The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO) is composed of some of the finest musicians in the country. This promo video was the prelude to a documentary we produce with them.
We worked with the SRJO to produce online video content they could use to boost their online presence as well as generate interest among a younger audience. That documentary was “ImprovJam: A Musical Convergence of Jazz, Rock & Rap” (and it was part of our SoundandSEA TV film series). This short promo video was the prelude to that documentary. It was designed to be a stand-alone promo film that could be used autonomously by the SRJO to introduce who they are and why the artistic directors started it. The full documentary premiered at the 2015 Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival and was also chosen for selection at the Northwest Film Forum Earshot Jazz Film series.
The documentary and the promo were part of SRJO’s 20th anniversary season. Over the course of the season, we filmed performances, rehearses and back-stage activities. We weaved footage from those events with interviews of the orchestra’s co-founders and artistic directors, Michael Brockman (sax) and Clarence Acox (drums). The interviews were conducted on the evening we filmed “ImprovJam”.
An Unconventional Music Choice
One of the first things you may notice that may seem just a bit “off” is that we did not use jazz music as the soundtrack for the video. The was a conscious decision which had a very specific purpose. We wanted to instill a sense of awe and wonder about the orchestra. We wanted viewers to feel inspired to learn more about them. The fun and upbeat jazz tunes the orchestra is known for doesn’t best communicate the feeling we wanted a viewer to have. If this were a video about jazz music, that would be one thing. But this isn’t. This is a video about two men. Two friends. Two amazing musicians who wanted to bring something special to the city and people of Seattle. And we wanted a soundtrack to instill those sentiments.