In The World
4th Wall Theatre, New Plymouth
October 18, 2018, 7.30pm
Taranaki’s coastal splendour and diverse communities co-star in local artist Renée Millner’s new music video release.
Made of starry dust / at times so hard to trust
Perfect in your own / darkest of ways
“This to me is the most precious phrase in the song,” says Taranaki singer songwriter Renée Millner, of the new title track from the EP, ‘In The World’.
“As harshly as we judge ourselves, we are all rare, precious and perfect – even though it can be so easy to go through life without ever realising it.”
‘In The World’ is also the name of her second album, which premiéres live at New Plymouth’s 4th Wall Theatre on October 18, from 7.30pm.
Also due for release is the music video for ‘In The World’, which tells a very human story of self discovery through the extremes of isolation and connection.
As a member of the LGBTIQ community herself, Renée’s original vision for the video was to tell the story of a young person experiencing some of the typical challenges associated with queer identity. But when emerging music talent Sam Egli crossed her path, she decided he was too perfect for the role to pass up.
More than just acting the role, Sam collaborated creatively on the project alongside Renée and other local creatives, Nelson Smart and Ché Rogers. Together they developed a story line that was more fitting for Sam and, in fact, more universal: the theme of personal struggle and how, when we find connections with others, and build community, our burdens become lighter.
Taranaki, too, plays an important role in the production; both as a distinctive backdrop to the story – in particular the beaches and the famed Coastal Walkway – and also through the dozens of members of its diverse communities who come together as extras in the video.
The significance of Taranaki as a presence in the video represents a turning point Renée herself has made. Moving to New Plymouth from Melbourne was her own journey of connection, and she found settling in a struggle.
“When I first came to Taranaki,” Renee explains, “I felt like a fish out of water. I didn't feel as if I fit in … in some way I'd lost my identity moving here … I didn’t feel like myself anymore. Anyone who has felt detached or displaced will identity with the protagonist in the story — we worked collaboratively to capture that sense of heartache, through the visual footage.”But in the end it is community that brings us back, and ultimately that’s what this video celebrates.
Videographer Ché Rogers is another rising star in New Plymouth’s art scene, creating work he describes as post digital.
“Working with Renée on In the World has been a wonderful experience,” says Ché. “It was an opportunity to bring together many skills I have used over the years into one project for the first time, being an artist, designer, photographer, video editor, a musician, and even a parent – all of these things were drawn upon in the creation of this video.”