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Do you ever stare out at the night sky and wonder where the universe ends, and if it doesn’t end - what that might mean?  We are making a music video for the song “Tell-Me” by experimental musical artist Black Pace, AKA Mwayi Thathianah Mphande (formerly Lady Pace, pronouns they/them/theirs)) The music video incorporates astro-videography, and macro-videography to explore if, and how we are all connected; and to discover if there is a pattern, a logic to the universe. 

Black Pace’s Story:

I have been through a lot of changes recently. I am a refugee from Malawi, but now I live on the other side of the world, on Bowen Island, a small island off the coast of Vancouver BC. In Malawi, I had established myself as an emerging Malawian hip-hop artist, but I must now rebuild my career in a new country and in a new language:

“New country, new name, new musical direction,” It meant leaving my family, friends, and all that was familiar. This epic journey inspired the song ‘Tell Me’; and many of the other songs on my new album “Bite My Mind”. “Tell Me is a deeply personal song; I was searching for a place to call home”. All of the songs on my new album are a departure from the straight-up hip-hop that I produced under the name ‘Lady Pace’.  The songs came about through working with Shael Wrinch, a local producer on Bowen Island, who traditionally worked with folk musicians. ‘Our collaboration pushed us both to new territories, and new ways of working. It was truly collaborative.’ 

I want to make a music video for this song for a lot of reasons, I want to open up my music to new audiences, I want to be able to keep making music, music like this. I don’t mean the style, I mean pushing myself to work outside of what I have done before. To keep making something new to me, keep challenging myself. I also want to help other young women like me, with a background like mine to succeed. I want to be a positive role model. 

I knew I wanted to work with a local director. I really loved Daniella’s work, and she has a lot of experience producing, which I knew would be important. 

The director’s take:

“When I heard the song for the first time the image of a telescope and a microscope flickered in my mind.  At first I thought that was a bit crazy, but then I remembered a quote by the surrealist artist Leonora Carrington: “The task of the right eye is to peer into the telescope, while the left eye peers into the microscope.” This became the guiding image for the video, because to me the song feels like searching for something we will never find. Mwayi/Black Pace loved the image, and felt it resonated with the song and with her journey.

About the video:

Humans have been staring up into the night sky on  clear moonless nights for as long as we have had eyes, and frontal lobes. There is something fascinating about how we have continually defined our place in the universe by defining and redefining the patterns we find.  

This is a creatively exciting project for us. We decided to actually shoot the night sky rather than buy stock footage. This means we can shoot exactly what and where we want and we get to work with the super-talented astro-photographer Liron Gertsman. We will shoot in the location that we will be using for the performance shots with Black Pace and the band so it will feel more authentic. And best of all Liron has agreed to do a talk on astro-photography to our upper-tier donors. We will also be building a DIY science lab with art-director Cris Karolys so we can shoot right down into the tiniest atoms that make up our universe (not really, it’s just pretend). 

All of the money we can pull together with crowdfunding will be spent on what we see on the screen. Locations, costumes, art-direction, animation of some of the night sky elements, and the micro-photography effects. 

To understand the story a little deeper, check out the storyboard. 

In this first page, the video opens and Black Pace is standing on a rocky bluff at night watching the stars. We see them illuminated by star-light, the star-trails illustrate they have been standing for some time. We see Black Pace performing the song. When we see them again, they are back on the bluff but this time with a telescope....

Through the telescope Black Pace has a closer look at the sky but it is still vague. We cut away to more performance footage of a drummer. Black pace has gone to an observatory to find an even bigger telescope. 

When Black Pace looks into the big telescope at the observatory we cut to the band performing the song 'in the studio'. This is intercut with animated footage of 'outerspace'. 

The video ends, back at the bluff with Black Pace staring once again in to the night sky. 

Do you have any Stretch Goals for if the project surpasses 100% funded?

We are glad you asked: Our story had initially included the idea of the micro-videography being done in a DIY science-lab (doesn't everyone have one).  If we can surpass our funding goals by at least $750 we can build + shoot this. It will be built outside from found and borrowed objects. The nature of the lab is looking closely for the nature of things we do not fully understand such as tears of sorrow, and tears of joy, the breathe of an angel, fingerprint from the hands of time.... 

What is happening right now?

Currently we are  in full prep mode. We are crewing up, researching the best ways of shooting the night sky, where we will shoot, and how we will shoot the green-screen shots of Black Pace to match with our star-trails. We are contacting observatories that are in, or near our vicinity and working with the art-director to come up with solutions if we cannot get an observatory.

The funding we raise through this campaign will allow us to move into production.

When we have completed the music video we will be holding an initial Sneak-Peak screening party for our Way-Finder Patrons. This screening is for feedback and comments on the edit.

After any last minute adjustments and once we have a 'final-cut' will be planning a live stream release exclusively for patrons, before we do a facebook live for Black Pace's fans and the general public. 

If you are a Way-Finder patron we will send you an invite to the Sneak-Peak screening, and if you are a patron at any other level you will receive an invite to the live-stream premiere. If you aren't a patron,  but really want to watch the video and see the live stream you can sign up for our updates and we will make sure you receive a link for Black Pace's Live Stream and Video Drop.

How can you get involved?

FOLLOW: Stay up to date on our progress by following us on facebook, and twitter. 

PLEDGE: Pledge to support the project and become one of our patrons.

SHARE: Share our campaign with your friends and encourage them to support indy-artists. 

Tell Me - Music Video Facebook Page - Please LIKE + SHARE

Covid-19 Production Plan:

We have a comprehensive Covid-19 production plan based on the best-practices adopted by the BC production industry. All crew and cast must be vaccinated, they must agree to a Covid-test before production begins. As our crew is small we will be able to observe 'safe-distance' protocols and when we cannot all off-camera personnel will be required to wear a mask. We will also ensure flexibility in our locations should we need to reschedule any shoot days due to a key member of crew or cast being ill.