Catholic recording artist Angelina, known for her beautiful music and high quality videos, has just released a new video filmed at Lourdes. Entitled “Angelina travels to Lourdes,” the video features Angelina singing her signature “Ave Maria” while introducing viewers to the famous sacred site.
In 2005, Angelina released “The Faithful”, a compilation of 11 music videos. One of the songs in the compilation, “I Can Only Imagine,” was filmed in St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica. It is the first and only music video ever shot on Vatican property.
She, and her mother, Maria Davis (manager, and producer of Angelina Productions) share with GrapeVine what it was like to film in the place where St. Bernadette Soubirous saw visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who proclaimed to her that she was the “Immaculate Conception.”
GV: How would you compare the experience of filming at Lourdes to filming outside of St. Peter’s and/or at the convent of Saint Faustina in your video “The Faithful” ?
Angelina: Lourdes is like the other two places – very sacred, and a blessed journey to take, and full of hope. Walking around and seeing the people wanting to be healed by the miraculous spring was at first shocking to me. In this day and age it is refreshing to see so many people with such devotion and faith. Everyone that goes there goes with their faith out on there sleeves and they wear it proudly. When I was filming in Lourdes, I felt as if I was tip toeing through every place I walked. I didn’t want to distract anyone away from their adoration, peace, and meditation.
GV: Was this second video easier to than your first?
Angelina: This second video was for some reason more tiring than the first; perhaps it’s my old age setting in! When I was fifteen I did ten videos in three weeks. This was simply one video. It was hard getting every shot just right and making sure that I wasn’t giving any goofy faces or walking strange, but it all worked out. I think the song is also one of the hardest songs I sing. Singing Schubert’s “Ave Maria” over and over can get a bit tiring. I felt though that this video allowed me more time to enjoy and reflect on my surroundings than the time spent on “The Faithful”.
GV: What goes into the making of a professional music video?
Maria: We had done this before in a much bigger sense with the making of “The Faithful”, 11 music videos filmed over a three week period in three different countries: Italy, Ireland and Poland. After that venture Angelina and I came to a common understanding: “If we could do that, we could do anything under God. Christmas 2007, my husband gave me and our two children a trip to go to France and Belgium for May of 2008. One of the stops was Lourdes.
To begin with, I have learned over the past 10 years that one must truly discern to the Will of the Holy Spirit before taking on a task of this nature. You really have to lay it (the idea) at the feet of Our Lord and ask that if it is His Will, than so be it. There is a fine line of surrendering to the Holy Spirit and at the same time going forward in the day to day operations and doing the works needed to complete the finished product. Basically, both need to be working side by side in order to get it done. The Holy Spirit has its task and I have mine. This is a key period of time before we do any projects at Angelina Productions. I will sit on a project for however long it takes until I get some type of “Spirit filled moment” that lets me know, “now is the time”.
So as time went on in early Spring, I began to think how we could do something really special in Lourdes commemorating the 150th Anniversary Celebration. Then it just came to me: What better way to honor Our Lady then with the song that started it all for Angelina’s ministry, Schubert’s “Ave Maria.”
The first thing I had to do was run it by Angelina to see if she would be open to filming another music video. Remarkably, time had eased all what we had gone through and she immediately agreed.
The next task would to be contact the director, Manuel DeTeffe, for a commitment and agree on a price. At the same time I made contact through the Internet with the Lourdes office telling them a brief history of Angelina and her works and what our hopes and desires would be for filming this video in Lourdes. After much consideration, they wrote back directing me to their Attorney in Paris who then e-mailed me and faxed a contract of about 12 pages long in French. My heart leaped with joy but at the same time I was very anxious because I could speak no French. My husband’s secretary took one year in high school, so she began deciphering bits and pieces for me. It sounded pretty normal and redundant as far as legal documents go and then I remembered there was a nice lady at my parish that grew up in France. I called her and she went over the document with me paragraph by paragraph as well as she could, not to confuse anything, especially about money. I mean can you imagine if I didn’t read it and just signed off on it (which I thought about doing) only to get over there and find there was some enormous fee attached to some stipulation in the contract.
It seemed all was laid out as far as using the area for a certain amount of time, the areas which we could use, and observing the holiness of the site and showing the utmost respect and reverence. I suggested that we not sell this particular video, because it was my opinion that I didn’t want to profit from this particular shoot. It was only going to be used as a source of education and an inspirational tool for the Faith.
With the contract signed, I basically had to coordinate the director flying in to meet with us in Paris and then setting up extra hotel rooms for his stay in Lourdes. Once there, the staff at Lourdes were extremely accommodating to everything the director and Angelina needed. They assigned a person to escort Manuel and Angelina and be with them at all times as a courtesy. This helped the filming move along very quickly. Everything was shot in a three day period.
I am personally extremely happy with the completed music video and feel very blessed to have had the opportunity once again to bring a piece of our faith for the world to see. We know we have made the best we could in honor of Our Lady and the messages of Lourdes, for St. Bernadette and the town of Lourdes.
Here is the video, “Angelina travels to Lourdes”:
Copyright 2009 Susan Bailey