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Declan McKenna 'Bethlehem' by John Merizalde

David Knight - 8th June 2016

John Merizalde takes the 17 year old indie prodigy Declan McKenna's Bethlehem and builds a story of blossoming love between two teenagers in a small American town where bigotry and religious zealotry hangs like a shadow over them.

Shot on 16mm, Merizalde, who hails from Georgia, sketches a world of believable characters, and captures the claustrophobia of the place, with a lightness of touch that's perfectly pitched to the song.
 

JOHN MARIZALDE:

"When I first listened to the track, I was reminded of a small rural town in Georgia called Bethlehem, about an hour away from where I grew up. That, coupled with the themes behind the track - basically a critique against religiously-motivated violence and hate - were the initial catalyst for the idea.

"From there the story flowed naturally, inspired by images, people, and places that I'd seen growing up, or wanted to see. Despite some of the darker themes, we aimed to do something a little fun and different with this. The use of 16mm film and slow zooms were incorporated to hopefully give it a more old-school feel.

"And no, I never attended a snake church growing up... Although I do know some people that did."

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David Knight - 8th June 2016

Tags

  • Director's notes
  • Drama
  • Narrative
  • Indie, Indie, singer-songwriter

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Credits

Production/Creative

Director
John Merizalde
Producer
Kevin Staake
Production Company
Service Company
Whitelist
Executive Producer
Drew O'Neill

Camera

Director of Photography
Kristian Zuniga
2nd AC
Oren Malik
1st AC
Azariah Oldacre
1st AC
Edward Martinez

Art

Art Director
Jennifer Chandler

Wardrobe

Wardrobe
Jennifer Chandler
Hair & Make-up
Amber Flores

Casting

Casting director
Erin S Murray

Editorial

Editor
Chad Sarahina

Grading

Colourist
David Torcivia

Agent

Director's Representation
OB Management

Commission

Commissioner
Laura Clayton
Label
Columbia

Other credits

cast

Austin Taylor, Hannah Culwell, Caroline Granger, John Fletcher, Cameron Fraley, Chris Van Dyke

Co-Producer

Jon Watts

Gaffer/KG

Josh Cubas

Associate Producer

Asher Emmanuel

Production Assistant

Jae Desouza

Film Processing & Scanning

Crawford Media Services, ATL

David Knight - 8th June 2016

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