Adrian Sutherland releases new video for “Respect The Gift”

When Adrian Sutherland first brought home his new demo called “Respect the Gift” and played it for his family, something unexpected happened… “Everyone got up and started dancing – I couldn’t believe it,” says Sutherland. “In that moment a lightbulb went off. It had to be a dance video.” And so it is. The brand new video for “Respect the Gift” features five stellar performances combined into one unforgettable ‘groovy’ and brilliant dance sequence.

With COVID arriving soon after the song was recorded, animation would be the best option. Inspiration was drawn from silhouette-style dance videos and ‘groovy’ designs from the 1970’s. For the animator, they knew just who to ask: “We worked with Justin Stephenson before and he did an incredible job. We asked if he’d work with us again and lucky for us he said yes,” says Sutherland, whose “Politician Man” collaboration with Stephenson captured Best Performing Arts & Entertainment at the 2020 Yorkton Film Festival.

Says Justin, the video’s director, animator, and editor, about immersing himself into “Respect the Gift” throughout the tumultuous US election period:

“It was an honour and really helpful for me to be focused on this beautiful project and away from the daily news. I love the song and think the world of Adrian and his work. The optimistic and vibrant graphic language of the 70s really resonates with Adrian’s song and the dance. Everything comes together to create a video that is exuberant, fun, and full of life which I think we all need right about now. It can’t help but make you smile.”

To make the video, one dance sequence was cut from five distinct performances. The dancers were then presented in silhouette and set against a backdrop of dazzling and ever-changing 70’s-inspired designs. One of the best highlights is the star blanket – a design which holds significant meaning to Indigenous culture. Star blankets are typically presented as gifts and represent the act of giving – which also fits perfectly with the message of the song. Watch for it to appear for the first time at 00:48 when it ‘explodes’ into view in the most stunning way!

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