Director's Commentary & Behind the Scenes: His Eye is on the Sparrow - Elmer Diaz (Music Video)




It was a blessing working & collaborating with music artist Elmer Diaz on his very first music video.  After he saw my work online, he contacted me early June asking if he worked with me on the music video.  I've heard his music in the past and I definitely enjoyed listening to it.  I saw his efforts in spreading God's love to other people through music, and I wanted to help spread and enhance his ministry.  It was by no doubt that I willingly agreed to work with him.



THE CONCEPT 

At first we thought we would do a music video with just shots of him singing at various places around downtown Naples, but I wanted to visually bring the lyrics of the song to life.  The song that we decided to work on is a famous gospel hymn entitled, "His Eye is on the Sparrow."  It took some online research into the song to understand the concept and story that the songwriter wanted to emphasize.  The song is based on a passage from the Bible found in Matthew 6:26:

"Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?"

The song reminds us that whatever problems we're facing in life, whether they may be physically, emotionally, etc., God is always caring and supplying our needs every single day of our lives.  He values each and every one of us so much.  Why should we be discouraged and down in life?  The life we are living in this world is temporary and soon we will be in heaven with God and with immortal, incorruptible bodies.  That was what I wanted to portray in the music video.  

The plot of the story in the video portrays an elderly gentleman who is confined to the wheelchair for the rest of his life.  In his early years, he would train for a marathon.  He loved to exercise and run.  But soon after, he encountered a serious accident, a traumatic experience that left his legs permanently useless for the rest of his life.  There were times in his life where he felt discouraged and depressed.  But knowing that God was always with him, he turned to the Bible for inspiration, comfort, and hope.

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THE LOOK

Some of the locations, the color tones, and light exposure in the music video help express and enhance the story.  For instance, the color tones in the flashback scene are washed out a little bit to express the past life of the crippled elderly gentleman, before he was confined to the wheelchair.  I also added a little bit of sepia as well as a black vignette.

The scene where the elderly gentleman was reading the Bible -- I had the camera let in a good amount of light and added a bit more saturation and warmth to the image, emphasizing the feeling of hope.

  The key change in the song changes to a more glorious and uplifting tone, so from the visual perspective, I brought the last scene in the music video to a more glorious perspective, which is at the beach.

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THE CAST

Elmer Diaz - featured music artist; lead singer
William Rayburn - crippled elderly gentleman
Michael Neubrander - younger version of crippled elderly gentleman
Erny-Jay Mariquit - marathon friend
Skip Bernard- runner
Juan Morales - elderly gentleman's friend

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THE PRODUCTION

 (Behind the scenes video coming soon!)

[ DAY 1 ]
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It was on a Thursday and I headed down to Naples to start filming the introduction scene of the music video.  It was shot at a downtown park.  It took us an entire afternoon to shoot it.  By the time we finished it was already sundown.

[ DAY 2 ]
 We headed down over to Bill's place at a community clubhouse to film the scene where he pulls out the picture and reads the Bible.  I utilized a miniature dolly to get smooth push-in shots.

 Later that day, we went over to the beach but unfortunately, we had to cancel the shoot because of a thunderstorm in the area.

[ DAY 3 ]
Final video shoot session in Naples:  The weather channel predicted a 30% chance of isolated thunderstorms, so I took that chance and drove all the way back down to Naples to shoot the final scene, which is at the beach.  Fortunately, the weather looked awesome for the whole day.  I was so happy getting that final shot of Elmer walking by the shore with his guitar!  The coloration of the evening sky, the texture of the ocean and shoreline, and the sun in the background make the entire scene look beautiful!  It was an awesome day to shoot!

[ DAY 4 ]
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The final day of the music video shoot:  Headed down to Orlando to meet up with my friends that worked with me on my last music video ("Everyone Needs") to help me shoot the flashback scene for this music video project.  Thanks to my friend, Steven, we got some nice, smooth dolly shots (using a car) of our character as he was training.