In a packed the Tir Nan Og Irish pub in downtown Kingston, Alex Jansen, business development manager for the Kingston Film Office, was absolutely buzzing with excitement along with the over 120 people on hand.
The pub was filled on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020 with those from local production companies, local musicians and bands, and interested community members as the Kingston Film Office announced the upcoming production of 15 music videos. Through support from the Kingston Film Office, the Kingston-based production companies were selected for the project, which was announced in late November of 2019. Jansen, surrounded by eagerly-awaiting guests, explained how the Kingston Film Office aided in pairing local production companies with local bands and artists.
“In late November through December, we identified the production companies and we announced them, really aiming to have local bands participate. Based on that, the bands would reach out to the production companies,” Jansen explained.
“The response was amazing. I know a couple of the production companies had over 50 bands get in touch, there was a huge response.”
From those who applied, the different production companies selected the band or artist they would be partnering with, and those partnerships were announced to the full house at Tir Nan Og on Saturday.
The goal of the project, Jansen explained, is to create the music videos as production exercises for the local community, with a cash contribution to each production company and an honorarium per community participant – that’s right, the Film Office is inviting community members to participate in the productions, and had many people sign up for positions at the Saturday event.
“There’s a $50 honorarium for a participant who wants to work on one of the productions, up to five people per production,” Jansen explained.
“And then between now and the end of February, all the productions will be underway.”
The productions will have to get underway quickly, as each of the music videos will premiere at the 2020 Kingston Canadian Film Festival in March.
On top of being able to tap into the “amazing local music scene” while providing an incredible service for local musicians, the project also aims to help the Kingston Film Office get a better sense of the production companies locally and their capabilities. That’s because the number of large-scale productions taking place in Kingston is growing, and the Film Office wants to be able to direct those productions to local talents.
“It’s great supporting the music community and then also working on more collaborations within it,” Jansen expressed.
“The other amazing thing with a music video is it’s a pretty great contained exercise, and that’s kind of what we’re trying to do with these music videos – use them as a great training exercise for the community, and for the production communities to get more tied together so that, as we are bringing more and more of the industry in, we can connect them with local production.”
Jansen pointed to 2019 as a “record year” of production in Kingston. The Kingston Film Office only opened two years ago, but in June of 2019, they opened Kingston Penitentiary for filming for the first time. Since then, some very prominent productions have taken place in the Limestone City, including Netflix’s Titans, CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries, and, in December, Star Trek: Discovery. Those productions spend a substantial amount of money in the Kingston community, Jansen explained, noting that the production of Titans alone saw $250,000 spent locally. Through the music video project, Jansen said he hopes to see more of that money being spent on local crews.
And, as some extra icing on the proverbial cake, the project will offer an opportunity for those involved and those in the community to come together at the Kingston Canadian Film Festival – a festival Jansen himself started 20 years ago – to view all of the music video creations.
“March 7 is the hard deadline for all the videos to come in, and then they’re all going to premiere at the Kingston Canadian Film Festival in what should be a really fun screening,” Jansen said.
While positions are filling up fast, Jansen said there are still opportunities for members of the community to sign up and participate in the music video productions. Those wanting to do so can apply directly to the production companies, links to which are available here.
The following is a list of each participating production company paired with the artist they’ll be working with in creating the music videos:
- Adam Biehler Photography – Spencer Evans
- ALAFLK Productions – Sian Alcorn
- bnice Films Inc. – Moira Demorest
- Creative Nest – Teagan McLaren
- Emily Pelstring – The Pink Noise
- Happy Kid Productions – Oakridge Ave
- Ian Wong Music (Ali Dixon and Ian Wong) – Ian Wong
- Jamstone Productions – Les Soliloques
- JL Creative Agency and Kingston Drone Pros – Alexandra Mundy
- Make Hay Media – The Meringues
- Skeleton Park Arts – Sadaf Amini
- SkEye Stream – Bon Evans
- Viva Productions – Yan-Nick Michaud
To find out more about the project, the different production companies and artists, the concepts and production schedules for each video, and the roles needed to be filled by community members, click here.
With files from Cris Vilela.