VOL. 131 | NO. 255 | Friday, December 23, 2016
New Video Pays Homage to Local Side of Memphis
By Patrick Lantrip
“Do you see it?” That’s what a new video created by local filmmaker Edward Valibus asks about the new Memphis that we’re living in.
(Click image to watch the video.)
Filmmaker Edward Valibus wanted to capture the sights and sounds of Memphis that might not make it in a traditional tourism video by focusing on local artists and small businesses.
Valibus was tapped for the project by the New Memphis Institute, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to attract, develop, activate and retain young talent in the Bluff City.
The video was created to both inspire locals and showcase some of the city’s lesser-known locations to young professionals looking to move here.
“We asked essentially that the video really capture the community in an authentic way, and capture the things that we want to celebrate,” said Anna Mullins, director of communications and public engagement for the New Memphis Institute.
“We certainly want to pay homage to the city’s rich history, we certainly want to pay homage to our large institutions that really drive progress in the city like St. Jude and FedEx, but we also challenged him to find the smaller characters,” Mullins said. “We encouraged him to look in the classroom, to look in the arts community, and to really showcase some of our public assets.”
New Memphis chose Valibus for the project because they were impressed by his previous work, which among other projects, included working on the extremely popular Mike Conley and Marc Gasol videos Craig Brewer made to court the superstars during their respective free agencies.
Local actor Syderek Watson was chosen as the lead for the New Memphis Institute’s Bluff City-based film project.
(New Memphis Institute)
“I’ve been in video and film production here for 15 years,” Valibus said. “I’ve seen the same video that represents Memphis done over and over again that has the same landmarks and ideas – Elvis, barbecue and that sort of stuff. I wanted to show off what locals know about here already. I wanted to show off areas of Memphis too that don’t often find their way into tourism videos.”
Valibus, who is an Overton High School and University of Memphis film school grad, said that he wanted to achieve a homegrown feel by highlighting local artists and small businesses.
“The music was made by IMAKEMADBEATS, a music producer here in Memphis,” Valibus said. “Syderek Watson is the main starring actor, and he’s a local actor. So it was all about showcasing local talent from that aspect also.”
Even though Valibus is a native Memphian, working on the project was like rediscovering the city, because often he would just take his camera with him throughout the normal course of his day.
“When a lot of young professionals move here, they know the job they’re getting, but they don’t know the city they are getting,” Valibus said. “So we wanted to make something that excites them but also be something that locals could show off and be proud of.”