With the lyrics in one hand and a coffee in the other I paced the floors trying to come up with a concept for Sheldon O’Neill’s latest video “A Brand New Day.” He asked if his ten year old son Stefhaun could be in it too, but other than that it was up to me to come up with an idea for his video.
With the song on repeat I jotted down ideas, only stopping long enough to refill my cup, until a “story” presented itself. I started with the standard “shot-by-shot” and wrote down a visual that would match the lyrics exactly, resulting in images of war, famine, nuclear explosions and so on. Visually it would have been intense, but did those graphic pictures best serve the song?
In the lyrics Sheldon mentioned so many things that are wrong with the world that I decided to focus on just one of those and build a story line around that. But which one?
My friend Andrew stopped by with a coffee and we tossed a few ideas around. Shortly thereafter the idea of a homeless man struck a chord with me and that was the idea I knew I needed to develop.
A couple of hours and a few cups of coffee later the story was set – a homeless man is seen pushing a cart and going through dumpsters looking for food. He’s cold and hungry and everything he owns is in that cart, and a bunch of teens start tormenting him by taking something he owns. Another teen sees what is happening and does nothing to help. Later on the homeless man is seen holding a sign begging for help but is ignored until this one child wants to stop and help him, much to the dismay of his father who yanks on his arm and forces him to stay away from the homeless man.
Later, the young son is sitting in a restaurant with his father when the homeless man is seen pushing his cart by the window. The father of course is too busy talking on the phone to notice so the child decides enough is enough – he grabs his food and runs outside and offers his meal to the homeless man.
With the story set, Margie and I began working out the rest of the video, including performance shots of Sheldon singing next to a fence with some pallets and against a concrete wall to give an “urban decay” feel to that part of the story. We also designed the shoot around a church to show “hope” – the homeless man visits the church while Sheldon is performing his song that tells the story of how the world has gone astray, but there’s still hope for a brand new day.
Here’s the final video.
I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed making it.
Kenn Crawford is an author and filmmaker from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Click HERE to watch his YouTube Videos