When I saw that Zac Brown Band‘s video for “As She’s Walking Away” was out, I was thrilled. That’s because I’d finally get to find out if his heart tells his mind to tell his mouth what it should say. But even better, I was able to find out what the director of the video was thinking. And Darren Doane, the same guy behind the band’s last three videos, had a lot to say. He said working with Brown was amazing because he is crazy brilliant. “He has so many ideas, and he just never stops. But he listens and really looks you in the eye. That’s what makes him such a great songwriter,” Doane told me.
And he said that because the song is so straightforward lyrically, he had to just go with lyrics. “But then I thought, maybe the video is about the story of whatever happened before. Or after. Or both.” And they ended up with just that and a theme of regret that has some hope. That would be the necklace scene at the end.
His muse for that ending was a Bible story where the sun rose upon Jacob after a big fight with God. So watch for the sun rising behind the shy guy in the end, where you’re left wondering what will happen next. Doane’s theory? “You just know he’s gonna ask her to breakfast.” And that part in the video where wise man Alan Jackson looks up dramatically from under his cowboy hat? Not Doane’s idea. “I didn’t direct him to do that. He’s just a pro. He did that on his own. Like the cowboy in an old Western,” he said.
Doane is hard pressed to take credit for the rest of the powerful moments in the video. “I can’t make a great video if there’s not a great song,” he said. “And Zac just doesn’t write bad songs”