Cat Velez - 6th May 2015

This cinematic and stirring promo by Max & Dania for Charles Hamilton's New York Raining featuring Rita Ora follows a love story set against the backdrop of the American civil rights movement in the 1960s.

With the directing duo and their team in New York delving deep into the visual and cultural elements of the time, they have done a great job fusing the personal and emotional with the political  - and the video certainly has its modern relevance, drawing parallels between the civil right movement and the recent events we’ve seen in the media from Ferguson and the Michael Brown shooting. 

Repurposing the striking black and white photography of the time, as well as sourcing various elements and dressing their shooting locations around New York City, Max and Dania achieved their goal of creating an authentic imitation of the era. Inspired by the figures who continually faced arrest and personal struggles for standing up for what they believed in - including, of course, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X - the locations used for the video included the mosque in which Malcolm X delivered his rousing speeches (the lease is still in his original name, Malcolm Little).  

Additionally, the vehicles used in the video play a big part in recreating the look of the time, such as the bus, which is identical to those used in the freedom marches attended by Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. As for the wardrobe and styling of the piece, the characters begin their journey in around 1963, then moving into '68 and finally the 70s, with an aesthetic that is synonymous with the Black Panther movement and visually expresses the increasing radicalization of the cause.

All of these details come together to capture this four-and-a-half minute snapshot of a turbulent and epoch-defining moment in American history.

Watch 'Charles Hamilton ft. Rita Ora 'New York Raining' by Max & Dania' here

PRO Credits


DirectorMax & Dania
ProducerBrien Justinano
Executive ProducerLuti Fagbenle
Production ManagerIshmel Muhammad
1st ADRodney Byerson
Director of PhotographyJackson Hunt
Focus PullerJohn Robie
2nd ACJason Desimone
GafferAl Rivera
EditorJohn Holloway @ Portobello Post
ColouristJohn Holloway @ Portobello Post
GirlAndrea Thomas
Additional PhotographyAaron Reid
Production designerMho Art Brown
Drone OperatorMatt Roeger
EditorSteve Ackroyd

Cat Velez - 6th May 2015

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