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In conversation with Steve Long, Director of the Global Film Exhibition 

Steve: Today we have the pleasure of interviewing Amelia Ray, the director of the music video 'Hambone Says'. Amelia, can you give us a brief overview of your film and what inspired you to create it?

Amelia: Hambone Says uses several musical genres to detail a history of racially motivated killings. Witnessing the nation in turmoil during quarantine and remembering my family's history, I felt a profound desire to convey the exasperation, confusion, and fury I felt and saw around me.

Steve: The themes you explore in the film are intense and pertinent. What messages were you aiming to convey, and why do you think they resonate globally?

Amelia: I wanted to showcase the absurdity and frustration that racism brings about. By using paradoxical imagery and lyrics, the intention was to make people see just how irrational racism is, and how it feels to live with the constant threat of racial violence.

Steve: And what about the creative process? The film offers a varied musical landscape despite its specific theme.

Amelia: Indeed, it was a challenge to encapsulate different eras and genres with just vocals and a pandeiro. The goal was to use derogatory terms in a chronological context, paralleled with atrocities faced by Black Americans, but matched with the popular music of that era.

Steve: Were there any specific influences that shaped the project?

Amelia: Not a single film per se, but a collection of slave films in our collective consciousness set the film's tone. Jake Wood's enthusiasm for a politically charged project provided the push to bring this unique vision to life.

Steve: I'm sure there were some memorable moments while filming. Can you share any behind-the-scenes stories?

Amelia: Haha, yes! Despite the serious nature of the topic, there were light moments. I kept messing up a line in the song, which led to some unexpected puns. Took us six takes to get it right!

Steve: What about casting? Was there a specific vision you had in mind?

Amelia: From the start, I knew it would only feature Jake Wood and myself. This was a personal journey for both of us.

Steve: What, in your view, sets 'Hambone Says' apart in a global context?

Amelia: It's a concise yet layered piece that weaves U.S. history, civil rights, and music history. Its uniqueness lies in its ability to say so much in just under three minutes.

Steve: After viewers experience your film, what do you hope they take away from it?

Amelia: I hope it makes them reflect on the weight of words and encourages introspection on how their words might impact others.

Steve: Can you share some insights about the locations used?

Amelia: Jake Wood took to Bay Area rooftops for a safe and aesthetically pleasing performance space. The risks were minimal compared to the breathtaking views.

Steve: How does it feel to have your work showcased globally?

Amelia: It's truly fulfilling. Platforms like this make unseen art visible to a larger audience.

Steve: Any advice for aspiring filmmakers out there?

Amelia: Apply, apply, apply! If you don’t ask, the answer will always be 'no'.

Steve: Finally, what's next for Amelia Ray?

Amelia: I'm currently penning two short fiction films. One explores an army psychologist's world, and the other dives into the humorous horrors of self-checkout lines.

Steve: Thanks for your time, Amelia! I wish you continued success.

Amelia: Thank you, Steve. It's been a pleasure.

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