Roc Nation Fernsehen und Film Jay-Z "Smile"

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Jay-Z "Smile"

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Branche Audio-und Videoaufnahmen
Medien Fernsehen und Film
Markt Vereinigte Staaten
Produktionsagentur Smuggler
Director Miles Jay
Veröffentlicht Dezember 2017


D&AD Awards 2018
Music Videos Cinematography for Music Videos Graphite Pencil

Kredite und Beschreibung

Agency Smuggler
Client Jay-Z
Advertising Agency: Roc Nation
Production Company: Smuggler
SMUGGLER New York, USA Entrant Company
ROC NATION New York, USA Idea Creation
SMUGGLER New York, USA Production
Miles Jay SMUGGLER Writer/Director
Patrick Milling-Smith SMUGGLER Executive Producer
Brian Carmody SMUGGLER Executive Producer
Allison Kunzman SMUGGLER Executive Producer
Saul Germaine Freelance Line Producer
Stuart Winecoff Artistry Director of Photography
Ben Jordan Work Editorial/USA Editor
Akin McKenzie WME Production Designer
Laura Rosenthal Freelance Casting Director
Jay-Z set out to make his most personal album with the release of 4:44. After losing contact with his father, Jay’s closest person in his life became his mother, Gloria. Jay credits Gloria for introducing him to music, such as Stevie Wonder which is sampled in the beat for ‘Smile’. After Jay learned that his mother had been hiding her sexuality identity to try and raise a family, Jay wrote the song ‘Smile’ which is an ode to his mother about smiling through adversity.
When Jay played the song for Gloria, she said he could never release it. She wanted her privacy, but after being convinced how powerful of a message it would be for others in a similar position, she agreed to release it. On the way to LA to meet her son, Gloria wrote a poem on the plane about her experience which closes the song.
We can’t all relate to growing up in the Marcy Projects in the 1970’s, but we can all remember that time when we realized our parent or guardian was just as vulnerable as us. To show how Jay learned to smile from his mother, the video culminates in a scene where Gloria’s love interest has decided to end their affair, leaving Gloria alone. Hearing his mother cry, Jay enters her room and in that moment sees his mother in pain, but she is able to compose herself to be the mother he needs her to be. The end of this story then brings in the poem and cuts to present day Bed-Stuy where the real Gloria Carter sits with her friends in often weekly meetings to share their experience as women together. This juxtaposition shows the immeasurable time she went through before sharing her true identity with the world.
Jay-Z is one of the biggest brands in entertainment. His story is iconic and has been at the forefront of the hustler mythology in America. The video for ‘Smile’ brings a unexpected addition to his narrative, revealing that his perseverance and heart were given to him by his mother, a lesbian.
Crafting a compelling narrative for a seminal record for an iconic artist. The video for smile weaves the Jay-Z brand into a new truth while keeping our hearts engaged.
“Smile” has successfully reached a wide audience of eclectic backgrounds ranging from hip-hop/rap music lovers to LGBTQ communities, their supporters, and the crossovers that play in between.
After the film came out, Jay-Z and his mother were nominated for a GLAAD Media Award, an award aimed to “recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of the LGBTQ community.” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis issued a statement praising Gloria Carter's revelation. "By sharing her truth with the world, Gloria Carter is increasing visibility of lesbian women of color at a critical time and sending a powerful message of empowerment to the entire LGBTQ community that is perfectly timed with the end of Pride Month.”
"Smile" won the 2018 Webby award for Best Performance.
Authenticity was everything in the project. After six weeks of negotiations, we were able to gain access to shoot in the apartment that Jay and Gloria lived in the 70’s. Through immense research from historical photographs and Gloria’s memory, we recreated their home in 1976 as well as brought the Marcy Projects to life in that time, which were in a much more positive light than today.
Everything came down to who would play Gloria Carter. After looking at everyone under the sun, we found a young woman who had been discovered by the Wire’s David Simon, Dominique Fishback. A force of raw talent, Dominique embodied the spirit of Gloria as an East New York native. Through Dominique’s performance, she is able to carry the weight of Gloria’s burden with authenticity and grace.
Campaign Description
Director Miles Jay wanted to tell Gloria’s story, raising her kids in the Marcy Projects in the 1970’s. Gloria’s heart was torn between being a mother and embracing her sexual identity. Ultimately, she made a sacrifice to choose her family over her sexual preference to raise her children. Through this story we realize how Gloria’s struggle with her sexuality inadvertently showed Jay how to go through adversity with a smile.