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  • Will

Expressing Real Love for St. Louis

I remember as a teen, watching the Cardinals play the Pittsburgh Pirates, sitting above first base in the nose bleeds. It was a late game to begin with, and there was a rain delay for several hours after the 1st or second inning, then the game went into like 16 innings, so the game didn't conclude until the sun peaked over the eastern horizon. Since almost no one came back after the rain delay, I moved down to the first row just over the dugout and caught a foul ball (Well, it landed pretty far from me but there was no one else around to get it). I haven't really been to a Major League game since, and I honestly don't think I'll ever get the same experience.

The next day I went for a walk around the place I was staying and stumbled upon this big group of kids and their mentors in a tiny little park situated somewhere in South St. Louis. I have no idea if they were a church group or an orphanage, but they fed me, we blew a bunch of bubbles, we hacky sacked, we had live music, just played a bunch of games. It was somehow more fun than the Baseball game.

I've always had a great Love for the city of St. Louis, so it was important to me that this Music Video was shot there.

Around the corner from where we're shooting downtown, before a big mural much like the dozens of artistic pieces that adorn every street corner, a photographer and model went about a photoshoot. Caddy-cornered to them a musician blares the saxophone. People are so hospitable to give you whatever space you need to shoot. My feelings towards St. Louis were certainly validated in the time we spent there unlike many other cities where I've stayed.

That's precisely why our Music Video opens with footage of the downtown area, which would serve as a backdrop for much of the film. Kris stands atop a high parking garage surrounded by nearby buildings, its like he's trying to get a bird's eye view, like he's trying to find 'Real Love' but literally. He is, after all, looking out over the edge in the very first shot we see him in.

In contrast to the cityscape, our dancer, Liv, appears in a natural environment complete with a waterfall in the distant background and fireflies buzzing around. This stark contrast in locations is meant to refer to the notion of 'looking for Love in all the wrong places'. Rather than trying to express a great distance, or a great divide in time, we instead chose to visualize it, the cityscape is high-key and vertical with big sweeping camera movements, panning back and forth just as someone searching across the area would. While the natural landscape is very low-key, wide and with minimal camera movement.

The fireflies symbolize a guiding light to finding this concept of 'Real Love', since Fireflies are a naturally occurring thing and Love should come naturally, not forced or artificial. This setting, as well as the dancer herself, could be viewed as an idea in Kris's head, since the first time they appear in the same frame she is literally inside the figure of his head. At least this is true when she appears in the natural landscape.

Anytime Liv appears in Kris's head, his eyes are unseen. This is a way of symbolizing the way someone may be blinded by their idea of 'Real Love' and can't see that reality may be much closer to his own than they realize.

Let me explain:

Both Kris and Liv appear in front of a stark white background, this is suggesting that neither the cityscape or natural environment are real, but this is, and their state of mind, philosophy and such are the same, they just can't see because they face opposite directions looking away from each other.

In these scenes, Kris is seen to have a fire burning (literally) inside of him, later the sparks floating up, becomes flakes of snow falling down, and later still, this fire has become just smoke originating from unseen, and fading embers. This symbolizes the cynicism that extinguishes the passion inside someone after years of failed relationships and heartbreak.

Liv is consumed by a thick smoke that eventually causes her to vanish entirely. This symbolizes a great sadness welling up from inside someone or maybe lingering baggage, insecurity or trauma that prevents good relationships from forming so often.

This event is what causes Kris's fire to go out in the first place.

As Liv vanishes, so too does the idea of "Real Love' in Kris's mind. Breaking up into nothing more than fireflies, a light guiding you nowhere and in the following shot, Kris's eyes are opened to the cruel reality. Kris, too dissipates into nothing after he loses any hope of finding 'Real Love'.

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