Silver Wave Film Festival Hosts New Brunswick Music Video Showcase
“The music video is back,” says Tim Rayne, curator of the New Brunswick Music Video Showcase, which takes place during this year’s Silver Wave Film Festival. Rayne, a local filmmaker and radio host, believes that musicians have the internet to thank for the resurgence in music videos.
“I believe the executives at MTV and MUCH MUSIC knew the internet was a game changer,” he said. “As you know, music videos pretty much disappeared from those stations by the late 90s. How video supposedly killed the radio star, one could argue, was how the internet killed the video channel. In a nutshell, music videos have found a new audience with the advent of technology, in particular, smart phones. When people are in transit they are more likely to watch a YouTube clip of a music video. It’s a format of convenience.”
In addition to services like YouTube and Vimeo providing a platform for musicians to share and market their music, Rayne acknowledges the ubiquity of video editing software and recording devices for the resurgence in music videos. What was once limited to bands with a label-funded marketing budget is now something all artists have access to.
“The once limiting production capabilities have become a medium of equal opportunity for those who are creative and resourceful,” he said. “Many notable filmmakers of today launched their careers by making and directing music videos. Spike Jonze and Michael Gondry come to mind. Music videos are a great way for filmmakers to experiment with their medium. They can tell a story or they can be made up of purely abstract images. In a sense, music video production can be liberating for a filmmaker.”
“The music group OK GO blew up by making innovative videos over the last few years. Anything can go viral and that includes music videos. So if a band wants to expand its audience beyond their local following, music videos on popular sites like YouTube can potentially expand a band’s audience. With that being said, the bands have to spread the word and promote the videos via social media sites, blogs, and online zines.”
This year’s New Brunswick Music Video Showcase marks the second year the Silver Wave Film Festival have included music videos as part of their programming.
“These videos are all produced by local filmmakers for bands from New Brunswick,” said Rayne. “Very few have any real source of funding or budget. These videos are produced by dedicated weekend warriors. People who are passionate and give up their weekends to work extremely hard producing the videos. Last year I was amazed by the quality of both videos and the songs they accompanied, and I am happy to report that the submissions this year have been very strong. I know most of the directors so I have come to recognize many of their signature styles. They are all resourceful and creative people. The music selections are also eclectic ranging from pop, country, classical, electronic, indie rock, and hip-hop. I feel each one brings something unique and interesting. I can’t really speak on any specific videos before the screening, but I can tell you there are some standouts.”
Of the 14 videos included in this year’s screening, more than half of them originated in Saint John. For a city that long struggled to maintain a consistent music venue over the years, it would appear musicians in the harbour city have embraced video production to help spread the word about all their projects.
“I have a theory about St. John,” said Rayne. “Since I started my radio show a few years ago on CHSR, I noticed the experimental nature of the [the city’s] songwriting and low-fi recordings. Great bands like the Wooden Wives, Little You Little Me, Adam Mallory, David R. Elliot and many more have made it a perfect soundtrack for experimental music videos. Peter Boyle and Steven Doiron in particular have really embraced the format and have contributed greatly to the scene’s recent music video output. Similar to their musical counterparts, the filmmakers have successfully adapted the experimental approach to their filmmaking process.
“But in all fairness, there are great music videos being produced around New Brunswick. In fact, after spending a few days at the recent MusicNB Festival, I met a few bands who shared with me some great videos that I had no idea existed.”
Rayne also believes that the increase collaborative projects between artists of various disciplines has helped shape this new age of music video production and creation, especially at home in New Brunswick.
“Music videos from local artists have rarely existed, but today we are witnessing a renaissance of the local art community through the use of affordable technology and unique distribution options,” he said. “Very exiting times for all involved. People everywhere refer to us as a have-not province but I beg to differ. We have a province filled with incredibly creative people who are producing outstanding content. They are New Brunswick’s unsung leaders in innovation and the Silver Wave Film Festival is a major celebration!”
New Brunswick Music Video Showcase 10:00pm at The James Joyce Pub.