Check out http://www.youtube.com/goldenstatewarriors for the game 1 #dubnation feature. Shout out to The best hype man in the bay @francofinn (at Staples Center, Los Angeles)
Yes, as a rule, time is money, but when it comes to low-budget filmmaking, sometimes the time you spend working with experienced collaborators can end up
Skateboard P stops by to talk about his new album and personal life.
When I first stumbled across this rendition of The Eagle’s classic I immediately fell in love and countlessly listened to it day and night for leisure. As I added to the listen count, visions started forming in my head and soon enough a story developed. This short is very lyric driven and is actually told through the lyrics if you pay close attention. During this time I was leading my campus ministry’s small group at God’s Extended Hand, a local homeless shelter in downtown San Diego, serving dinner and helping out with other tasks at the facility on a biweekly basis during the spring semester of 2013. Through my numerous interactions with the homeless people I broke bread with, I gained a perspective that would ultimately break my heart. Conversations about their past, how they got to where they are now, and their struggles that keep them where they are left me speechless. Homelessness is so common in our society that it has become accepted in a way. Yet we tend to overlook that they have feelings just like us, a history just like us, and are human beings just like us. To be honest, I was really scared to put out and do something like this. Social injustice and homelessness are such BIG topics and fears of not portraying it justice made me hesitant (I knew this was not something to take lightly). So you could imagine all the pre-production that went into this (a years worth which included serving and interacting both in the shelter and out, research/study through credited sites and scripture, as well as prayer and just having myself in a state that was compassionate for them). I didn’t want to create something based off my own assumptions as it would come off very disrespectful and not authentic. As expected, God kept pressing it into my heart time after time and I knew I was called to be a vessel for Him and spread his word.
*Majority of the film was de-saturated to represent darkness, loneliness, neglect, and no life. It was also filmed “guerilla/handheld” style to give it a more raw, real, and authentic feel.
In the beginning/set up we see a businessman in a rush as he is late for work, as the camera pans we are introduced to the homeless man. It was extremely important for me to have the heavy contrast between the “lowest of low” and “highest of high.” As seen, the homeless man is basically invisible to the businessman.
The typical image of a homeless man holding a sign amongst a busy area came to mind when I heard the lyrics “I was standing all alone against the world outside.”
“You were searching for a place to hide” gave me the idea of that uncomfortable interaction when homeless people attempt to communicate and they are ignored.
I knew after being neglected I wanted to focus on the homeless man’s pain that was being experienced for “lost and lonely…” Eventually the homeless man would accept it and just carry forward.
When I heard the 2nd verse (“don’t you worry, sometimes you just got to let it ride”) I knew I wanted a scene that showed the homeless man tired and defeated sitting on the ground as flocks of people pass by (emphasizing being ignored and invisible again). And then the turning point! Amongst him being at a place where all hope is lost, there is hope. I knew within the crowd walking past him I wanted “that compassionate person” homeless people experience every now and then to drop off a bag of food (“the world is changing right before your eyes”). Keep in mind, although there is a change for the better at this point there is still yet to be personal interaction. For the remainder of the 2nd verse I wanted the viewer to really just soak in what happened and take the time to see the effect of the stranger’s generosity. We see the homeless man start to daydream as he continues eating.
Continuing off the daydream I pictured seeing the homeless man’s eye and in it was his past and what he ultimately longs for (a sense of community and being accepted). This was a big thing for me to get across as this is commonly overlooked and was a major thing I received during my interactions at the shelter. The hint of color within the eye indicates light in darkness and hope in despair.
Being a dancer I wanted to use dance as an artistic way to express the homeless man picking himself back up (sorry if it comes off random). I would consider this part the climax as the music and change of pace for the better continues to build. The choreography was meant to have him grounded initially representing the neglect he took, it would eventually be followed by him rising up and regaining strength/hope.
This is where everything comes in full circle. The 1st verse reprises but this time we see the businessman beat after a long day of work. He can’t find his key as he tries to get into his car (the key dropped during the time he was rushing to work) and now he is experiencing his own personal time of despair. As he pulls out his phone to call for help, the homeless man presents his misplaced key to him. This moment is what leads to the resolution as we see the homeless man go out of his way and do a good deed regardless of what he’s endured and is looked as by society. Initially the businessman is speechless and has no reaction, but soon enough chases down the homeless man on his own will and personally thanks him (this is the first time we see someone physically touch the homeless man). This is a big moment as we see the businessman go out of his way for the homeless man (he could’ve just said thank you or even drove off). Importantly, this is where the homeless man is acknowledged and doesn’t feel invisible anymore (the businessman even goes down to his dog/best friend and interacts with him which emphasizes him being acknowledged). As the two separate and continue their days, I wanted the last shot to be of the homeless man walking away and smiling at last (the use of color stemming from his smile is the same representation used during the “eye scene,” light is being brought into darkness and hope is being brought into despair). If I wanted the viewer to get anything out of this short I knew it needed to be the last thing they saw, an ending still image of the homeless man with his dog and sign that instead reads, “Love Will Keep Us Alive.”
SO this was another project I’ve been working on. It was written Sy Bartolome. I had the honor of filming it and putting it together.
Please take the time to read this excerpt, especially after watching this Short Film. I feel the words of Sy was eloquently said, so I’ll leave the interpretation up to Sy (please read the blog above)
On top of what the story is about, I feel very spirit led making this film. I am at a point in life where I wanted to express more with film making, to be quite frank, I wanted to take a break from dance videos. Not saying I’m gonna stop, I just wanted to venture in other mediums of film. Although, I was hesitant to do this film at first, the Holy Spirit pushed me to take on this project. After reading the script, I just knew I had to be apart of this project. Deep down in my heart, I wanted to be apart of projects that can impact people, as well as, sharing the Love of God to others in the world…and that is why I am excited for everyone to see this. Hope you all enjoy God Bless.
Watch the full video by clicking the link above!
Nice GIFs of the dance portion of the video. Now I need to get on that “anthony” level and have someone make a “fyeahxavier”
Just wanted to say that many people the past year always asked me if I was still editing/directing. People always wondered that, cause they haven’t seen much material from me lately. The truth is I’ve been trying to learn new things and hopefuly to take my craft to new heights. It was just a long long process of developing new skills. Fortunately, I got to work with Vinh and Anthony and they gave me the freedom to put them in a crazy place. I suggested to green screen this whole thing and pull off a 300. Everything was shot in front of a green screen. This was the most challenging and labor intese project I ever delt with. Lets just say it took months to do. Although it was very tedious, I was excited to showcase some of the vfx I’ve been learning.
Anthony green screen vfx breakdown
the challenge was to blend the raw footage to the background. I am very pleased how it turned out cause we shot this indoors and made it look like they are outside. (if you were wondering where they are at…they are in the Not So Distant Future, somewhere in the pacific)
its been a year. No need to wait much longer, cause the next video I directed is finally done.
Laughs and jokes for days in rehearsal. Dancing is fun… and it should always be that way. These folks remind me why I continue to pursue what I love and do what I do. Happy New Year to ya! #Frenemies #missingalotofpeople #nowifonlywecouldgetmorestuffdoneinpractice….. #nahhhh 😏 (at Culture Shock Dance Center)
"No. It’s not a game. This is the world. It is not the one we were supposed to have, but it’s the one we made. We did this. We did it with open eyes and willing hands. We broke it, and there is no putting it back together. But I’m damned already…so at least I’m going to try."