YouTube stars Bria Kam and Chrissy Chambers are wrapping up 2014 with their biggest career move yet: their first official music video.
The couple, who started their YouTube stardom with a satirical video called “Dear Chick-Fil-A (Because I’m a Homosexual),” spent about three weeks from start to finish to complete the video. They searched through over 250 videographers, spent eight days filming, and braved below freezing weather in Oregon to get the video just the way they wanted it.
“It was a surreal experience,” Chambers said.
The couple put an ad out on Craigslist in search of someone who could commit to shooting four videos a month. They expected a just few responses but ended up getting 250.
“It was unbelievable,” Kam said. “We narrowed it down to 50 people who were overqualified. We chose Danny Schramm who is so talented. Total prodigy. We were taken by him and he’s only 19!”
The three were planning on creating the video in California, but because of complications with getting releases at the locations, they decided to try out Oregon.
“Chrissy drove the whole time, we had a cooler with food, it was such an adventure,” Kam said. “We even slept in the car for a night. It was wild. We had an amazing time, saw beautiful places and all got to know each other better.”
The whole process from shooting to editing took about three weeks. Schramm and Kam did the storyboard, and Chambers scouted locations.
Though Chambers is wearing a crop top and skirt in the video, it was not actually warm outside. Oregon was about 40 degrees when the video was shot. During one scene, Kam stood in front of waterfall wearing a dress.
“With the mist coming down it was negative two degrees by the waterfall,” Kam said. “It was the coldest feeling I’ve ever felt.”
Chambers, who has a scene on the beach, said that walking barefoot on the sand felt like walking on cold marble.
“We were outside for a good hour without jackets,” Kam said. “Chrissy said ‘We have to go right this second,’ and I look over and she’s crying. She said she can’t feel her fingers or move them and they were turning different colors. I turned to Danny and said I think she’s getting hypothermia. I’ve never seen her cry for pain. It was an intense and terrifying feeling.”
After warming up for a bit, Chambers started to regain feeling in her hands. Regardless of the cold, she said it was worth it to get the video done.
“Even with the wind and water blowing, once you perform you forget about that,” Kam said.
At one point, Kam started to get really emotional about the whole process. She was finally doing what she had always dreamed of.
“I said to Danny, ‘I can’t believe this is actually happening,’ and I teared up,” she said. “He kissed me on the forehead and said ‘You guys deserve it.’”
The two decided to make their first video to “Take Me to Heaven” because it means so much to them both.
“As far as the whole album goes, this is both our favorite single,” Chambers said. “We love it. It’s so exciting and a perfect showcase of our love and relationship.”
Kam said once she wrote the song, she knew it would be their favorite.
“I called down to Chrissy and said ‘I think I just wrote our hit,’” Kam said. “She said ‘Oh yeah, this is it. This is our song.’ Now to see it come to life makes it that much more exciting. It’s magical.”
The video features a cat-and-mouse game of Kam always being one step behind Chambers.
“We wanted to make it LGBT, we wanted to have a gay theme,” Chambers said, adding that not a lot of music videos feature the true love between two women. “We wanted to make it super sexy and make it a chase.”
The couple said it doesn’t have a religious connotation for them, but more that it represents them being each other’s “heaven.”
“We are traveling to enchanted locations and she’s always tempting me,” Kam said of Chambers in the video. “I’m always just right behind her and can never quite get to her.”
On a deeper level, Chambers said the video could represent the chase the LGBT community has towards reaching equality. They purposely left it up to the viewers’ interpretation of their personal “heaven.” They hope their viewers see their authenticity and feel inspired.
“We want them to see how serious we are,” Chambers said. “We do a lot of ridiculous videos, but we want them to also see how serious and passionate we are in our hearts. Bria is my heaven and our love is very genuine and true.”
The couple has proven to be role models through their videos, especially for LGBT youth.
“It’s amazing, it feels like we have such a purpose,” Kam said of her role. “We didn’t start out with the intentional of being role models or to inspire people but it’s definitely something we are happy to do and we don’t take the role lightly.”
“I feel like knowing that we are that to people and by sharing our truth and personal stories and knowing it helps individuals inspires us to do more,” Chambers said. “It helps us get through very personal and difficult times too, our fans inspire us just as much as we inspire them.”
With the video done, they don’t know what their next step is, but they are eager to find out.
“The most exciting thing is to wake up and open our inbox,” Chambers said. “We’ve never sure of what email we’ll get. In the last six months we’ve had four different TV shows reach out to us. I have no idea what’s going to be the thing that hits us and takes us to the next level.”
Whether it’s speaking to kids at high schools, creating videos or starring in movies, the couple is ready.
“We’re there for the ride,” Chambers said. “We are so excited for whatever may come our way.”
After moving to L.A., the couple decided on a new mantra and are living up to it.
“We always say yes,” Kam said. “See where ‘Yes’ takes us.”
“Take Me to Heaven” is now available.