When my long-time collaborator and friend, Director Robert Adetuyi asked me to write the score and songs for his next project, Bring It On: Worldwide, I admit I had some resistance. What would my peers think of me – someone known for my work in consciousness media, scaling positive social impact, and pushing the creative envelope at every opportunity, working on a major pop film franchise about cheerleaders?
Then I took pause and remembered the heart of my commitment and purpose as a creative force: creating music and films that can transform people’s lives on a global scale. Here was another opportunity showing up to do just that – to unite and inspire youth around the world with a positive message, using some of the most powerful tools of engagement to share that message: storytelling, film, global media, street art, popular music and dance (in this case: Cheerleading).
Once I got out of my the way of my own resistance and judgment, I was able to open up to the deeper universal need for inspiration and connection shared by the millions of viewers who would be influenced by our collaboration. When I did my research, I was actually impressed by the underlying values of the global Cheer community – notably referred to as the Spirit Community, for their commitment to empowering youth in their communities and the world at large.
The film’s story, and lessons learned by the hero, draws upon our ultimate power to overcome challenges through teamwork, loyalty and collaboration; i.e. – standing up for one another (an especially timey message in today’s social and political climates). The setting is a global Cheer competition where friends bond through the real-life integration of music, dance, visual art (in this case graffiti and street art) and group performance.
My creative collaborators and I were able to draw from these core values and relationships to create a subconscious narrative and emotional through-line with the film soundtrack, theme songs, and music videos. In addition to inspiring youth around the world through the power of music and storytelling, the film company (Universal) and it’s producers went the extra mile to spotlight the work of our non-profit EarthTones.org, helping us to promote the benefit of music, arts, dance and fitness programs for youth.
By getting out of judgment, committing to purpose and connecting the resources at hand: a major studio, a youth film franchise, a built-in global audience, world-class creative talent, and the Technologies of Emotion – music and storytelling, I was able to stay authentic and do the work I am here to do in the world, while supporting my collaborators to do the same. Finally, by recognizing and tapping into the talent, goodness, and innate drive for purpose of all the partners that it took to make it happen, I could get out of the way and watch the forces of good unfold.
About the Author: In addition to creating original music and films, Frank Fitzpatrick speaks around the world, and consults leaders and organizations, on the Technologies of Emotion; the Power of Music, creating social impact; and leveraging media and technology for good. More at FrankFitzpatrick.com and EarthTones.org.