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November Rain entails Axl and then-girlfriend Stephanie Seymour being wed, interspersed with a live performance in a theatre. Particularly, it can be noted for its large budget (about $1.5 million) and stunning cinematography. Lead guitarist Slash is prominently featured in some of the video's most memorable scenes, including an epic sequence of helicopter shots swooping around him as he plays the first guitar solo and a later scene where he plays while standing on Axl's piano onstage. A theatre in downtown Los Angeles was acquired for an evening shoot that went several hours into the night.
For the outside shots of Slash while he is playing the first solo, Axl had originally envisioned it taking place in a "cool field" of sorts. However, since the video was shot in winter, there were no good-looking fields around, and eventually the band decided to use a church in New Mexico.
The priest in the video was a friend of Axl's. Unbeknownst to the band, the church used for the interior shots was where the priest had performed some of his last services, eight years prior to the shooting of the video.
Although the video doesn't explain how the girlfriend died, it can be seen, by looking at the girlfriend in the casket, that there is a line down her face; that is, a mirror. It can therefore be inferred that, as in the short story, the girlfriend was shot in the head. This scene implies that Seymour shot herself. However, another theory involves an early reference in which Axl walks alone at night, past a gunshop with an open door. Some view this scene as an indication that Axl was the shooter: the suicide/homicide ambiguity corresponds to the storied protagonist's guilt over precipitating the suicide. Many, however, just think the gun store was a reference to the band name, because of the florists' shop adjacent to the gun shop. Some think that Axl walking past the gun store is a metaphor; that he didn't physically shoot her, but he inspired/pushed her into killing herself. Others say it shows the gun store after she has visited, and that it is an indication that Axl is too late to stop her. A last theory is that the bride was killed on the wedding day during the "November Rain" storm that begins to fall at the reception. After a lightning strike, we see the bride's bouquet hits a casket in a slow-motion sequence. This may imply that she was struck by lightning and killed instantly.