"Bully Proof" - The Brand UR



4 April 2013, Putnam CT
The anti-bullying fashion line "The Brand UR" and Art Aperitif Productions announce the completion of the anti-bullying music video "Bully Proof." The video accompanies a hip-hop song written by Shawn Lopez and performed by rapper Brainiax.

Art Aperitif Productions, based in Eastern Connecticut, was recruited by The Brand UR in late 2012. The production company, headed by writer director Jace Paul, was thrilled to take on a project of such crucial importance.

"We knew right away that this project was for us," says Paul. "The statistics on bullying and suicides related to bullying are staggering. It's an epidemic, and it needs to be addressed."

In order to give the video maximum exposure in the anti-bullying movement, Paul reached out to talented young actors who were already active anti-bullying advocates. Ashley Jermaine, a model who's recently been seen in Teen Vogue and Seventeen Magazine, provides anti-bullying resources on her website as part of an effort she calls Stomp Out Bullying. " I offer videos, links, and ways for girls and boys to get help and cope," Jermaine says. "It's a part of who I am," she explains. "I have to make a stand, to change the way people are being mistreated. I have to raise awareness."

Meredith Prunty and Ashley Tramonte have both worked with The Brand UR in the past, giving anti-bullying speeches and appearances around New England to promote awareness. Prunty says -
Ashley says"Anti-bullying is important to me because I've been bullied, and I want to reach out to people who've been through what I've been through. There's always people you can turn to."

The "Bully Proof" video weaves two stories together: a group of high school girls bullying a classmate in the hallway, and the same girls when they were younger and carefree. "I have a two-year-old daughter, and I'm constantly reminded of how gentle and compassionate we are when we're children," Paul says. "Bullying behavior - like racism or homophobia - is learned. When I began to write the story for "Bully Proof," I knew I wanted to ask people watching the video to remember the kindness and love we felt when we were young."

For the roles of the young children Paul cast Paisley Dickey, Alycesaundra and Giavanna Lyerly, and Addison LaFountaine. Dickey and the Lyerly twins ("The Tiara Twins") are well-known for their appearances on The Learning Channel's hit reality series "Toddlers & Tiaras."

Says Paul, "Paisley and the twins have both expressed in interest in acting. I thought this was a wonderful opportunity for them to get started." Though new, Paul says that the aspiring thespians were true professionals. "They were wonderful," he explains. "Such a joy on the set - they put 100% of themselves into the job, took great direction, and just gave us the perfect shots. Though we had to do more than a few retakes because our crew kept breaking down and saying "awww" whenever the girls smiled."



"Behind-the-Scenes" Video: The stars of "Bully Proof" talk about bullying and why they're anti-bullying advocates. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-gYbWo5vg4


The following photos are free for use with attribution [(c) 2013 Art Aperitif Productions].

Caitlin O'Neil and Ashley Jermaine before filming.

Three dancers (left to right: Taylor Kudalis, Savannah Reinitzer, Kalle Tabor) before filming.

The five leads: (left to right) Belle Kiley, Caitlin O'Neill, Ashley Jermaine, Ashley Tramonte, Meredith Prunty.

Belle Kiley

Meredith Prunty

Ashley Tramonte

Ashley Jermaine

Caitlin O'Neill

On location, the crew prepare for first take.

Caitlin O'Neill and Meredith Prunty rehearse for a take.

The Brand UR CEO Jodilee LaFountain (right) with daughter Addison (left).

Cast and dancers after wrap with director Jace Paul (center).

Addison LaFountain, Giavanna Lyerly, and Paisley Dickey (left to right) jump on a bed.

Left to right: Giavanna Lyerly, Paisley Dickey, and Addison LaFountain.

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