How OneRepublic's "Better Days" Video Was Shot by Fans Around the World

Crowdsourcing During COVID-19

“May we never ever shed another tear for today,
‘Cause oh, I know that there’ll be better days.”

Those lyrics, from the chorus of OneRepublic’s Better Days single, cannot fail to touch anyone during this COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a health crisis we haven’t seen in a century, and throughout every struggle, every heartache, and every shortage, we all have hope that there will indeed be…better days. 

OneRepublic had written the chorus to the song before the virus had really taken hold. Then, when they realized they had come into contact with someone who had the illness, the band put themselves into quarantine. And Ryan Tedder couldn’t help but be affected by everything going on in the world. Not just the panic-buying and fear, but the incredible way people were overcoming this worldwide tragedy. Random acts of kindness, brave healthcare workers on the frontlines, singing songs on balconies, and finding ways to be together when we all have to be apart. 

And so, with the song completed, the band reached out to its legion of fans around the globe to ask for their stories. The response was overwhelming. 



OneRepublic, crowdsourcing, and international video collaboration.

After the single was released, the next step was the music video. But this was not going to be an ordinary video, which during these times of self-isolation would have been almost impossible to film. No, the band wanted User-Generated Content (UGC) from the fans, with footage showcasing their emotional stories, and their incredible positivity, as the narrative for the video. 

OneRepublic put out social posts asking fans to submit their videos using their smartphones and the Cinebody video collaboration tool. It was a simple request: download the app, record yourself doing anything that would express how you’re doing during the crisis, and then share it with the band. 


OneRepublic-Better Days

“This was an opportunity to do something truly fan-focused and from the heart,” said Josh Ricks, producer and director of the video. “The footage that came in, it was just so powerful. We got videos from first responders, families with their pets, people staying healthy, and amazing acts of kindness from fans who are refusing to be beaten by this. It was genuine, it was emotional, and it’s definitely one of the most moving music videos I’ve ever worked on.”

As Cinebody lets you creatively direct your fan base with a shot list, Josh and the band could outline exactly what kind of footage they wanted. The software also lets you set FPS, RES and orientation so that all the footage has a consistent look, regardless of who is shooting and where it’s being filmed. And the auto-upload feature delivers the content in real-time.  

The band received thousands of entries, and included as many different stories from their fans around the world as they could. You can see the finished video here, and it’s every bit as poignant as Josh said. 

In these times of quarantine, stay-at-home orders, and empty production studios, OneRepublic has shown that you can not only create video content, but truly powerful and unique content that can tap into fans from all corners of the globe.