SNAKES AND SPARKS: SARA EVANS’ VIDEO ADVENTURES

SNAKES AND SPARKS: SARA EVANS’ VIDEO ADVENTURES
Sara Evans at the CMA Close Up Stage at AT&T U-Verse Fan Fair X on Friday, June 6 during the 2014 CMA Music Festival in downtown Nashville. Photo: John Russell / CMA

Sara Evans at the CMA Close Up Stage at AT&T U-Verse Fan Fair X on Friday, June 6 during the 2014 CMA Music Festival in downtown Nashville. Photo: John Russell / CMA

Nothing expresses the intentions of a song lyric better than a music video, as artists treat them as an integral part of their music and career. On Friday, June 6, video director Peter Zavadil and Sarah Evans sat down at the CMA Close Up Stage in Fan Fair X to talk about the nine videos they’ve filmed together during Evans’s career.

As soon as they took the stage it was evident that Evans and Zavadil were more than business associates, but also friends. When asked why she likes working with him, she jokingly retorted that she can’t find anyone else that wants to work with her, and then revealed that the only two videos she has shot without him take the bottom two spots in her book.

Zavadil shed a little light on their relationship, describing their sibling-like bond as “psychic.” They even ascribed some of their success on Zavadil’s willingness to take risks when it came down to getting a good shot. Evans recalled one such moment while watching “Born to Fly,” in which she walked across the top of a fence. Luckily for her, Matt Evans, her brother and bandleader, was in the background ready to catch her as she slipped. She revealed that Matt has been featured in every video since, perhaps due to his security and concern for her safety.

The crowd laughed when hearing stories of making the “I Could Not Ask for More” video. What was funny when recollected onstage was probably not quite as amusing as it happened, as Evans told of the huge rain storm in the middle of the shoot. The crew kept her in a chair, pummeled by the sand and rain with only a blanket over her head, just to have the perfect shot.

Zavadil proved to be a good friend and secret keeper as Evans told him before the “Suds in a Bucket” video shoot that she was four months pregnant and hadn’t told anyone. He proceeded to shoot the video from different angles including behind shots and hid her stomach with a church pew.

Although all of the videos had a story behind them, “A Real Fine Place to Start” takes the ribbon for Most Dramatic. In one shoot, Evans ran into a rattlesnake and caught her shirt on fire when Zavadil had her get too close to the bonfire. Evans recalls the timing couldn’t have been more perfect, as it coincided with the lyric “Sparks flyin’ in the dark,” as if it was planned.

The team is expected to produce many more videos together as “Slow Me Down” was recently released and their creative connection appears to not be losing any traction.