This past summer, Wholly Guacamole® launched the Live Wholly Tour, which hosted open-mic nights across American music centers, Nashville, Chicago, New Orleans, Minneapolis and Los Angeles in search of the most talented and authentic musicians. In each city, a local venue hosted an open mic night where local musicians performed in front of a live audience. A group of local panelists then awarded a winner from each city. The five finalists and one online artist went through to a competition where people voted online for their favorite. The winner received a cash prize of $10,000 and the opportunity to perform at the Live Wholly Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah, opening for Cold War Kids

Working together with Minneapolis agency Fast Horse, I was brought on to direct and create an episodic online series from each open mic night of the tour. Together with announcing the winner from each open mic night and showing their performance, our goal was to also capture the essence of each city; its culture, music scene and the connection with each local venue.  Without knowing who the winner would be at each open mic, we filmed each of the performances as they happened.  Once the winner was awarded, we were then able to take a more stylized approach to telling their story. To make an emotional connection with each musician, we used each city as the cinematic backdrop for their story and its influence on their music.  From Broadway to Bourbon Street, we discovered the essence of each city through the eyes of the musician and their journey.  The diverse geography of American music scenes has spawned an array of musical genres and artists that have influenced the world. Being able to see the inner cultures, communities, venues and musicians behind each of these scenes was the true highlight for me. With so many raw and talented musicians yet to be discovered, it was great to be able to give a select few the opportunity to take their musical career one step further. Check out the various videos we created for each musician's story below and check out the Live Wholly Festival to see the winner and video from the festival. As always, it takes a small village to pull off projects of this nature and I was lucky to have an amazing crew along with me, so be sure to check out the crew list below.          

Brad Blackburn - Nashville, TN

Love Evolution - New Orleans, LA

Nici peper - Minneapolis, MN

Mack Sterr & Mark Dennison - Chicago, IL

Vanessa Wheeler - Los Angeles, CA



Client: Wholly Guacamole
Agency: Fast Horse
Director/Editor: Nathaniel Schmidt
DP: Eric Schleicher
Additional Camera: Nathaniel Schmidt
Field Audio: Nick Leisenheimer, Nicholas Christopulos, Owen Brafford
Custom Music: Joey Verskotzi
Sound Mixing: Chase Brandau, Cape Status
Animation: Sam Thompson