R.A.W. is awarded a 2018 Mountainfilm Commitment Grant
We are excited to announce that our upcoming documentary short film R.A.W. – From Destitute to Doctorate was awarded a 2018 2018 Mountainfilm Commitment Grant of $2k. This is really cool on many levels. Mountainfilm is a very well respected documentary festival that takes place every spring in the beautiful city of Telluride, Colorado. Only 11 projects received grant money out of 170 applicants.
“We are so thrilled to support this important and timely project,” said Lucy Lerner, Program Manager at Mountainfilm.
According to their website: “As part of the nonprofit’s commitment to helping tell stories that matter, Mountainfilm awards Commitment Grants each fall to filmmakers, photographers, artists and adventurers whose projects are intended to inspire audiences to create a better world.”
“The pool of applicants was bigger than ever in 2018 — professional, innovative, filled with stories that need to be told — which meant the judges had a really tough job,” Program Manager Lucy Lerner said. “While it was extremely difficult, the judges ultimately selected a batch of terrific projects that are full of potential. We’re so excited to support them.”
Filmmaker Magazine named MountainFilm in the top “25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World,” and their tagline is “Celebrating Indomitable Spirit since 1979.” It’s a match made in heaven and truly an honor. In 2016, the first episode of our Invisible Thread series, Throw was awarded the festival’s Director’s Choice award and launched the film into the public in a major way. We’ve developed a relationship with Mountainfilm staff over the last couple years and believe in the festival’s mission and collaborators.
This gives major credibility to the cause and is a generous award, but it’s still only a fraction of the budget we need to complete and distribute the film. See the link at the top to read more about the project, share and donate. There are only 24 days left in the campaign on Indiegogo so please continue to share the word. If you have the means, a donation however big or small is enormously helpful. And a massive THANK YOU to the 70 contributors who have generously donated so far! Let’s do this.
Best, ELM Team & Richard
ELM and Parkway Theater Present a check to Baltimore School For the Arts
“The value of your child is how they interpret the world and how they give meaning to you and your family. Lacking the arts, I think we lack the most direct pathway to accomplish that.”
We are so excited to present to the Baltimore School for the Arts, along with The Parkway Theater and Gay Chorus Deep South, a check for $1,000.00 from our recent double screening of the films.
While this check is only a modest amount, we hope the story of Richard and his journey through the B.S.A. and beyond will go on to inspire not only other ‘Richard Whites’ the world over but inspire towns, cities and governments to invest more in arts education.
Throughout the process of making this film, we have come to know the wonderful people of the Baltimore School for the Arts and why it’s such an important institution to our city.
Not only did the school provide the structure, creative outlet, and emotional support for Richard to go on his journey from “Sandtown to Symphony,” but they have done the same thing for thousands of other Baltimore kids who just need the right opportunity.
They respect each child’s natural individualism, they nurture their strengths, and they hold them accountable.
They use the arts as a doorway into each child’s universe of potential rather than an afterthought.
Why is art important?
Chris Ford, director of the school, said it best in the film “the value of your child is how they interpret the world and how they give meaning to you and your family. Lacking the arts, I think we lack the most direct pathway to accomplish that.”
There is no coincidence that every great society has also had a thriving culture of arts.
It’s time to recognize art not just as an elective, but critical to our humanity. S.T.E.M. education needs to be amended to S.T.E.A.M.
“After being so inspired by Raw Tuba in Telluride I fell completely in love with the BSA work and mission of using art and music as a tool for change that I just had to contribute in anyway I could. Because that is also my mission in my work and in life.”
We would also very much like to thank David Charles Rodrigues, the director of Gay Chorus Deep South, who worked with us to make this double screening happen, Jimmy White, a star of the film for flying across the country to donate his time, and The Parkway Theater for generously helping to accommodate this event.
The only thing that can stop me is death.
Dr. Richard White, Star of R.A.W. Tuba
R.A.W. Tuba: From Sandtown To Symphony is about a Baltimore child who experienced intermittent homelessness but went on to become a world-class symphony musician and professor.
As a child, Richard Antoine White (R.A.W.) slept wherever he could, sometimes in abandoned rowhomes where he was chewed on by rats during his sleep. Now in his 40s, he still has the scars across his abdomen.
But despite enormous challenges, he went on to become the first African American in the world to receive a Doctorate in Music for Tuba Performance (D.M. not to be confused with the less rare D.M.A.), and not just from anywhere, from one of the most prestigious music programs in the US.
Richard is now not only a tenured professor at the University of New Mexico, but he’s also the principal tubist of the New Mexico Philharmonic, which is in and of itself an Olympian-level accomplishment.
The Baltimore School for the Arts, a rare gem in the education world for it’s extraordinary track record of success, is where his life changed from a self-described “yo boy” with little direction to becoming obsessed with Tuba and ultimately following his dreams out of poverty. The director of the Baltimore School for the Arts met Richard on a chance encounter and after a one-in-a-million audition he set off on a course that changed his life forever.
