approaches it with high energy and his own sense of style.
About The Daylights
Melding classic and modern influences, The Daylights’ self-titled debut album, was produced in London by super producer Youth (Paul McCartney, U2, The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony”), and mixers Michael Brauer (Coldplay, John Mayer), and Dave Sardy (Oasis, Jet). The album is currently #28 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart. The band spend much of 2009 touring with Katy Perry and OneRepublic; They are currently in the midst of a 50 city US tour with NEEDTOBREATHE.
Their self-titled album will be available online at iTunes, Amazon, Borders, CDBaby and at majors retailers including BestBuy and Amoeba.
For more information, please go to www.thedaylights.com or www.myspace.com/thedaylights.