Freedom Song

Chris Robertson, a high school senior in Los Angeles, performs a powerful essay he wrote as he walks the empty hallways and classrooms of his high school. Shot on 35mm Kodak film in one continuous 4:10 second take, the film highlights topics of freedom and oppression while the visuals serve as a metaphorical reminder of our progress on this journey.

Director’s Statement

We overcame a number of logistical challenges on this shoot. Most importantly, Chris gave a flawless performance of his words and song – no small task considering the duration, delivery and subject matter. Our steadicam operator perfectly worked a challenging route, moving in and out of doorways and down a flight of stairs. Our backup performers hustled in between classrooms and hallways, perfectly hitting their marks and lines, all without being seen by camera. Our focus puller kept things crisp throughout a wide range of complex visual scenarios. Our audio technician carefully captured sound while avoiding the thundering airplanes descending on LAX just above our building.

Yet with all of those challenges, we came together as a crew and elevated our game to make this short happen and we’re incredibly proud of what transpired.