Contemporary gospel/inspirational music video in an urban setting. Music Video was made a couple of months following COVID19 illness. Gerald & Carol, aka duo group Sounds of Imani desired to make a music video that uplifted and encouraged people to get up on their feet, shake off their troubles, and have a moment to dance! Come Praise the Lord is directed by Carol Ervin and Gerald Ervin. It is our pleasure to interview Carol for LA Indies. The projects was recently an official selection of Venice Shorts of California.
What was the inspiration behind the making of your film?
In March 2020, my husband Gerald was sick with the COVID virus. He was fighting for his life for a whole month and when he finally came home, he was on blood thinners (for blood clots) and on oxygen. Miraculously, the situation turned around and he was well by June 2020. It was at that time we decided to make a music video that would encourage and uplift others. The virus had brought so much death, devastation, and sadness that we felt it was time to bring something joyful to people all over the world. It was time to dance through the pain and give joyful praise unto God.
What is the most challenging aspect of working in this particular genre?
The most challenging aspect was finding that niche for the film that would touch hearts from various walks of life. With so many different styles of the gospel, we decided to select an urban background feel.
When did you realize that you wanted to work in media and make films and what was the first film project that you created as a director?
We wanted to really get into filmmaking around 2014 when we created two music videos which turned out very well. It was at that time that we knew we had the ability to write great storylines for our music films. We recently made the decision to go all in and get started on this wonderful journey of filmmaking with the Come Praise the Lord music video and our covid short film.
How did you choose the cast and the crew of the film and what was the most challenging aspect of production?
We were searching for the right dance group to fit the project. It was difficult because most dance studios were shut down in 2020 as a result of the virus. So, we got in touch with Fenton's dance studio in Texas and spoke with the director who selected an awesome youth group at his studio who was more than happy to participate.
What genre of filmmaking fascinates you as a director and which genres do you prefer to work on?
Drama, gospel and inspirational filmmaking is what capture our attention. We have tons of ideas for real life stories, biographies, and shorts that we feel would be life-changing and encouraging. People need to see the situations and circumstances of others and how they made it through those circumstances and the challenges they overcame.
How can cinema change the world and have an impact on society?
Cinema can make a huge impact on society by continuing to bring to the screen a wealth of quality, and life-changing indie films. Indie films bring something special to the screen from personal experiences, comedy, and other stories that viewers wouldn't normally hear about. Expanding and integrating the knowledge about other cultures, ways of life, etc. can really change/influence opinions and negative viewpoints.
What is your next film project as a director?
Our next film project will be a series of shorts that we feel will address various situations we all face on a daily basis. We are also planning an autobiography of our music group and ministry experiences.