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Local artists shows beauty in the destruction of Downtown Panama City

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A few months ago, a piano was set outside the Martin Theatre in downtown Panama City.

The piano used to sit backstage of the theatre but was moved outside to promote any and everyone to sit down on the stool and play the keys.

Local musician, Mike Thompson was inspired by the instrument and says it was at that moment, he got a vision for his newest music video.

“I came out and saw this beautiful piano out here, which is the old piano from backstage before the storm was sitting out here for people to play on it and I always thought that was cool but I looked over and there was a guy who set up a little drum set right here and he was sitting there just laying down a beat and had this cool kick drum made out of an old suitcase. I saw that visual and knew I had to use it,” Thompson said.

The music video was for one of his latest singles, ‘Look What It’s Done’ from his Needful Things album.

The person who Thompson saw on the drums that day was Eric Darnell, the videographer and editor behind the video.

“I’ve never played outside on the street and I’m not an amazing drummer but I thought, ya know, I’m going to set up and just see what happens and that turns out it inspired Mike to get in touch with someone he didn’t even know and we created this music video,” Darnell said.

Darnell says his vision for the video came from hearing the song itself.

“As I listened to mike’s song over and over again, I kept seeing in my head people hugging each other and being extremely friendly to each other.”

Thompson says his partner brought the vision he had and brought to life.

“The great thing about is, Eric had this vision of people and the community coming together and working together and as lovely as this old building is and downtown with its brick and hardwood floors and everything, it’s really the people in it that make it amazing and this is an amazing community.”

Along with the band, Darnell invited many community members to join in.

“It’s very emotional. all the people in this music video had no idea what the video was about. I just contacted them, they were friends and acquaintances and I said I’m shooting a music video, do you want to come and they showed up and that speaks volumes to the way the people are now. They want things to happen and they just showed up,” Darnell said.

Darnell says this act is a perfect representation of how the community has come together since Hurricane Michael; when someone needed help, another showed up.

He says though, every shot in the video was completely authentic.

“All the smiles on their faces are real, all the shots in the music video where people are shaking hands and hugging each other, I purposely, when everybody showed up, I made them not introduce themselves to each other so that way when it was time to record and you saw them hugging each other, it was the first time of them had met each other,” Darnell said.

While of course, the music video is to share his song, the two say they hope it will show people outside of the panhandle and Panama City how much beauty is left in the area after October 10, 2018.

“Downtown is busted, there are a lot of broken buildings but there is still beauty here, there is beauty in the comeback, there’s beauty in the story that’s happening down here and I wanted to capture that.”

You can keep up with Mike Thompson here.

The video was shot and edited within 10 hours. Watch the full music video below.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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