My Role: Video Editor
Videographers: Robert Blackmon and Jill Gurr
Create Now asked me to edit a 3-5 minute video highlighting their recent cultural exchange with Hip-Hop artists from Tunisia and Egypt. The project was challenging in that it required me to whittle down about 100 minutes of provided footage into only 5 minutes.
I began the project by creating a rough outline conveying how the video would be layed out. The video would begin with an introduction of the participants and the event, go on to feature the conversations of the exchange and conclude with the performances of the hip-hop artists.
Some background information from Create Now :
We’re honored that the Department of Global Connections through FHI 360 (an adjunct of the U.S. Department of State) invited Create Now to meet with four unique hip-hop artists on a project entitled, “Youth Entrepreneurship: The Musical Connection.”
Through our Arts xChange program, on December 12th, we had the opportunity to host these hip-hop artists from Tunisia and Egypt at our offices. They are all very popular in their countries with large spheres of influence amongst Middle-Eastern youth. They’re using hip-hop music to stop their youth from becoming jihadists, and to also get them to watch the daily news.
From Tunisia came “Bliddogg” (a top rapper/music video artist), and Kouki Dateacher (had a popular TV show and now runs a hit radio program for youth). From Egypt, we met The General (reaches thousands of youth through his music), and Temraz (produced three albums and helped start the only hip-hop radio station in the region).
Also present were Create Now board member Mark Schulman (drummer for P!nk and Cher), mentor Mike Madariaga (guitarist), and Gabe Rosales (rapper, musician and activist), along with Jill Gurr (Founder and Executive Director) and Laura Kelly (Director of Programs). It was a very powerful meeting that sparked amazing global connections.
Then, we brought our guests to Vortex Dome LA, in collaboration with C3: Center for Conscious Creativity. Everyone was enthralled by the phenomenal demo, especially the hip-hop music video “The Storm,” by Seminole Indians. They got to meet the producer Jenni Ogden of EyeQ Productions. All the artists were able to perform together, while their images were creatively projected in the dome. It was a very impressive show.
Temraz said, “I really like what Create Now is doing to change the world. In Egypt we want to make something like this.” Afterwards, deeper contacts were made, including the chance for these artists to build Universal Zulu Nation chapters in their countries.
We’re grateful for the opportunity to share our work with others around the world, and to also learn from them so that we can continue to improve and expand our reach to more troubled youth. As Karim Dateacher remarked, “We never stop learning. We’re doing the same thing you’re doing in different countries. This is really huge, to keep helping kids get out of their negative spaces.”