‘Integration,’ a Park City-based music video, hopes to win $1,000
A music video made in Park City that calls for unity has been selected for an international online competition.
“Integration,” a song culled from Tanya Taylor’s musical “Sudan & Me,” which follows the plight of two Lost Boys of Sudan from the Sudanese War to Utah, is now gathering votes in the MusicBed Reopen Challenge.
The challenge, which is a program from MusicBed, a music-licensing company for independent artists, calls for filmmakers to create uplifting and inspiring films that will help reopen the world economically and culturally.
The public can vote for the films at musicbed.com through July 29, said Taylor, who put on the musical through her company Tanya Taylor Productions and submitted the video.
Once a vote is cast, voters must confirm their votes by replying to an email that sometimes lands in junk folders, Taylor said.
“I’ve had friends and family members vote, but found their votes were not being counted until they confirmed them,” she said. “MusicBed confirms votes so they know these are real people who are participating in the contest.”
Winners will be announced on Aug. 4.
The grand prize is $25,000, second place will receive $15,000 and third place will get $10,000. The winners will be picked by a panel of judges, including producer Lucia Almieda and directors Reinaldo Marcus Green and Diego Contreras. In addition, the 50 films that get the most public votes will each win $1,000.
“I’m hoping to be one of the 50 winners,” said Taylor, who would like to use the money to help fund, “A Diverse Holiday Celebration,” a local Christmas album that showcases the different cultures in Park City.
Taylor has been thinking of creating a music video for “Integration” since the “Sudan & Me” premiere.
“The cast and people who had seen the show told us we needed to make a video for that song, because it was so powerful,” she said. “Then in light of the whole equality and Black Lives Matter movements, I thought it would be a good time to do it.”
“Integration” is the keynote of the musical, according to Taylor.
“The chorus of the song is ‘God gave us two hands/one for helping ourself/and one for helping our friends,’” she said. “That was the message we wanted to portray, and the song was written about the Lost Boys who were struggling to integrate, due to prejudices. The song looks at the challenge through their eyes.”
The video features Los Angeles-based actor Vegaz Taelor, and local performers Peg Tan, Tim Gallagher and Yanique Bland, among others.
“It starts off with the question, ‘why am I invisible to you?’ and goes on to say that we don’t need to make religion or skin color divisive parts of our culture,” Taylor said. “The message is we need to embrace each other’s differences and be stronger as a unit of humanity.”
Taylor wrote “Sudan & Me” hoping audiences would look beyond their own experiences. The musical is based on the true story of the 20,000 Lost Boys of Sudan, who were orphaned and displaced during the Sudanese Civil War that lasted from 1983 to 2005.
“If we learn to look through others’ eyes, in this case the eyes of the Lost Boys, and learn to walk in their shoes in this country, we can gain another aspect of what they are going through,” she said. “By doing that, we can learn to be compassionate.”
Taylor began working on the video in May and asked the 36 cast members to submit videos of themselves singing the song to a prerecorded, professional backtrack in different locations.
“Vegaz was in L.A., and had to send his video to me,” she said. “In fact, many of us, because we’re in the middle of COVID, had to do that.”
Once Taylor collected the videos, she began editing.
“There are a lot of voices, which made it a lot of fun,” she said. “The biggest challenge was getting everyone to send in the footage to me on time.”
Taylor finished editing on June 28, the night she submitted it to MusicBed.
“Everyone made it easy for me, because they all wanted to create the best video they could,” she said. “This is a very important subject, and hopefully the song can open people’s eyes, and embrace the process of integration. I feel grateful we can do this through art.”
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