UT Student Mattie Jackson (Alan’s Daughter) Scripts Dad’s New Music Video

 

KNOXVILLE — Driving in her car one day, Mattie Jackson, daughter of country music singer Alan Jackson, came up with a unique idea that gave her the opportunity of a lifetime.

Jackson, a sophomore at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, majoring in English, wrote the script for her dad’s new music video, “It’s Just That Way.”

“It was more that I stumbled upon the idea than it being a conscious decision,” Jackson said. “I’d been listening to the album and my dad said to me and my sisters, ‘If you think of something cool for the video, let me know.'”

Her idea has the main character seeing the world topsy-turvy because he’s in love, and it isn’t until he sees his girlfriend that the world is right again. The man sees the moon rising in the morning, sees boats sailing down the street and sees people in office attire work construction.

“It’s really simple lyrics that express how simply you love someone,” Jackson said. “The script is contradicting that in a way. It was very strange, the whole backwards idea. It was really fun and different.”

When Jackson told her dad about her idea, he encouraged her to research how directors formatted their script treatments, which combine the basic ideas for a screenplay, and submit it to the record label executives. Although her dad was optimistic, he was apprehensive at first.

“He’s always been the super supportive dad, so he was obviously excited and proud,” Jackson said. “But he actually said when he sent it to the label that he considered taking my name off of it so there would be no bias.”

Much to her surprise, the record label loved it and hit the ground running with the idea.

“I really didn’t expect much to happen,” Jackson said. “I was really shocked that they liked it a lot. It made me feel really honored.”

Jackson participated in the video shoot, which consisted of one day in Nashville and a second day in Tampa Bay, Fla. She said the directors and producers seemed, “genuinely appreciative of the idea. That was, honestly, the coolest part.”

“The most unique feeling was watching professional directors and producers creating this,” Jackson said. “To see something from my mind come out in real life was very surreal. It was rewarding because I could see the product and it was amazing.”

Jackson said she enjoys writing and hopes these experiences will jumpstart a career in writing screenplays.

“I haven’t had very much experience with creative writing,” Jackson said. “I just recently decided that I wanted to be an English major and be a writer. I would like to do more script writing, especially after doing this. It’s completely different from writing a paper for a class. You can put yourself and your voice in it.”

With Jackson’s high-profile dad and her recent success, she is still a down-to-earth girl who loves reading, music and concerts.

“I love doing the normal things that any 19-year-old college student enjoys,” Jackson said.

Check out Alan Jackson’s video for, “It’s Just That Way” on People.com.

C O N T A C T :

Bridget Hardy (865-974-2225, bhardy4@utk.edu)

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