Declan McKenna 'Bethlehem' by John Merizalde

Declan McKenna 'Bethlehem' by John Merizalde
  • By David Knight
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  • Views 162,391 (youtube)

John Merizalde takes the 17 year old indie prodigy Declan McKenna's Bethlehem and builds a story of blossoming love between two teenagers in a small American town where bigotry and religious zealotry hangs like a shadow over them.

Shot on 16mm, Merizalde, who hails from Georgia, sketches a world of believable characters, and captures the claustrophobia of the place, with a lightness of touch that's perfectly pitched to the song.

From the director


"When I first listened to the track, I was reminded of a small rural town in Georgia called Bethlehem, about an hour away from where I grew up. That, coupled with the themes behind the track - basically a critique against religiously-motivated violence and hate - were the initial catalyst for the idea.

"From there the story flowed naturally, inspired by images, people, and places that I'd seen growing up, or wanted to see. Despite some of the darker themes, we aimed to do something a little fun and different with this. The use of 16mm film and slow zooms were incorporated to hopefully give it a more old-school feel.

"And no, I never attended a snake church growing up... Although I do know some people that did."


John Merizalde
Kevin Staake
Production Company
Bullion ProductionsBullion Productions website
Service Company
Executive Producer
Drew O'Neill
Director of Photography
Kristian Zuniga
1st AC
Azariah Oldacre
1st AC
Edward Martinez
2nd AC
Oren Malik
Art Director
Jennifer Chandler
Jennifer Chandler
Hair & Make-up
Amber Flores
Casting director
Erin Murray
Chad Sarahina
David Torcivia
Director's Representation
OB ManagementOB Management website
Laura Clayton
Austin Taylor, Hannah Culwell, Caroline Granger, John Fletcher, Cameron Fraley, Chris Van Dyke
Jon Watts
Josh Cubas
Associate Producer
Asher Emmanuel
Production Assistant
Jae Desouza
Film Processing & Scanning
Crawford Media Services, ATL

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