Working in close partnership with Alaskan Tapes composer Brady Kendall, Director Andrew De Zen (last seen on DN here) today releases the first of three music videos created for the Toronto based ambient music project’s forthcoming album You Were Always An Island. Stand-alone, yet part of an undisclosed whole, initial outing Waiting sets the enigmatic tone of the trilogy. Intrigued by this glimpse into a pivotal moment of an unknown life, we asked Andrew to tell us more about the project and what to expect from the remain parts.
Brady (Alaskan Tapes) and myself decided to create a series of narrative styled films for his upcoming album You Were Always An Island. Three music videos and three parts that would all be about these characters who are separated from the things they love in one way or another. In differing ways the series is also about the lengths we will go to for the ones we love. For each film I created a pretty immense backstory and part of what I wanted to experiment with, especially in Waiting, was this idea that the viewer is only glimpsing the one percent that is shown, but underneath the surface there is something much more complicated going on. Something never stated, only implied.
Alaskan Tapes is so incredibly evocative and ambient that we immediately knew this was something that only film could capture.
It goes without saying that having the trust of an artist and working with someone as talented as Brady is such an absolute joy. One thing I wanted to do was make each music video its own but to connect it to this larger thing where if people wanted to dig into it they could find more underneath it and in the cracks. So I wrote three passages, part poetry and part thematic context, one per video that would imply even further what the film is speaking of. Coupled with Brady’s own artwork there is also an associated image that goes along with each separate film. Parts one and two, Waiting and Skin, are completed but the third film, Places, is currently in pre-production.
One thing I wanted to touch on was the fact that each film is shot on 35mm by our awesome Vancouver based DP, Cole Graham. The music of Alaskan Tapes is so incredibly evocative and ambient that we immediately knew this was something that only film could capture. As film is consistent through each piece, the style and aesthetic shifts – Waiting is in black and white 2-perf, while Skin is in colour 2-perf, and we are shooting Places in 16×9 colour.
It’s also worth noting that the entire series is shot in Vancouver and at this point I believe, including Alaskan Tapes’ earlier films, all the music videos have been shot in Vancouver so I find it interesting that the music now has this associated image with this location and landscape.