These are the faces of many of our Greenbelt city staffers and nonprofit service providers, seen lighting candles in the window of their facility and waving to the camera for a special holiday video. The YouTube text explains that it serves to “assure the community that all Greenbelt institutions and facilities are keeping watch through the pandemic and looking forward with hope and confidence to welcoming everyone again.”
Well, watching it moved me to tears, and from comments I’ve seen already about the video, I’m not alone. I think it’s because we miss seeing these people so much, and even going into their facilities, even the most humble ones, during these long months of the pandemic. They’re filmed in such a moving gesture, and such such moving music, see if you can resist the tug on your emotions.
The video was shot by Chris Cherry (except for 2 short scenes) with an iPhone, and edited by him on his laptop using iMovie. Chris writes that “The pandemic has provided the impetus to learn some new skills – I’m enjoying this new area of work. Film is a natural way to showcase the performing arts, and now I’m looking forward to future projects.”
Dare I say we’re all looking forward to future video projects by the uber-talented Mr. Cherry!
He continues, “The iPhone camera is excellent; you can read what’s on the bulletin board on the far side of the News Review office! Amazing.”
“I conceived the idea that placing a candle in the window and waving and smiling would send a message of hope and reassurance, that we’re keeping the light burning for folks. I think this simple action, repeated by several people, made for a moving piece. The audience is also aware that there is a glass window separating the subject from the camera person, who is sometimes reflected in the window. I’m betting that little black-and-white cat at the animal shelter gets adopted after this!”
The fabulous music was composed by Chris for the camp show “Memory Quest In Central Park,” which is about “a group of cousins who film their visit to the park, hoping to revive memories for their grandmother, who is dealing with memory loss. This song, ‘Angel Of Healing,’ had a special resonance during this past summer’s camp, which could not be held on-site because of the pandemic. Instead, we delivered camp programming via activity videos, Zoom sessions, and at-home art project kits that were distributed via contactless curbside pick-up.
“When making pandemic music videos at home, it’s certainly an advantage to be married to a pianist, who can record music tracks in the living room! Stefan Brodd recorded the piano-only tracks at home. Ananth Batni, one of the Creative Kids Camp music teachers, then recorded the cello track in his own home studio and mixed it with one of the piano tracks. I used both the piano-only track and the piano/cello combination to score the video.”
The community will soon get to hear the voices of the campers performing “Angel Of Healing” on an upcoming video that will also feature performances by Eleanor Roosevelt High School choral ensembles.
Thanks and Keep ’em Coming!
This was such a special gift to the community! I can’t imagine that nonGreenbelters, people who don’t know every one of these buildings and most of the people in them, could possibly be as moved by the video as we residents are.
NOTE: By contributing these pandemic stories, photos, et cetera, Greenbelters are making an unconditional donation of the material to the nonprofit Greenbelt Online.org and the Greenbelt Museum/City of Greenbelt, which reserve the right to keep, lend, or otherwise dispose of the donated material, and may use the material on our website, for social media or other postings, in promotional materials or in future exhibits.