Cash's video was directed by Mark Romanek, who previously directed videos by U2, Michael Jackson and Madonna. He also directed the 2002 Robin Williams movie One Hour Photo
. He shot some of the video at the House Of Cash Museum, which contained a lot of Cash's memorabilia but had been closed for years and was damaged in a flood. Romanek felt the museum was an honest and powerful reflection of Cash's life. He said of Johnny Cash's video in The Guardian
September 24, 2005: "Johnny's producer, Rick Rubin, played me this track long before its release and I was so struck by it I said, 'We have to film something to go with this.' I'm a massive Johnny Cash fan and had been lined up to shoot a video for him a few years before which Anton Corbijn ended up doing instead. So this time I made Rick promise me I could make it. He called me on a Tuesday and said, 'Johnny's going on holiday to his ranch in Jamaica on Saturday so if you want to make this you better make it quick.'
I'm someone who usually takes a minimum of two weeks to prep a video but this was Johnny Cash. So I jumped on a redeye to Nashville with my producer and a cameraman and arrived on Friday with no idea of what I was going to make. I looked around the house and made a few suggestions of where we might film Johnny performing. I was making it up off the top of my head. Then I went to the House of Cash Museum and found it in total disrepair.
There was no time to clean it up so I decided that I'd just film it, and Johnny, exactly as they were. He was no longer in his prime - he was fading and that was what I wanted to show. While I was filming the opening segment of Johnny playing guitar in his living room, his wife, June, came down the stairs and watched. The look on her face was so complex: full of love and pride and concern for her husband. So I asked her if I could film her too and she agreed. But the most important element was when we discovered a film archive in the museum. When we looked back at the rushes we'd filmed at the house we thought they were good but not great. But once we dropped in the archive footage of Johnny we realized that was the soul of the video. The whole thing was so spontaneous. It's made me realize that sometimes you can be too prepared and that there's some value to urgency."
The video was so intimate that Cash's management didn't think it should be released, and Johnny was leaning in that direction. According to Rick Rubin, it was his daughter, Rosanne Cash
, who convinced him to let it go. June Carter Cash, died later that year.