Our collaboration music video project to free Michael is getting a lot of coverage in Canadian media. We’re really thankful for all the support this initiative has received so far, and we hope that we’ll get a lot of cool video contributions. (Please make sure to follow the instructions!) Stories have been published by the Globe & Mail, and the Toronto Sun, and we could talk about the project on CTV News Channel and Alex Pierson’s show on Global News Radio 640 Toronto. We also had a chance to introduce the song to US audiences through an interview on KEXP’s Sound & Vision. You can find all these embedded below.
Our former singer Michael Kovrig has been innocently imprisoned for more than 950 days. We’ve released The Plane To Toronto to raise awareness of his situation. The song only has a lyric video so far, and we’d like to take it one step further by creating a crowdsourced collaboration video. We’ll create a video where you’ll be acting as if you were passing around Free Michael signs, as you can see in the trailer below. You can either download our artwork from here or use this simple design, or create your own hand-made one.
You should record a vertical full HD (1080 x 1920) video with your phone. The video will be cropped to square size, so make sure that both the top of your head and the bottom of the sign will fit in the square. If you can record a square 1080×1080 video (Clips on iPhone should be good for this), that’s even better. Please shoot it outdoors. If you have a background characteristic of your city, the result will be even more amazing!
If you record with the selfie camera, the video can be mirrored (depending on your settings). This is not a problem, we can flip it horizontally.
Here are some instructions and a sample video:
Start with looking into the camera standing still for a few seconds. Don’t stand too close to the camera, so that everything fits in the square cropped video!
Reach out to your right for the sign and pull it in front of your body
Hold the sign for a few seconds
Hand it over to your left
Stand still facing the camera in the starting position for a few more seconds
The video should be about 10-15 seconds long altogether.
Please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org via wetransfer before 20 Aug.
If you have any questions, just drop a mail to the same address.
We’ve created a Free Michael Kovrig poster from the Plane To Toronto artwork by the amazing Richárd Vass. You can download it by clicking the link below. Print it, use it for protests, performances, bulletin boards, or in any way you can to support Michael’s cause. You can download it from here.
You can also use it to contribute to our next music video.
Michael Kovrig, one of the Canadians arbitrarily detained in China known as the Two Michaels, was living in Budapest, Hungary in the ’90s and he was the singer of Bankrupt. After his departure, we remained friends who met annually when Michael visited Budapest. He even joined the band on stage to sing an old favorite in April 2017, the last time we met.
He’s been incarcerated for over 950 days now, and we wrote this song to raise awareness of his situation. We believe that the more people stand up for him, the bigger the pressure will be on politicians to get him out. Eventually, it all adds up. We can make a difference. On the request of Michael’s family, we’ll donate all profits from the song to Hostage International.
The first line-up of Bankrupt (Rocco – bass, William – guitar, Michael K – vocals, Black Peter – drums) got together in March 1996. Fast forward 25 years, Michael’s in a Chinese prison while the rest of us are in lockdown Budapest thanks to the 3rd wave of covid. Not the birthday we’d wished for, but let’s make the most of it. We’re trying to collect all sorts of memorabilia from our past now, so if you have any old photos, posters, recordings, let us know!
For starters, here’s a recording of Listen with Michael on vocals from 1999. It came out on We’re Not Generation X, the first compilation of GC Records, with cover art by Winston Smith of Dead Kennedys fame.