STRAP has always admitted his love and influence for and from film. As an artist who is illustrative and at the same time abstract in his form of delivery. The long anticipated short film BALANCE is finally here and it echoes more about STRAP as an artist – He like to take centre stage for what he visions and believes in.
BALANCE is Shot, directed, and edited Marcus Wright Co-directed, produced, and story-boarding by S.T.R.A.P. The short film is supported by a medley.The first sound score is Thirsty Free (Prod. Gambimusic) off Drinks and Conversation, followed by Dark Knight featuring Stephen Kapela (Prod. AFOST) off Futuristic Past and finally Humming Bird featuring Stephen Kapela (Prod. Ayodlo) off Drinks and Conversation. the music is produced by Aaron Foster (AFOST) and Devon Lewis
STRAP is huge fan of the dramatic (action centred). He has made impressive directing roles before (on Kid From Zion), BALANCE just places him in deeper in cinema who knows we shall have a feature film soon!
BALANCE is a short film of a character (STRAP)who is faced with the duality of life and task to invent and reinvent himself. He is coexisting in a world that offers both good and evil, and what one has to do is make a choice. The choice is relative to a person and it has to be made anyway. Amidst the darkness that is both illusion based and reality itching, STRAP has to make a choice to live through the environment. Faced with the role to be a better person who can inspire just another person who happens to be a young child.
BALANCE, can be viewed as a reflection of two worlds and even more metaphorically three. The first world of darkness and the other of light and yet the third world is the child who is neither in between the two worlds, he is just living. STRAP and Marcus Wright utilise the high camera angle to show a view from the sky of possibly God or the society watching; whether good or evil prevails. That said we are that viewer too we ought to reflect.
In film class we were told everything in a movie is important now I will show how everything in this short film counts.
The film opens with a black frame that has the word BALANCE in white font. It signifies immediately the idea of bleakness of light. Translation = so much evil and little good. But later on we shall realise it’s ending on a higher key lighting. The film is in three parts and the first part which is the moment STRAP is running away from an unknown person/ idea and ends up running towards danger itself. It’s no mistake that the sound track here is Thirsty Free: He has a drive and lust for life.
The camera sweeps so first as he is rundown by a car (ellipsis) and we are ushered into the second part supported by Dark Knight as a sonic impression. Apparently we have a clue on what he was running from, or even worse what he has found himself in. Masked women some with gold grills seize him with pistols as he is strapped to a chair. He runs from something likely fear into dread. He is psychologically oppressed and ideally he is confined. (explains the shutting of his mouth with tape)
Like an interlude, a frame of a dusk breaking sky is shown as it opens up. A voice (STRAP’s very own) mutters :
“Its a cold world ain’ it […] every time a villain is slaughtered a hero is born. on the contrary, I would also say every time a hero is slaughtered a villain is born. The lingering vicious cycle that consumes my thoughts, the never ending ecosystem that creates, that [BALANCE] we call life. […]”
The third and final part is the hope, the high key based element of the film. Here he takes time with Bryce. Humming Bird is the selected score here. And it resonates with the repertoire between the two. STRAP takes the kid out to play video games and fishing, and a link between the two is created. This is a suggestion of building courage to build (no pan intended). Stephen Kapela’s voice is heard singing: don’t let nobody wear your crown. The spoken word that precedes this scene concludes with: ” I guess you are either building or destroying right?”
Build/ destroy; Life or death; live or dead. the level of duality can be taken in at those levels.
BALANCE is a two way street in that you can view it as a dead end to live end theory, better yet philosophy of STRAP. If we view or conceptualise the film backwards we realise that; life ends with death which he undertones in the analogy of “hero” and “villain”. In other words, the film asks are you building or destroying? Are you on a dark path or light path?
All these images and sound put together, we are called upon to raise another as we raise our own self. To appreciate the virtue of existence since he starts on a dead end and wraps it up with hope. This can change depending on the choice we make and submission into bad energy (haters, nay sayers, bad peers whatever you can call it).
As its put, we live in a viscous cycle; blue pill or red pill we make ethos or pathos choices… don’t let nobody wear your crown!
Written by Ayella N Robert (@ NuveySHAWN)