Ringo Starr Puts Kids In The Spotlight On ‘Let’s Change The World’ Video

The nonprofit Kids In The Spotlight provides a platform for foster care youth to tell their stories through film.

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Ringo Starr photo: RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
Ringo Starr photo: RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Ringo Starr’s newly-released video for “Let’s Change The World” has been created in collaboration with the nonprofit Kids In The Spotlight.

The track is the lead song from Starr’s Change The World EP, released last Friday.It was written by Joseph Williams and Steve Lukather, both of whom also play on the track, with backing vocals by Amy Keys, Zelma Davis, Billy Valentine, and Darryl Phinnessee. Lukather is also in the video.

Kids In The Spotlight provides a platform for foster care youth to tell their stories through film, allowing them to write, cast, and star in their own short films. The experiences help them to heal and lay the groundwork for employment opportunities.

Says the former Beatle: “Let’s Change The World! I wanted to make this video with kids because they are our future and this is for them. They deserve clean water and fresh air. I believe we should leave this planet in better shape than we found it for our kids, and right now we are not doing that. Half the world is on fire and the other half is under water. We have got to change, and I believe we can. Peace and love, Ringo.”

The youths given the opportunity to work on the video took part in the entire creative process, sharing a Zoom meeting with Ringo in which they discussed the concept and shared their ideas. These included using a huge screen displaying images, fire-fighters putting out fires, smoke machines, and emphasizing that the video could become an anthem of acceptance in the right against the effects of global warming.

Filming took place in Los Angeles by Starr’s Peace Sculpture in Beverly Hills Park, and at the Standard Vision Studios in Glendale. The youngsters were able to shadow and assist in all areas of the production, from directing and lighting to choreography and photography.

‘A memory they will have forever’

“The collaborative effort between Kids In The Spotlight and Ringo Starr to create the music video for ‘Let’s Change The World’ is a perfect example of the opportunities our organization strives to bring youth in foster care year round,” says KITS executive director, Tige Charity. “The experience our youth had in bringing Ringo Starr’s positive message to life through film and music is a memory they will have forever.”

In pre-production and on the shoot, many of the youth contributed ideas for set-ups and wardrobe choices. One of their number, Santiago Chavez, is a budding director, and shadowed the video’s director David Mahmoudieh on the first day of filming. Another KITS foster youth, Rodney Jackson-Brown, is an aspiring writer and actor, and helped conceptualize the video, also appearing in it on both shoot days. Jackson-Brown won the KITS National Foster Youth Screenwriting Contest with his script “Bully,” also directed by Mahmoudieh.

“I have been working with the foster youth of Kids In The Spotlight for the past six years now, watching so many of them come of age as actors, writers and future directors,” says Mahmoudieh. “KITS provides them with a truly transformative platform, where they can channel their experiences within the foster system and life in general into films that represent their identity.

“All of these kids have their own stories and KITS nurtures them into storytellers. I am continually blown away by the variety of unique voices in the program, and working with them on the ‘Let’s Change The World’ music video demonstrated the kids’ ability to apply their skills as storytellers to a whole new platform. One of the KITS affirmations is ‘I can do great things, because I was created to do great things.’ In Ringo and the positive message of his song, they found the perfect partner to do just that.”

Concludes Starr: “These kids were so great to work with. I loved the way they jumped in and I think it turned out great. I want to thank each and every one of them for being so peace and loving and giving their all.”

Buy or stream Ringo Starr’s Change The World EP. 

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