CALLING ALL WOMEN+
AND THE PEOPLE WHO STAND FOR THEM
2020 is the Year of the Woman, marking
the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment
granting women the right to vote.
Singer/songwriter Meghan Cary began the year dreaming with filmmaker Will Drinker: WHAT IF… we could make a music video for River Rock, Cary’s women's empowerment Anthem, that used the catchy and meaningful music and lyrics to tell the compelling story of the Justice Bell and galvanize us all to raise our voices and VOTE this year?
The idea caught on. The more Meghan talked about it, the more team members she collected. By March 2020, a Project Team was in place to create the central vision of the anthem video: A choir, an “army” of 100+ women+, joining Meghan in a powerfully climactic visual sequence. Recruitment for filming, pre-production, and a casting call were underway in short order.
Our first (and last) in-person Team Meeting took place on March 9, 2020.
And then, COVID-19.
As we watched events unfold around us, three things became apparent:
There is no way to plan a live shoot with over 100 cast and crew in the foreseeable future (nor would anyone want to!); and:
Our goal to RAISE VOICES and get 100% of women to vote in 2020 is more important than ever as we see the impact of leadership; AND:
In a way, this is nothing new. In the closest parallel, the Spanish Flu in the early 20th century created crisis during votes, and prompted calls to wait on suffrage until it was under control. And if it wasn’t that, there would be something else. ‘Twas ever thus.
It simply meant we, as those who have come before us during times of tumult, had to meet the moment.
Digital Casting Call
We could not gather en mass, but around the world people were connecting digitally like never before, and if there’s anything we know about the power of music, it’s that it transcends. So we smashed the box of our own vision and broke it open to the entire nation: let’s take advantage of the moment of innovation and mobile phones and zooming and invite EVERYONE to join the chorus. With more than a little bit of Will’s filmmaking-magic, we can bring 100 people together with Meghan on screen, if not in person. Right? Right!
Throughout Spring and Summer, we issued a digital casting call and collected dozens of videos made at home by women and their friends and families and supporters. We heard why they were singing, and saw people singing alone, with family, in ASL, while dancing...heartfelt, silly, and sweet. The original symbol of an in-person gathering of so many voices became somehow less relevant, less poignant, as each choir member chose to transcend the limitations of geography and crisis and still come together, though apart.
Your message can still be heard!
There's no deadline on raising your voice. We're still collecting video submissions to share
your message through the River Rock Project. See our current casting
What We Sing For...
Filming During A Pandemic
In July, with an August premiere at the Toast to Tenacity livestream looming and our chorus mostly assembled, the film crew began shooting Meghan’s part of the Anthem video. To ensure the safety and health of all involved, filming was modified from a grandiose assemblage to a spare--yet poignant--set of shots utilizing the bare minimum of crew and avoiding close contact. Production sheets included a new norm during these times: extensive COVID-19 safety procedures and protocol. Mask fashion became a thing on set. Everyone lost pounds in perspiration and Jenny aged a decade in her quest to keep hydrated, but in true River Rock fashion the visionary crew managed to capture and tell an incredible story in the incredible rush of life around us.
The River Rock Anthem Video would not be possible if it weren’t for the outstanding nation-wide Choir, River Rocks in our movement:
Bob (Granddad) Baldwin & Sylvie
Kathy Barron and Natalie Boero
JoAnne Fischer & husband/videographer Eric Hoffman
"Emily Joy Goldberg
Steven and Svetlana Gradess
Amy and Adam Gradess
My dog Boudreaux Guadagnini crashed and gave me kisses.
Cara McDonough, Nora McDonough, Aidy McDonough
Marie Cross Ostoyich
Sharlyn and Amelia Price
Sandra Liliana Sanchez
Daniel Senie & Faith Senie
Jeff "Six" Sugzdinis
Shari, Alaina and Reuben Walter