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The Story of: “A Brand New Day” Music Video

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?Picture of Sheldon O'Neill

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.

Behind the scenes shot of the music video

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.

About the Author:photo of Author, and Filmmaker Kenn Crawford

Kenn Crawford is an author and filmmaker from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Click HERE to watch his YouTube Videos

Kenn Crawford’s “Night Before Christmas”

T’was the night before Christmas and all through Cape Breton
I hope this crappy rain don’t stop the presents we’re gettin’
The stockings were hung by the coal stove with care,
Pit-socks and mittens and long underwear.

The damn kids are running wild and won’t go to bed
I shouldn’t of fed them so much sugar, okay ’nuff said.
The wife in her Lulus and I in my ball cap
Can’t figure out how to assemble this crap.

The toy parts are piled all in a heap
“Some assembly required” really means you ain’t gettin’ sleep.
So crack open a beer and try to enjoy,
The five minutes they play with it before it’s destroyed.

Then out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I thought it was my neighbor stealin’ back his ladder.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Knocked over my beer and the weed I had stashed.

I stubbed my toe on a table and let out a yelp
Then cried like a baby… hey, that hurt like hell.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
Some fat old guy with a six pack of beer.

He looked half tanked, neither lively nor quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Saint Nick.
More rapid than The Eagles at a Centre 200 game,
He tripped over his feet, then threw up again!

“Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer and Vixen,
On Comet and Ajax and Mr. Clean…” Yup, he’s drunk and a-fixin
To knock down our tree of that I am sure
He’s had too many beers, I can tell by his slur.

His eyes how they twinkled, his dimples how merry
His cheeks were like roses and he was singin’ Katy Perry.
But no Christmas song ever passed o’re his lips
He sang I kissed a girl… and I liked it.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
Then the by-law police came crashin’ through the door
And took away his pipe – you can’t smoke in public no more.

Santa was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed so hard when the old drunk pissed himself!
With a wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
He knocked over the tree and broke the toy sled.

He spoke not a word, he was too drunk to talk,
He can’t hold his liquor, a true Caper he’s not.
Then laying his finger aside of his nose,
He snorted a line… it was coke I suppose.

Then he sprang to his sleigh, more wired than sound,
More determined than ever not to let the kids down.
And I heard him exclaim as he flew outta sight,
“Merry Christmas Cape Breton, and to all a good night!”


Welcome to KennCrawford dot com

Photo of Kenn CrawfordI completely revamped my website to focusing on film making –  everything from what I learned shooting my first short film to the trials and tribulations of putting together a feature-length film will be shared here.

The site is so new I’m still playing with the bubble wrap, but new content and pages will be added so please bookmark this site and come back often.