Divya D’Souza’s first love was music. As a child, she learned how to play the drums, picturing being a rock star. As she aged, that dream shifted to becoming a filmmaker, but her passion for music never wavered. When she started to become a recognized producer and leader in the Canadian film industry, she decided to combine these two interests in a passion project, A Picture of Ray Robinson, detailing the life of the celebrated Canadian R&B singer.
“I am a big fan of music and liked the artist. I was excited to do something different and combine my two loves of film and music together in a different way that I was able to come up with on my own,” said D’Souza.
It began when Canadian Urban Music Award winner Ray Robinson approached D’Souza after hearing how talented she was, seeing her work on the television show A Little Unkind. He wanted her to take charge of a film project for him, and suggested a music video. D’Souza, however, came up with the idea of doing a concert DVD.
“I liked highlighting and showcasing a talented musician from the Canadian R & B community. I think it is good to show diverse artists in their full potential and help get them more exposure,” she said.
A Picture of Ray Robison takes you into the life of the Canadian Urban Music Award Winner to see a deeper side of him, while at the same time taking you to one of his concerts where you get an up-close look at his show and unforgettable performance.
“I loved mixing a documentary feel with a concert environment. Also, loving music, it was so nice to incorporate one of my passions into a project I was doing visually,” said D’Souza.
D’Souza is now an internationally successful producer with many prolific films under her belt, including Total Recall, Robocop, Pixels, and The Vow, but at this time she had never worked on a concert film, and enjoyed learning the genre. It was a small crew with a modest budget, but D’Souza worked diligently to make it a stunning work of art.
On the day of the concert, however, there was a major snow storm, and attendance was much lower than expected. It was an unprecedented challenge, but D’Souza rose to the occasion, getting creative, reaching out to locals asking them to attend and managing to make the audience look bigger on camera.
A Picture of Ray Robinson premiered on Bravo in May 2007, and was an instant hit. For D’Souza, such success was a great honor, as it was her vision and concept that was brought to life. She produced and directed the film, in charge of every major aspect of the project. She even worked on editing and reshooting material for b-roll for the documentary aspect of the film.
“It was great to have a positive response to a project that I had come up with the concept that worked with different live mediums,” she concluded.