Photo above: Andrique and Chris, co-producers of PAIN.
From WickedLocal Cambridge
By: Monica Jimenez Cambridge@wickedlocal.com
Posted: March 14, 2017
Think of a music video and you probably envision close-ups of a pop star singing, shots of striking scenery, and a simple romantic narrative.
Cambridge Rindge and Latin senior Andrique Fleurimond and junior Noah Gonci, who were honored as top-10 finalists in the student category at the Salem Film Fest last week, have a different take.
Fleurimond's video, set to the song "Pain" by JT, opens with fellow senior John Teal against a black background in a camouflage hat and collared shirt, rapping the words to a poem he wrote himself.
"My police description: full of hate, wicked intentions at heart," he says.
His voice forceful and passionate, he grabs the mic and speaks directly into it. "I wrote this, just a statistic up in detention. No matter what school told me, I've had a greater vision, so powerful that I can see the flaws in the religion."
Fleurimond, who made the video in Dacia Antunes' Music Video Production class at CRLS, said when Teal first suggested using the poem, he didn't think it would work. But when Teal performed it for him, he was touched.
"It's relatable for other black males and teens our age. He's basically speaking up not just for himself but for them as well, which really connected with me," Fleurimond said.
The poem expressed Teal's frustration with the issue of police brutality, and showed how others can be advocates for themselves, Fleurimond said.
"I've had discussions about police brutality where I was frustrated and I felt like we could do more tackling it instead of complaining about it all the time," Fleurimond said. "When we made 'Pain,' that's why I wanted to get it out to film festivals and do discussions."
Fleurimond said he was excited to be chosen as a Top 3 finalist at the festival.
"I know the video is probably going to get across to someone and someone's going to care about it," Fleurimond said. "And getting our names known to other people is a really good feeling, to just know people appreciate your work."
Future in film making
Gonci, who took Music Video Production with Ross Matthei at CRLS, worked with classmate Alon Jacobson to create a video to the song "Music is Math" by Boards of Canada. They chose to depict how artificial intelligence is slowly replacing humans.
"I started thinking of what makes sense to show AI interacting with humans. There's a space in the media arts studio where class is held and there's a lot of technology there," Gonci said. "It was the perfect place to film it."
Gonci came up with the idea to interpret the song as a conversation between a human and a computer, and filmed Jacobson in the media studio while listening to the song. Then he edited the video at home.
"I took that literally and decided to plan out how a human would interact with a computer and what to show of the computer and the human," Gonci said.
Jacobson, who wrote the music for the video, said he started off using "Canon in D" as a base, but it was too happy. So he rerecorded "Music is Math," coming up with his own lyrics about apathy.
"The vocals are computer text-to-speech voices, called Ralph and Kathy on Mac," he explained. "I got the idea from deadmau5, my favorite music maker, who used those two voices in some of his songs."
Gonci said he didn't even know his teacher had submitted the video to the Salem Film Festival, and was quite humble about his win.
"The project was not perfect, but I think it was the best for the time we had," Gonci said. But he added, "It was definitely a good feeling to know people like what I make."
Gonci has always enjoyed making videos and works after school at the media arts center making short news clips about CRLS, he said.
He already has a few short films under his belt, including one he made for a film class he took at Harvard University, which featured two people wearing crocodile and unicorn masks who come from faraway places and meet up in Boston Common.
In the future, Gonci hopes to learn more about cinematography, the history of film, and directing, he said.
Fleurimond said he started out making hype videos for the CRLS basketball team. When friends and teachers responded well, he realized he could use his skills to create videos with a message.
He has been accepted at the New England Institute of Technology and plans to major in digital media production and study sound and radio work as well as video.
"I hope I can make more videos and work with other artists," Fleurimond said. "I like helping people out and being an amplifier for people, making sure their voice is heard."