This Film is the second installment of an inspirational series produced by Early Light Media (ELM) entitled Invisible Thread. The first episode, Throw, was seen by millions around the world.
The series is independent and self-funded and if you would like to support the artists behind the series, you can donate here.
We believe in Richard and the power of positivity that so many other “Richard Whites” in Baltimore desperately need to hear.
Richard’s story speaks to the underdog in all of us and serves as an important reminder of the necessity of the arts in education.
Meet The Principal Cast
Richard Antoine White With over two decades of performing on the world’s classical music stages, tubist Richard White has matured into a musician known for his clear sound and stylistic flexibility. He began his tuba studies with Ed Goldstein at age twelve at The Baltimore School for the Arts, where he graduated with honors. He then went to the Peabody Conservatory of Music to study with David Fedderly, Former Principal Tubist of the Baltimore Symphony, where he received his Bachelor’s degree. On the advice of Mr. Fedderly, Richard traveled to Indiana University to study with the legendary Professor Daniel Perantoni. He continued his studies there receiving both his Master’s and Doctoral degrees. He is currently principal tubist with the New Mexico Philharmonic and professor of Tuba/Euphonium at UNM. Visit his personal website to learn more.
William Smith, Baltimore Rapper, Richard’s Brother William Smith is Richard’s younger half-brother. Raised by the same Mother, William found himself living a similar life to Richard’s in his youth. As he got older William discovered his own love for music and is currently a freestyle rapper and writer. He works at Walmart in Baltimore and continues to stay in touch with Richard often. In the film is the first time William has ever collaborated with his brother musically.
King Pinnock, Young Richard Age 5, King was born and raised in Prince George’s County. With a Jamaican and African American background, he has spent the last two years building his acting resume. He has starred in a PBS series, and a few other commercials. He enjoys playing football, boxing and spending time with his family.
Meet The Directors
Darren Durlach, Co-Director Darren’s tireless focus on refining footage into a beautiful and captivating narrative stems from more than a decade of meticulously crafting impactful award-winning films. His unique skill of pulling raw stories out of natural conversation is what makes his work compelling. Darren believes that motion pictures is the most powerful medium for showing fascinating stories of ordinary people and driving human connection. Most recently, Darren co-directed “Throw,” a moving shortfilm that won Director’s Choice award at Telluride Mountainfilm and a Vimeo Staff Pick. LINKEDIN & INSTAGRAM
David Larson, Co-Director Dave is a disciplined photographer and an intuitive storyteller who uses the human experience as a canvas for creative expression. Dave balances technical savvy and gathering gorgeous cinematic images with his ability to blend into the background to capture real moment-driven stories making his work connect on deeper levels. Dave’s film making talents have garnered him many industry awards. Most recently, David co-directed with Darren Durlach “Throw,” a moving shortfilm that won Director’s Choice award at Telluride Mountainfilm and a Vimeo Staff Pick. LINKEDIN & INSTAGRAM
Meet The Team
Jody Weldon, Lead Editor Jody is always observing-people he admires, work that moves him, the emotional reactions that come when he watches his final work with stakeholders. A master of pace, finding moments, creating emotion-driven sequences and motion graphics, he lives for the creative intimacy that comes from working with a passionate and engaged team who care about what they are building. Jody has edited short films for clients all over the world and been recognized time and time again for his work with industry awards.LINKEDIN
Spencer Grundler, Director of Photography Spencer is a freelance cinematographer and artist. From early in his life he was raised with an interest in the arts. From studying the Masters and their use of painterly technique, to learning about analog photography, and digital filmmaking. His passion for classic literature and modern documentation has kindled a dedication towards observing the great human spirit that has pushed mankind forward from ancient times into the future. His work as a camera-man focuses on exploring the use of light and lens to reflect the human stories for both nonfiction and narrative films. INSTAGRAM
Behind The Scenes images from John Waire From New Mexico to Baltimore, Early Light Media had the wonderful opportunity to work with a diverse group of creatives and explore many exciting parts of Richard’s life. Enjoy these behind the scenes images from the days spent capturing Richard’s compelling story. A huge thank you to the Baltimore School for the Arts, Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Mobtown Studios, the New Mexico Philharmonic, Digital Cave, Clean Cuts, and the many other locations who supported this film
The Series R.A.W. TUBA is a documentary about a Baltimore child who experienced intermittent homelessness but went on to become a world-class symphony musician and professor. As a child, Richard Antoine White (R.A.W.) slept wherever he could, sometimes in abandoned rowhomes where he was chewed on by rats during his sleep. Now in his 40s, he still has those scars across his abdomen. But despite enormous challenges, he went on to become the first African American in the world to receive a Doctorate in Music for Tuba Performance (D.M. not to be confused with the less rare D.M.A.), and not just from anywhere, from one of the most prestigious music programs in the US. Richard is now not only a tenured professor at the University of New Mexico, but he’s also the principal tubist of the New Mexico Philharmonic, which is in and of itself an Olympian-level accomplishment.
Reach out to us about the film!