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Local music video director making art with a message – SooToday.com

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About a week ago, local music institution Dustin Jones released a music video for the first single Don’t Want To Come Down by his new band, The Conspirators. The group is made up of himself, Darrin Pfeiffer (Goldfinger/The Salads) on drums and Chuck Dailey (I Mother Earth/The Salads) on bass.

Although Brendan Garlick defers the actual meaning of the song to songwriter Dustin Jones, he notes the video concept is an ironic play on the title of the tune. “The video interprets the meaning of ‘Don’t Want to Come Down’ to not wanting to give up a certain lifestyle, or not wanting to grow up.”

According to their social media page, The Conspirators’ high energy songs were built to prove that “rock and roll is still alive and well”. The Garlick-directed accompanying video was clearly directed to capture that same energy.

Garlick notes that Jones first approached him about making a video for the Conspirators back in 2017. Since that time, the duo had bounced around a number of ideas before landing on a concept.

“We came up with the idea for this one in early summer,” said Garlick. “With that concept, we wanted to find an actress with a youthful look, someone who seemed defiant to play the main protagonist.”

The perfect actress turned out to be Hannah Rausch, a local secondary school student. “Hannah was the winner of a high school songwriting contest and she was recording a couple of really great songs with Dustin at Mission Control Studios. Dustin cast her in the video and she was perfect.”

Garlick noted that Rausch’s instinct for the character in the video was spot on. 

“The entire wardrobe was her own. We didn’t ask her to dress in any specific way. She would just show up and Dustin and I would both say, ‘That’s exactly the look we were going for.’ All we added was a leather jacket that we found at Value Village for one scene. She was able to capture that defiant alt teen look with a touch of goth.”

The filming for the video took place through August and September.

“The shots are slowed down and then (we) sped it up to give it a specific effect.”  

In one scene, Rausch stands in front of a wall with multi-coloured paint running down the walls at an unusual pace. In another, she stands passively in front of a flaming lawnmower.

One of Garlick’s friends and former bandmates, Aaron Allessandrini, was essential in helping make some of these scenes happen.

“I pulled him into the shoot and he contributed a lot to this video. The guy is really talented. He was the key grip behind the scenes and was instrumental in it.”

Allessandrini figured out how to make some of the slowed down scenes work.

“We had a piece of plywood clamped on a carpenter’s bench. The idea was to make use of the sped up effect, so Aaron would take a scoop of paint and let it run down the board to great effect.”

For the flaming lawnmower concept that Garlick had come up with earlier, it was Allessandrini who helped make it happen.

“At first we thought, ‘no, that could be a hazard’. But the night before one of the shoots, I found an electric lawnmower on Kijiji. Someone was giving it away. So I talked Dustin into it.”

Allessandrini was off screen and had figured out how to use a squirt bottle to add gasoline to the lawnmower to give it a billowing effect, while ensuring there was no danger or risk.

Filming the video at a lower speed and then increasing he final version meant their actress could not lip-sync to the song in real time.

“We slowed the song down by 300 percent. I like to refer to it as a Cthulhu remix,” he laughs. “We only had to do one take of each scene. Hannah really nailed it.”

After the video was released, Garlick jokingly asked Rausch if she felt like a celebrity. Her response?  “Not quite.”

“Hannah has aspiration to do more in terms of songwriting. So my hope is if she goes on this meteoric rise, I can say I was there at the beginning,” he laughs. 

For the band portion of the video, some clever coordination had to take place.

Drummer Darrin Pfeiffer was in Los Angeles and Chuck Dailey was in Toronto. As luck would have it, both were performing as part of Amy Gabba and the Almost Famous’ CD Release in Toronto.

So taking advantage of Pfeiffer being flown into Toronto for the show, Jones and Garlick hopped in a car and drove down to meet them during their practice session for the CD Release.

“This was the first time the guys have been in the same room together in a couple years. They were in the jam rehearsal space practicing for their CD release. When Amy and the guitarist left after their practice finished, I shot the live segment of the video with Chuck, Darren and Dustin. We did it quickly, within an hour.”

The filming wrapped up by the end of September and editing was done before Halloween. “We’ve been sitting on the video waiting for the album’s release.”

If the Conspirator video wasn’t enough, Garlick also directed a video that was released in those months after the wrap. This one for local songwriter Jay Case.

The video for Case’s first single Intend to Be from his album foundation came out about a month ago.  

“Jay’s video has a different groove. When I went into it, I definitely did try to match the feeling of the song to the video. Jay’s song is more laid back than the Conspirators’ song which is high tempo.”

Intend to Be was filmed on the shore of Havilland Bay.

“We drove out to this cool house for the shoot. They had a nice little dock with a break wall. We got really lucky and had ducks going by and a mist on the water. So we capitalized on it.”

With this video, Garlick was trying to capture an atmosphere rather than tell a story.

“The more I can do in trying to create an atmosphere, the more successful I am going to be.”

Unlike the Conspirators’ video, the Jay Case shoot was less planned and done quickly. “We shot it in a couple of hours,” says Garlick. “We didn’t plan much out ahead. I listened to the song a couple of times and had this idea about Jay preparing a dinner. We left the ending open ended and we never know who it was on the other side of the door.”

As a filmmaker, Garlick has to live in both worlds and be ready to work in planned and unplanned shoots.

He notes that many clients don’t know exactly what they want, but they know what they don’t want.

“On the creative side, it is really challenging to just trust yourself. You have to know that the client may not see what I am seeing. You have to try to figure out what they need.”

