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June 2014

I Created: our private screening

Last week, we finished work on the music video, “I Created”.  The video will be premiering in the coming week or two.  We organized a private screening for all of us who were involved in the project.  It was a really special evening and I wanted to share my perspectives. 

I’m actually surprised about what a profound impact this project has had on all of us.  This was actually my first opportunity to meet and to talk with some of the couples featured in the video.  I wasn’t in the room during the day of filming.  My wife, Eva, directed the video.  The whole thing was her idea and the band let her run with it. 

From the beginning, we really believed in this idea.  We would ask 10 couples to strip and to simply express affection for each other the way they naturally do.  The result would be something completely opposite from today’s videos on MTV.  People are fatigued by all the glamour, the bling, the image.  People are becoming tired of “fake”.  We wanted to show something real.  No actors.  No fashion.  No cool image.  Only authentic love and affection.  These are real people, in the flesh, against a simple white background.

The biggest challenge was to find couples willing to take part.  So we began asking friends and friends-of-friends if they would be interested in celebrating their love and affection in this way.  I was skeptical that anyone would agree.  Even if they did, would they show up on the day of filming and go through with it? 

To our credit, Eva happens to be quite persuasive.  There’s nothing she can’t do when she sets her mind to it.  In the end, filming was a huge success.  There were kisses, smiles, laughs, even tears.  So here we are; the long process of editing has come to an end.  All the while, our couples kept asking us, “When will the video be ready?”  They were so genuinely excited, that some of them asked about it more than once per week!

Now they have finally seen it.  During the screening, the room was quiet.  Looking around the room at the 20 or so people who turned up, I noticed that each of them were having a deeply personal experience.  They smiled.  They shared knowing glances with each other.  Everybody felt good.  We were filled with positive emotions and we were simply happy.

What touched me most were the conversations I had after watching the video.  Even though most of us had never met each other, we all felt like we had known each other forever.  Within minutes of meeting, we began talking in the most intimate ways about our relationships, about love, about our feelings, and about our aspirations.  We somehow felt so much trust for each other and we felt free to open up and connect.  Age didn’t matter.  Life experience didn’t matter.  We felt connected because, deep down, all of us either feel (or want to feel) the same way about love.  We all want to be madly in love.  We all want that love to inspire the life we dream of living.  We want to be loved, to be accepted, and to be understood.  We want to commit to that one person but to feel free at the same time.  We want to have a career, maybe a house, and children and yet still be able to chase our deepest dreams.  We want to do all of this with a person we love by our side. 

I don’t remember ever feeling as in love with Eva as I did that night and as I do these days.  We met nearly 22 years ago, yet today our relationship is completely new and exciting.  Despite 20 years of marriage, despite the challenge and wonder of having a 4-year-old daughter, we have finally come to a place in our relationship where we are able to consistently treat each other with so much respect and tenderness.  We have learned how to allow each other enough freedom to live our dreams.  We have come to live the ideal that I sing about in the song.  What matters most in life is what you create with the ones you love.

This has been a wonderful opportunity to talk about our love, to celebrate love, and to experience so much newness.  What we have with the person we are with…that is the most important thing in our lives.  This is what makes us either happy or miserable.  Yet, far too often, we couples find ourselves bickering, fighting, battling for control or power, lost in a jealous rage, or simply bored.  But, if we engage, if we offer our best selves to our partners…if we are capable of unconditional love, openness, and excitement…if we are unashamed to talk about our feelings, our needs, our dreams, our fantasies…then life is beautiful.

I can only hope that this is the start of a life that is filled with friendships like the ones we have formed through this project.  All of these couples are truly brave, open, remarkable people who have given all of us a sacred piece of themselves.  They are all truly beautiful.

Posted by Mark Manney.