THE PRICE OF SILENCE | music video
Director/DP, Joshua Atesh Litle
Producer, Steven Lawrence
Line Producer, Michael Owen
Associate Producer, Michal Shapiro
Music Producer, Andres Levin
Talent Coordinator, Pilar O’Leary
Casting Director (delegates), Maria Luisa Gambale
Executive Producers, Helen Garrett and
The Price of Silence
Music Video. Amnesty International USA/Link TV.
Produced for the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, "The Price of Silence" features a group of global all-stars singing and rapping at the UN General Assembly, urging delegates to get out of their seats and live up to the UDHR’s ideals. But no one who performs in the video ever set foot in the UN. The far-flung artists were mostly filmed green screen near their homes in NYC, Miami, Bogota, Capetown, London, Paris and LA. And 55 volunteers came to a green screen stage in NYC to play the delegates, changing wardrobe five times to vary their appearance. All these elements were digitally composited into the GA under the guidance of effects supervisor Ben Grossman (Oscar winner for Hugo) and director Joshua Atesh Litle.
"The Price of Silence" came about when Amnesty’s Helen Garrett asked Steven Lawrence to suggest ideas to commemorate the UDHR’s 60th and he proposed a video with world music artists who were activists and refugees. Steven brought on Joshua to develop the treatment, then he and Link TV music programmer Michal Shapiro recruited the Grammy-winning Venezuelan rock band Aterciopelados to donate their song, "Cancion Protesta," and Andres Levin of Music Has No Enemies to produce a version with new lyrics.
With the help of Levin’s colleague Pilar O'Leary, the team engaged 16 extraordinary artists to participate, including Angelique Kidjo, Stephen Marley, Natalie Merchant, Hugh Masekela, Julieta Venegas, Andrea Echeverri, Emmanuel Jal and Chali 2Na. Jal, 2Na and Masekela contributed their own lyrics. Shapiro wrote the chorus and second verse; Lawrence the first verse. Argentinean poet Alicia Partnoy, who was tortured by the military junta after the 1976 coup, wrote the prologue recited by Laurence Fishburne.
With donated services from The Syndicate in LA and Phoenix Editorial|Designs in San Francisco, and a team of motion graphics artists in NYC, the video was finished in time to premiere on Human Rights Day, December 10, 2008. The song was made available on iTunes to benefit Amnesty, and topped the World Music charts for several weeks.
It's available on iTunes: