There have been many galvanizing moments for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community since the horrific events of February 14.
The latest one happened at noon today when a professionally produced music video for the song “Shine” was released to the public.
“Shine” was written by two MSD students, Sawyer Garrity and Andrea Pena, in the days following the mass shooting that left 14 students and three faculty members dead. The original song has become an anthem of heartbreak, tribute and recovery in the MSD community.
Listeners can feel and hear those sentiments in the song, and now, thanks to the video, people can see them as well.
The video is directed by Los Angeles-based Brittani Kagan, who works at Portal A digital entertainment. Kagan is an alumna of MSD's class of 2007, and she says she channeled her emotions and pain into her work with her alma mater.
“It all came together beautifully, bigger than I ever could’ve imagined when I had this idea,” Kagan said via Skype. “And every single crew member worked for free.”
Produced by New York-based Jane Bloom, and utilizing professional videographers and editors, the video had a budget of zero dollars. Everyone donated their services.
“I’m so forever grateful for them, it’s just so amazing to see how many people are truly supporting us,” said Sawyer Garrity, a co-writer of the song. “I really think the music video truly encompasses what we want the song to be about, it really honors the victims in a way I think is just beautiful.”
In the beginning of the video, there’s a series of simple but powerful scenes, in which pictures of each victim are held by their parents, family members or friends.
“It not only honors the 17 but also shows that through all the darkness that my school and classmates and my teachers have been through, that we can overcome something like this,” said Andrea Pena, co-writer of “Shine.”
Students in the school’s drama club recruited their peers to be in the production.
“So it was really good for the community to come together for that and also just the song in general, it’s really upbeat and beautiful and I think it really brings the community together,” said sophomore Logan Weber, who worked with the professional video crew as a student director.
Listeners can feel and hear the emotions of the MSD students. Now, thanks to the video, listeners can see them as well.