Hunter Hayes Premieres Mini-Movie, ‘Pictures’

Hunter Hayes fans got something special for Valentines Day as the Louisiana native premiered Pictures, a romantic mini-movie featuring three new videos with interwoven storylines. Hayes greeted fans and walked the red carpet at Nashville’s Regal Green Hills Stadium 16 Theater before debuting the videos for “You Should Be Loved,” “More” and “This Girl.”

“They are all love songs so it felt right,” he told Sounds Like Nashville of the timing of the Valentine’s Day premiere. “It was a total team effort. We’ve been wanting to do this for a while. When we were talking about releasing three songs, we wanted fans to know this was all part of a bigger picture, and there will be an album this year. I want fans to know this is part of that bigger storyline.”

The inspiration for the three new clips lies in Hayes’ “Rescue” video that featured an artist creating three paintings. “Each video features a still shot from the paintings in the ‘Rescue’ video tying everything in together, making it part of one big story,” Hayes shares. “It is addictive to work on something this emotional.”

The clips are set in the 1950s and follow the love stories of different couples. Directed by the Edde Brothers (twins Matt and John), the videos were filmed over the course of two days at the former home of the late Patsy Cline in Hendersonville, TN, just outside Nashville.

“There are so many characters in this story and each character has their own storyline and they cross,” Matt Edde tells SLN. “Doing something like this we get to use dialogue, which you don’t get to use in music video. So there are points where the music breaks and there’s dialogue back and forth between characters, which lets the story go even deeper. Hearing the characters and seeing how they talk and interact adds layers to the story that you otherwise wouldn’t have in a music video.”

Hayes enjoys using video to enhance the music he’s sharing. “I do love the feeling of working on something big picture,” he says. “That’s how I feel about an album. I feel like when I tell the story of an album, when I put together a track list, I want people to know exactly what I’ve been through and let the music tell the story so there are a lot of similarities.”

Fans will see a cliffhanger at the end of the third video for “This Girl,” and Hayes admits it teases future content. “This is the beginning of a longer story,” he grins. “There’s a lot more to come. I feel like the possibilities are endless and it makes it so much fun.”

Instead of the traditional route of releasing one single at a time to country radio and waiting for it to climb the charts, Hayes enjoys having the chance to issue new music more frequently and share songs more quickly with fans. “As you’re working on an album, one [song] might make it. Two might make it, but if you can put out a song when you feel it, it stands a chance to have wings and have a life like ‘Rescue’ did and like these songs do now,” says Hayes, who performed the three songs live for the audience after Pictures was screened. “That means a lot to me knowing I put my heart and soul into every single one of these songs.”

Hayes says he’s still working on the next album and feels it is nearing completion. “I’m waiting to be surprised, but I feel like it’s already here,” he says. “I’ve never written as vulnerable as I’ve been writing lately. Just when we thought we were done, it keeps happening and more keeps pouring out. I’ve learned that the well of things I feel and have to say aren’t really a well. They are more of a stream, and so I’m trying to catch as much of it as I can. We’ll close the door off pretty soon, but there’s a lot happening right now and I want to keep writing about it.”

Having fans attend the premiere made the event more special for Hayes, and though he could have watched Pictures in advance, he chose to wait and see the finished project with everyone else at the event. “It means the world to me,” he says of sharing it with fans. “They are the only reason we can do crazy stuff like this because they come and they show up in a big way. Here we are sharing this crazy concept and having our first movie premiere together. This is incredible.”

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