Yes Mama by Missy D
I remember last year going to a music video showcase at The Rio Theatre and hearing and dancing to and singing along with Missy D's Yes Mama for the first time, and in the middle of taking a shower that night, I couldn't get the song out of my head and I could almost see the music video. It was also the first night I discovered Biawanna. It was a good night. (Thanks AJ Simmons for bringing me out).
The original concept was vastly different. Alex Farah and I applied for the Creative BC grant last year, and after receiving it, we completely revised and changed our original concept at least 2-3 times. The pandemic was picking as we were coming closer to when production needed to happen in order to release by Mother's Day. We revised it again thinking productions could possibly come back by the end of the April. When it became evident that the lock-downs were here to stay for a while and 3 weeks before Mother's Day, I pitched Alex a quarantine version of the music video, but we grew to not like it.
On Wednesday April 29th, a week in a half before Mother's Day, Alex Farah pitched me a new concept inspired by Damien Frost's beautiful photo series of social-isolating folks from the drag community drag community. Shortly, we contacted friends to record their long-distance video calls. The shoot day went from 4 days before Mother's Day on Wednesday to Thursday to Friday, 2 days before Mother's Day. The concept almost changed twice as Alex and I were flying by the seats of our pants into this shoot. Joined by Cinematographer Leonardo Harim and Production Designer Liz Cairns, we were a four person crew all uncomfortably wearing gloves and masks on a beautiful Friday. We edited all day Saturday, coloured with Tomasz virtually from 1030pm-2am, stayed up all night adding a final polish, finished at 8:30am, exported, and released at 9am. It was a wild ride, but not never not fun.
It's interesting how in the end, the concept came back to an essence of the song. Missy initially wrote the song inspired by calls with her mom supporting her during times of uncertainty, and it's really cool for that very literal act to finds its way back in due to these present circumstances.
Thank you Diane Missy for your trust and music. I'm happy I was able to do this with lovely folks like Leonardo Harim and Liz Cairns, but I am especially grateful to be able to do this with you, Alex and be able to laugh and have fun as much as we do. I almost convinced him to do a safer concept, but he challenged me as a filmmaker and artist to take a risk. I'm glad we did. I'm proud of you, Alex. You make me and my life better and more interesting. I love you.
Thank you for watching and for your moist eyes.
Thank you to everyone who participated!
Thank you for your support Wallop Film (Martin Glegg, Katherine Koniecki, and Matt Dix) and Creative BC (Francis Arevalo)
Directors/Editors/Producers: Alex Farah and Lawrence le Lam
Cinematographer: Leonardo Harim
Production Designer: Liz Cairns
Colourist: Tomasz Wagner
Production Company: Wallop Film
Supported by Creative BC and the City of Vancouver
Crew members adhered to BC health and safety regulations during this time.