In the age of information, where choice rules and diversity divides, finding and nurturing connections made over a mutual attitude towards a cause, is something worthy of a blog post – in my humble opinion.
I mentioned in a previous post that this year’s St Albans Film Festival was of particular interest to me, when I found not one, but two festival entries related to the Born Free Foundation.
The first was Elephant in the Room, a short documentary that I was already familiar with (though nonetheless excited to find entered – and shortlisted – in my local film festival!), but the real surprise of the event was a call to arms, emotionally-charged protest song and music video documenting Born Free patron, and legendary guitarist, Brian May’s fight against the badger cull.
“It’s a salute to the 7,000 participants in the march,” filmmaker Michael Dias tells me.
Michael not only shot and edited the video – a runner up in this year’s film festival – but he also penned the ‘We Unite‘ song; which is performed by his crowd-gathering musician father, Ricky Lopez.
The success of Michael’s protest march video (produced and edited at Chiswell Studios) saw him go on to become Brian May’s official videographer for his Save Me charity, while his father, Ricky, joined Brian May on stage at renowned music and wildlife celebration ‘Wildlife Rocks‘ at Guildford Cathedral.
Talking to the pair, it’s clear to see the Save Me projects have been a labour of love, and one that fuses their music passions with a desire to publicly support causes that move them.
“We saw the badger cull on TV and wanted to do something,” they explain.
Michael joined the Save the Badger protesters in central London on the 1st June 2013 with camera in hand.
“I’d looked on BrianMay.com and Save Me and noticed there were no videos, so I put some of the footage together in the studio and sent it over.”
The final video was not only retweeted by Queen and May’s official Twitter pages, but it also made its way onto May’s official website.
“I used the song from the badger cull animation that went viral in my first compilation reel,” Michael explains, “and he liked it a lot – so I offered to film more, free of charge, just to support the cause and raise awareness of what was going on concerning the controversial cull.”
From there, the idea for ‘We Unite‘ came into fruition.
I was lucky enough to hear a live performance of the song during my interview, and I can’t wait to see what the pair come up with next.
…And for good measure — I couldn’t not put May’s viral ‘Save the Badger Badger Badger’ video on here somewhere (Note: it’s where the soundtrack to Chiswell Studios‘ first compilation of march footage came from).