project details

Love Thy Neighbor

When I was asked to create an opener for The Justice Conference the images came quick: an all-male drum line battling an all-girl hip-hop crew in an elementary gymnasium. 

Ideas don't always come fast, but boy am I grateful when they do. 

OVER BLACK WE READ:

“The most damaging idolatry is not the golden calf but enmity against the other.” - Rene Girard

As the quote fades away we hear the rat-a-tat-tat of a single drum.

INT: DAY - HAZE-FILLED GYMNASIUM (CENTER COURT)

Standing strong at center court we see him: an african-american drummer with his hat cocked to the side and one eye covered with a glittering eye patch. It’s obvious that he’s a leader. The feeling is fast, but not too crazy.

INT: MOMENTS LATER - HAZE-FILLED (GYMNASIUM STAGE)

As the music continues, we snap to a young, female dancer, free-styling on the stage at the other end of the gym. She is wild and free and loaded with personality. It’s clear she’s got leadership running in her blood as well.

INT: MOMENTS LATER - HAZE-FILLED GYMNASIUM (CENTER COURT)

Out from behind our band leader comes the rest of the crew. They are a fun and ruckus bunch, playing full throttle. The camera moves and grooves.

INT: MOMENTS LATER - HAZE-FILLED (GYMNASIUM STAGE)

The music picks up, as we snap back to the dancer who has been joined by her own crew of all-female dancers. They freestyle.

The girls dance their way off the stage and towards the boys at center court. Their eyes burn with defiance.

The girls circle the boys as we snap cut back and forth to each crew as they prepare for the inevitable: a face-off.

INT: MOMENTS LATER - HAZE-FILLED GYMNASIUM (CENTER COURT)

The crews are lined up on either side of center court.

Everyone has their bad ass faces on.

We go overhead to reveal the two factions about to go to war, then crane down to reveal our male band-leader facing off with our female dancer at center court.

Game! On!

The band plays a quick, hard-driving cadence ending with a: “take that, ladies”

The dancers return the volley with something equally hardcore.

The drumline hits back hard.

The dancers hit back even harder.

The drumline ups the ante again. They are are their absolute top speed.

One more chance for the ladies to prove themselves. They kill it.

They stand still, breathless and sweating, staring at each other.

We hear a heart beating, a breath or two, and the slow-motion droplet of sweat hitting pavement.

As the sweat hits the ground...

EXT: GOLDEN HOUR - ROOFTOP WITH CITY SKYLINE VIEWS

...the music returns and we find ourselves transported to a roof top.

No big deal. The beat goes on.

The lead drummer drums, but this time, the leader dancer joins his beat instead of fighting it.

Each crew looks quizzically at each other...

...then decides to join in as well.

The music is at a fever pitch as everyone breaks into a final few choreographed measures where everyone moves, dances, and plays in unison.

We hear three final, enormous beats, as we slam into the words:

LOVE

THY

NEIGHBOR

Credits

Director: Blaine Hogan

DP: Kody Zenger

Producer: Sherri Meyer

Gaffer: Scotty Mo

Grip: Tristen Crow

Subscribe to my super-cool newsletter

subscribe
Thank you for subscribing! Please check your email for further instructions.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.