Although Garlick has most recently been working in the directing world, he notes that there is another world: the organization side.

“I started my career in filmmaking on the organization side of things working on a film called All Hallows Eve: October 30th. I went from slate as a volunteer to assistant director in 3 days. I am very time organized and the crew didn’t have anyone in terms of set organization. So, I just slipped into that role.”

Those organizational skills were handy in his role as a band member too. “In Gnaeus, I was the guy who kept track of shows, of when are we practicing, and how are we going to get the gear to the shows. Aaron [Allessandrini] would write the words and melodies and handled things like the art work.”

So for Garlick, his most recent experiences working with Dustin Jones and the Tidal Records artists, was a big shift from the organizational side  to the vision side of the equation.

“Working with Dustin, I was able to supply some of that vision. I would lead shots by default.”

Garlick has come a long way from his early roots working with Shaw Cable to stream City Council meetings, as a wedding videographer or even as part of the All Hallows Eve: October 30th crew. He has learned from his earlier music videos for local band K.I.C.K. and songwriter Brendan Hodgson

“My initial videos were done by trying to get artists together and film performance shots.”

As a fan of the MuchMusic and MTV music era, he has been working to develop his skills to match a video to the song.

“With limited resources, it is often hard to tell a convincing story. You can look really amateurish the more you try to show a consistent A to B to C. So, I like to get into these abstract ideas where you can gain in innovativeness and eye catchiness to make up for what you don’t have in terms of lenses or lighting gear.”

Garlick remembers the impact of videos like Madonna’s Like a Prayer video had on him.

“Even as a 10-year old, I loved those videos. I knew there was an underlying message there but I wasn’t sure what it was. I didn’t totally get it, but knew it was there.

Aside from music and film, Garlick has developed his own comics.

The Spaceman Chronicles he describes as a combination of Star Trek and Magic Schoolbus. 

“It was a six part series that followed a group of six space explorers.” The catch was that at the end of each episode, the explorer died.

He is currently working on another called Detox: A Love Story.

“I have all the pages laid out. I am going panel by panel. My hope is to find a way to finance an outside illustrator.”

The concept stemmed from a placement he had at a withdrawal management centre while he was in school.

“I also have a personal history that involves experiences in that realm. So this comic will be about addiction and the way it overlaps with other aspects of people’s lives. I want it to be for people who actually have that experience, people who are in the middle of it. I want it to be universally accessible.”

Garlick is philosophical about his art. 

“I loved Calvin and Hobbes when I was young. At first I saw it as trivial. Looking back, it has so much philosophical messaging, so much emotional development. It is also so simplistic as a format. If you look at so called ‘low culture’ media, including music videos and comic books.”

Garlick wants to imbue those mediums with the same sort of meaning you would find in Dostoyevsky or Dickens.

“Good art has to have meaning, but that doesn’t have to mean that you need to say things explicitly. That’s the trick. If you say things explicitly people will reject it or they will tune it out. Great art tricks you into emotionally connecting. Afterwards you say, ‘oh shoot, I can see things from a different perspective now.’”

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Spreading roots: City of Charlottetown calling for art proposals for tree appreciation program – Saltwire

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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — The City of Charlottetown is accepting proposals for Rooted in Art, an opportunity for P.E.I. artists to create temporary art installations inspired by Charlottetown trees.

Rooted in Art matches local artists with trees on public land in Charlottetown create an art installation on or around a tree.

The project was first held in fall 2020 and is meant to engage the community with nature in a new way and reflect the importance of the urban forest.

Nancy Coles contribution to Rooted in Art hangs on a littleleaf linden tree in Victoria Park. - Michael Robar
Nancy Coles contribution to Rooted in Art in 2020 hangs on a littleleaf linden tree in Victoria Park. – Michael Robar

This year, four artists will be selected to install temporary art installations in different locations in the city. The structures will be on display over two weeks in October.

All Island artists are eligible to submit proposals for Rooted in Art, with a limit of one proposal per artist.

Applications will be accepted until Aug. 30 at 4 p.m. and can be sent by email to [email protected] or delivered to City Hall at 199 Queen St.

More information on the project and application requirements is available online.

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Canada's largest women's festival, Kingston Women's Art Festival, returns – Kingstonist

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On Sunday, the Kingston Women’s Art Festival will return to City Park to celebrate women artists. Bring the family, browse, and enjoy original art designed and created by women. Sasha Jiminez French, local multi-disciplinary artist, is volunteering her time to help ensure the festival returns to full strength after the

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Windsor Public Library wants to show you local art while you ride your bike – CBC.ca

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Windsor Public Library wants to showcase the city’s downtown art. It plans to have two cycling tours to show it off.

Becky Mayer, a librarian at the Windsor Public Library organized the tours. She said the main reason she wanted to do this is because people think there’s nothing to do or see in Windsor.

“I often ride my bike around and I see a lot of cool and weird stuff,” said Mayer. “So, I just thought that maybe a few people would want to join me on a weird stuff tour.”

Mayer said she’ll be bringing Betty the Bookmobile along for the journey. She said the ride will be pretty casual and if someone has a story to tell she’s happy to give them space to share.

“I’m fine with talking as well. If you want to have a silent tour, that’s also cool. Like, it’s very, very casual. Go with the flow. We’ll see what happens,” Mayer said.

The first tour starts at 6 p.m. August 16, the second tour is on August 20 starting at 10 a.m. The tours last about an hour and starts at the library’s Central Branch at the corner of Ouellette Avenue and Pitt Street.

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