Unreal Details From Jake Owen’s “Real Life” Video

Director Jeff Venable Reveals What Happened Behind the Scenes

One of the things that surprised director Jeff Venable about making Jake Owen‘s “Real Life” video was the crane kick.

Actually, it was that, plus all of Owen’s dance skills.

“His dancing just kind of came out of nowhere,” Venable told me about the video shoot. “When we were doing the Beastie Boys fisheye lens thing in the store, I told him to have big energy. Then he went straight into some big, big dance moves. Those were unexpected but hilarious,”


Then in the “Real Life” pickup truck scene, there’s that iconic Karate Kid moment when Owen throws it way, way back to the very last scene of the 1984 movie.

“He did that kick during rehearsal, and I told him, ‘Oh, my God. Please, please do that in the real one,'” Venable said. “That scene was supposed to be just a pile of every country music video stereotype in one shot. And Jake pulled out the crane kick right in the back of the truck. That was so great.”

The majority of the video — Venable’s first for Owen — was shot at Finch’s Country Store in Pegram, Tennessee. Venable said the store welcomed Owen and the cast and crew with open arms. Other scenes were shot at a nearby Waffle House restaurant.

Venable’s first impression of Owen sounds like a lasting one.

“You can tell when an artist has a stake in the video and wants it to be the best it can be,” he said. “Jake was so collaborative — all day long. He trusted me. And he was so kind and there was no ego to him at all.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.