a film by joshua bee alafia

His friends think Parker is crazy for believing that Al Green's new album will bring fractured families back together upon it's release. He makes a documentary about the difficulty African American families face in staying together and we see several couples navigate pregnancy, commitment, communication and fatherhood. Will Al Green's music prove to enchant, awaken and inspire the streets of Brooklyn... and the world?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Finishing the film, and Launching the Webisode

September 25th, 2011, I'm sitting in my editing studio, watching Cihan Kaan, mixing the sound to "Let's Stay Together," as much a journey as a film. Exhausted, I realize that we've actually made a film. Cihan had been cutting for 88 hours that week, burning the candle at both ends to make the Sundance Film Festival deadline. We had felt the magic of the Creative power the day before as we attempted to put the footage of Rev. Al Green at the Full Gospel Tabernacle giving a sermon that Sunday morning in Memphis, when I went down to ask for his Blessing. The footage refused to go in to the timeline, a few times. I realized that the film didn't want it. Rev. Al Green had expressed to me that he didn't want anyone shooting footage in his church, and the footage we had taken before he told me that, was really not meant to be in the film. The film reminds me, of the active passivity of the creative power. For the last five years, I've been plugging away a this film, grinding, with the mantra of "make it happen," ultimately to realize that the film is being made on it's own, it's persuading a group of folks to come together and express this work... and it is. Cihan showed me a whole new way of looking at the film as a living organism. He was able to bring the scissors to it and cut away the shaggy locks that it had grown, we cut the first 6 minutes, and I decided to shoot a new beginning. Much more effective. With and emphasis on the timing of the action and development of the relationships in the film, we moved things around to put the blue notes in the right place... we even broke the scenes down to the most basic, positive and negative emotional notes... the binary code, the double helix... it's alive!
One of the ways I've been able to detach from my original vision of the film has been the decision to make a web series called, "Staying Together," where we can put all the documentary footage and cutting room floor scenes to light. Please join the conversation on youtube by leaving a comment, sharing the link, and hitting "subscribe" to the "Let's Stay Together Film" youtube channel.


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