In April of this year, Melbourne-based filmmaker Glendyn Ivin hopped on a plane to Philadelphia to meet Julius Wright, a 21-year-old rapper and poet with an extraordinary talent for making percussion with pens. Ivin had discovered the "beater" on YouTube and contacted him with a proposition: To feature him in a film sponsored by Coca-Cola's European energy drink, Burn. Wright agreed and the result is this short documentary:
Ivin and his assistant arrived in a foreign city, knowing nobody, and spent five days following Wright and his friends. "We didn't really have a plan," Ivin writes in an e-mail. "It was one of those situations where I just trusted my intuition and crossed my fingers very firmly."
That intuition served him well. When Wright proved to be particularly shy in interviews, Ivin suggested he write down some ideas for a spoken word piece instead. "Beautiful words and images came flowing out of him," writes Ivin. "It was wonderful to see."
Traditionally, art and documentary work have kept a distance from commercial interests — in order to preserve credibility. But Playground blurs those lines. It was commissioned in an alternative marketing effort, the goal being to reach a core demographic by becoming part that culture's creative process.
Whatever the genre, Ivin made a beautiful video about an extraordinary character. To see more of Ivin's work, check out his blog.