Come Praise the Lord | An Interview with Carol Ervin & Gerald Ervin
Come Praise the Lord : Contemporary gospel/inspirational music video in an urban setting. Music Video was made a couple of months following COVID19 illness.
Carol Ervin & Gerald Ervin – A duo group Sounds of Imani desired to make a music video that uplifted and encouraged people to get up on their feet, shake off their troubles, and have a moment to dance!
1.RSTMPA – Above of all, a big congratulation on your victory! How do you feel about winning the RSTMP Award on Music Video category?
Carol & Gerald – We are so excited to know that our music video “Come Praise the Lord” was selected as a winner in the monthly RSTMP awards. It encourages and motivates us to continue our creativity in film. We have always desired to make creative music videos that tell a story or share joy and happiness with others. RSTMP provides a wonderful platform to show all the talents and abilities of filmmakers around the world. This is our very first win in filmmaking, and we will never forget this wonderful experience. We are enjoying this blessing and sharing the good news with our family and friends. Big shout out to RSTMP!
2.RSTMPA – Why did you choose “Come Praise the Lord” as your title?
Carol & Gerald – Well, we are very spiritual people and since we both are Covid survivors (especially Gerald), we felt it would be a good idea to title the song as we give praise to our Lord Jesus. We would not be here today, if it had not been for our faith and consistent prayers. We wanted to invite people around the world to join us in dance and song as we celebrate life!
3.RSTMPA – Would you please tell us your story behind making this film on music?
Carol & Gerald – In March of 2020, my husband Gerald was very sick with the Covid virus and spent about a month in the hospital suffering with blood clots and breathing issues. I was not allowed to go in the hospital to see him due to the health mandates. The situation wasn’t looking good but with much prayer from our church, family and friends, he was able to come home where he further recuperated — eventually getting off the blood thinner medication and oxygen machine. I had Covid as well losing my sense of taste and smell which came back in a few days. A couple of months later, we decided to release a music video to show how important praise is when you are going though and when you come out of a bad situation. Covid had brought so much devastation, but we wanted to bring a spirit of joy and hope. We are happy that Gerald is alive and well to continue our filmmaking and music vision. We encourage people around the world to celebrate life; as the song says, “do your dance, clap your hands, get up out your seat and get your praise on!”
4.RSTMPA – What were the biggest challenges you faced in making the movie?
Carol & Gerald – One of the biggest challenges we faced when making this movie was finding the youth dancers. As mentioned earlier, we created the movie during 2020 when the pandemic had really hit hard and closed everything. It was hard to find dance studios that were still open – much less any dancers that were still performing. We called many dance studios looking for dancers that would fit the vision for our project but could not find any that were available. We left messages at various dance studios but received no calls back because of the closures. Through the recommendation of a fellow music artist, we contacted Fenton’s Dance Factory in Texas. The dance instructor Mr. Fenton called us back and expressed interest in being a part of the movie. He quickly gathered up some of his best youth dancers who he thought would fit our project and they were excited about participating.
5.RSTMPA – How much time did it take right from writing the song? Is there anyone you would like to mention who has helped and supported you throughout the project?
Carol & Gerald – Filming of the movie began after Gerald was well enough to move around and his breathing improved. In May 2020, we started working on the film and deciding what type of backdrop and look we wanted to create. We decided to use an urban background. The dancers were filmed at their location in an urban background in Texas. After completion, the movie was released in November 2020. We had no idea that the song would be where it is today and for that we thank God for these blessings.
We would like to thank our videographer Roland Pollard in Texas for believing in our vision. In addition, our music producers Gregory Pearson Sr. and Demetrius Nabors at Inner Court Music Studio in Southfield, MI for helping us with our music recording. We thank Executive producer Heaven-Wings Records and the Sounds of Imani band (Joshua, Frank, John Brandon, and Earl) who have been there with us every step of the way. Also, our wonderful church Acclaim Ministries International, our family and friends.
6.RSTMPA – What inspires you to make this movie?
Carol & Gerald – We are inspired by life and that we should never take it for granted. It is so important that we use our gifts and creative talents that we have been blessed with and share it with the world. Never be afraid to step out in faith. You never know whose life you will touch and inspire with positive creativity.
7.RSTMPA – What is your favourite genre? What do you prefer versatility or specialization?
Carol & Gerald – As music artists we love all kinds of music. Our favourite genre is contemporary gospel music because you can have a lot of expression within that genre. In contemporary gospel you can include a jazz or r&b feel and not lose the essence of your music creation. We prefer versatility because there is more room for artistic creativity to show various areas of individual talent. You are not boxed in to do one particular thing and you have room to move around and build on your ideas.
8.RSTMPA – It is very difficult and challenging to be in the epidemic situation and continuing the work. What is your plan to take your efforts forward?
Carol & Gerald – Yes, it has been exceedingly difficult during this epidemic situation of 2020 and 2021. It is our hope that we will all get through these bad times that surround us. However, we plan to move forward by the grace of God to continue making short films that present situations we all face daily and showing how you can overcome even in the worst scenarios. We can find a way to work through life’s difficulties and barriers and must continue to encourage each other every chance that we get.
9.RSTMPA – Who is/are your favourite contemporary filmmaker’s?
Carol & Gerald – Our favourite contemporary filmmakers are: 1) Tyler Perry who started off with his impressive stage plays on a shoestring budget and (from his own testimonial) often living homeless in his car. He kept pushing forward until someone blessed him with the opportunity to create his own movies and now, he has his own movie studio in Atlanta, GA (USA). 2) Another filmmaker is Spike Lee who specializes in making films that are controversial but makes you think about situations such as the effects of racism in our communities. 3) Rising filmmakers such as Prakash Jha, who won an award for “Highway Nights” at the 2021 Best of India Short Film Festival. “Highway Nights” will be released in Hollywood Los Angeles, CA and will be up for nomination for an Oscar Award in 2023. We are excited to see new Bollywood filmmakers coming forth with musicals and action films. It is great to see so many opportunities now for filmmakers of various ethnicities.
10.RSTMPA – What are your upcoming projects that we should be excited for?
Carol & Gerald – We are working on a series of short films about relationships and faith. In addition, we are in the process of writing the film script about our personal musical journey, as the music artist Sounds of Imani, and our experiences in trying to further our music career. People need to see the reality you face when you are struggling to make it in the music industry, while facing all kinds of calamity and barriers along the way. This is going to be good when it is completed, so get ready!