Film major brings a hip-hop vibe to Silent Night - The Echo News
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Film major brings a hip-hop vibe to Silent Night

Student to debut his music video before the game

Junior Landry Long (front center) and his team pose for a light-hearted photo. (Photograph provided by Landry Long)

Junior Landry Long (front center) and his team pose for a light-hearted photo. (Photograph provided by Landry Long)

By Rylie Harrison | Echo

You are freezing, and you’ve never been pressed up against so many strangers in crazy costumes in your life. All this for a basketball game?

        Not just any basketball game.

        Silent Night is one of Taylor University’s most famous and highly anticipated traditions. This year, junior film major Landry Long hopes to bring an exciting opening video to the event.

        In 2016, Long produced a music video for Silent Night, which played before the start of the game. This year, he’s doing it again and planning on going bigger in every way.

        “We have a chorus, we have a story to the music video now,” Long said. “So really (we are) just adding every possible element we can.”

        That includes a large roster of musical talent, which features the Taylor Gospel Choir.

Kristen Miyakawa, a junior graphic design major, described the roles of the musical cast.

“In the song, we have a bunch of different guys who are each rapping their own verse of the song, and then I sing the choruses,” Miyakawa said. “And then we also have the Gospel Choir doing some backup vocals. It’s kind of a combination of telling a story and just a lot of hype and excitement, dancing and going crazy.”

In addition to several Taylor students, rap and hip-hop artist Blake Whiteley and rapper Mark Battles will join the ensemble, adding a professional touch to the already massive production.

Of course, a music video needs people to fill it. Several Taylor groups appear in the video, including Poms, the men’s and women’s basketball teams, the cheer team and the Gospel Choir. Senior Max Partain, who is cinematographer and editor for the project, even teased the appearance of  Taylor President Emeritus Jay Kesler.

“We’re trying to get as many people on campus involved as we can to get the best production value we can,” Partain said.
With so many moving parts, such a project may seem overwhelming. However, Long said the process has been a fun opportunity.

“The only reason we do it is to get to hang out with each other and to have fun,” Long said. “Yeah, the views on YouTube are cool and stuff, but I’ve learned that the views kind of become irrelevant whenever you’re doing it because you care about it.”

Partain, who has collaborated with Long before, praised him for his dedication and expressed how much fun he has had working on the video. Similarly, Miyakawa has worked with both Long and Partain on film projects before. She had nothing but good things to say about the process.

Junior Kristen Miyakawa returned for another project with her friend junior Landry Long. (Photograph provided by Landry Long)

Junior Kristen Miyakawa returned for another project with her friend junior Landry Long. (Photograph provided by Landry Long)

“Those two guys are good friends of mine, and I love working with them, and it’s a really fun process,” Miyakawa said. “I think a lot of times this kind of thing can be really tedious. But with this group of people, it’s been just a blast.”

Long’s music video will premiere before the Silent Night game at 6 p.m. on Dec. 8 in Odle Arena.

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