The events of September 11, 2001, precipitated a career change for Carla Sweet, who was at the time a Navy doctor. Outraged, and “disgusted with the resultant Iraq War,” Sweet became a novice filmmaker.

In late 2003, Sweet, a fan of mod icon Paul Weller, was in her car listening to his 1995 album Stanley Road. Considered a Weller classic, the song describes the aftermath of war and terrorism: “A bomb exploding in another town, children choke on a poison cloud.”

“You can hear a song a thousand times,” says Sweet, “and then it hits you a certain way and takes on a deeper meaning. All of a sudden the words made sense in a new way. The video formulated in my head as I kept pushing the replay button.”

She signed up for a filmmaking class at Southwestern College and began work on the video in January 2004. Sweet used 9/11 clips recorded off news programs. To make a larger statement on peace, additional footage of past wars and Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Ghandi, and John Lennon was used. Though a rough cut was completed in six months, it took Sweet two years to complete the version seen on YouTube (youtube.com/user/highvibration).

In February, Sweet found a message on her YouTube channel page: “Respect from Paul Weller. Found this video tonight and thought very powerful and moving. This is the video the record companies should be making.”

“I didn’t really believe it was from [Weller],” says Sweet, but it was nice to at least think it was.” A few days later she received a message from a Weller associate, confirming it was indeed the Modfather who was interested in her work. When the Weller camp requested copies for their collection, Sweet offered them the video free of charge.

“They own the music copyright anyway,” she reasons. “Besides, I didn’t make the video to make money.” She has since received notice that UMG (Universal Music Group) now owns the clip’s copyright. A link to the video will be included in Weller’s forthcoming tour program and on his website.

– Bart Mendoza

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