WATCH: Moving music video urges Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders to ‘be counted’ in 2020 Census

Updated: Jan. 14, 2020 at 9:19 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The makers of “Hawaii Aloha” and “Hawaii 78” ― music videos that went viral ― are hoping to do it again.

Their new one is called “This is Me 2020," and it features a blend of Native Hawaiian artists and Pacific Islanders who are all promoting the 2020 Census.

The song's eye-catching opening features a singer on a sandbar.

“We carried a 1,000-pound piano in the dark and put it out on the location and shot the scene at sunrise,” said Ruben Carrillo, director of photography for 4Miles LLC.

World Premiere Of "This Is Me 2020"

Wow. Check out this powerful and moving rendition of "This is Me," performed by Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander artists in locations around the country to encourage everyone to "be counted" in the 2020 Census. The video, from Mana I Ka Leo Power of the Voice, was commissioned by the US Census Bureau. READ MORE: #HINews #HNN

Posted by Hawaii News Now on Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The production company created the video to urge everyone to “be counted” in the Census, using the popular song from “The Greatest Showman.”

"The message behind the song was extremely important and it fit nicely with what we were trying to do with our video," 4Miles LLC partner and producer Dawn Kaniaupio said.

Filming was a logistical challenge. Location shooting was done in Hawaii, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The production weaves in island-style elements like a hula halau.

"One of my favorite locations was us putting Kumu Hula Mark Hoomalu in front of the Golden Gate Bridge," Carrillo said.

"We felt it was significant to have hula shown outside of Hawaii because so many of our artists are now living and make their home in other places," Kaniaupio said.

The crew needed permits to film at locations that included the Statue of Liberty.

"In New York we knew we wanted to film at Grand Central terminal," Kaniaupio said.

That scene was shot at 2 a.m. when the terminal was empty.

The montage of professional performers includes Raiatea Helm, Lehua Kalima and a soaring vocal performance by Amy Hanaialii.

“We also used a lot of amateurs,” Carrillo said. “There’s people that have never been on a video.”

The project took a lot of planning to bring together artists and locations.

"We had to film in a very short period of time," Kaniaupio said.

“This is Me 2020” will be posted Tuesday on Hawaii News Now’s Facebook page and the U.S. Census Bureau Facebook page.

“My goal is to pull out an emotion. If I can see that then I know it’s working,” Carrillo said.

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