By Ron Powers
Award Winning Director Jantonio Turner and Multi-Genre Billboard Charting Musician Stan Medley recently came together to show their gratitude, respect, and admiration for firefighters. Their collaboration has resulted in a powerful video called “Hero” based on Stan Medley’s song by the same name, “Hero”. The video was made in honor of International Firefighters Day, and all income from streaming of the video is being donated to help injured firefighters or the families of firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
“Hero” communicates the sacrifices firefighters make every day. It gives us a glimpse into the lives of the brave men and women who risk their lives facing unbelievable danger. Many losing comrades and loved ones, all in the effort to keep us safe. Some making the ultimate sacrifice in giving their lives.
The video opens with Fire Dispatch radioing Assistant Chief David Pruso after a fire fight has been completed. We hear the dispatcher calling out Pruso’s ID number (2612): “Watermen 2612…”. Then a chilling silence. She calls a second time with pain and trepidation in her voice: “Watermen 2612…”. Again, silence fills the airwaves. The pain in the woman’s voice as she tries to reach Pruso makes your stomach sink and heart ache. Emotions rise as you realize Pruso has been lost to the flames.
This poignant moment sets a tone for the video. We watch with new appreciation as Director Turner shows us what it’s like for firefighters to be called into duty. We’re shown the quiet interior of a Fire Station in the dead of night. Then the sound of an alarm and a bright red light flood the station, waking the sleeping crew. Next, we see the focused rush of these brave souls charging into danger and risking their lives to save others.
The music of Hero communicates perseverance through trouble. Medley employs an impressive pallet of sounds to communicate this. Musical elements include reverb-soaked guitars, ambient synth, atmospheric vocals, rumbling sub bass, and electronic drums.
There’s a nice dynamic to the music that lends to the emotional range Director Turner is able to achieve with the video. Moments of sorrow and loss are enhanced by more sparse and moody music composed of minimal synth and slow picked guitar chords. For more action-packed moments, steady drum beats and bass are layered in. I was struck by the range of musical mood Medley was able to access for the music of hero. It reveals him to be exceptionally gifted in the art of film scoring.
I was touched and inspired by this moving tribute to firefighters. Turner and Medley show real heart and creative spark through their visual and sonic talents. They successfully combined their skills to communicate something we already know but can’t quite express. Namely the selfless heroics of our heroes in red.
If you’d like to hear more from Stan Medley, you can find his music on Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music, iTunes, and most other streaming and digital sales platforms. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or go to his website at StanMedley.com.
Be sure to watch Hero, Turner and Medley’s moving tribute to firefighters, now streaming on YouTube.