In August 2015, Alex Wright, a friend of mine and musician, performing under the pseudonym ‘The Wax Girl’ released the track ‘ONWARDS’. I was honoured to be a part of this song’s release by creating the music video to accompany the hauntingly beautiful instrumental piece. The video was well received and captured a nomination by the 2015 Jack Richardson London Music Awards. The video for ONWARDS is something that I’m extremely proud of, and has been one of my favourites.
In May, Alex let me know The Wax Girl had come out of winter hibernation, and emerged with the first single from his forthcoming album entitled ‘Reminders’. Reminders, is not only a beautiful piece of music, but it also features Alex’s vocals for the first time on a Wax Girl recording. Instantly I fell in love with this piece, and couldn’t wait to accompany the music with some beautiful imagery.
Alex and I discussed concepts and decided to tell a story of missed connections, and desperately trying to connect with somebody in a place where their past presence haunts you.
I discussed the concept with Alex about building a visual universe for his music in which all his videos moving forward would be inter connected. We decided to ask Siobhan Latimer to once again go on a visual journey with us. Using the scarves she performed with in the ONWARDS video, the visual journey for her character continues from an empty warehouse to the waterfront during a gorgeous sunset.
An old friend of mine, Deborah Dewbury-Langley had graciously offered us use of her cottage in Bayfield, Ontario. The sunset over Lake Huron is absolutely gorgeous, and was perfect for the look we were going for.
When it came to the male lead in the video, Alex expressed concern about appearing in the video, so he preferred the option to go with an actor. Finding an actor would prove to be a challenge, as the job offer wasn't that appealing. Originally we wanted to film during the two most beautiful times visually, sunset and sunrise. Our actor would need to have a 5am call time, an hour out of town, for low budget, and get shot with a cannon of coloured powder. Thankfully local musician, Jesse Nestor agreed to be our male lead.
For the shoot, we had an awesome team of Jason R. Gray, Alex, Sara, Siobhan and myself prepared to all create something beautiful.
Rolling at sunset with Siobhan went off without a hitch. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect night. I've had the pleasure of working with Siobhan on multiple projects, and I cannot express how absolutely incredible she is to work with.
As we lost our light, we spent the night by a fire waiting out the night to shoot at sunrise. It was a fantastic night where we all got to know each other around the fire. Cell phones had no service on the beach, so we spent the night off the grid.
Jesse had arrived by dawn and we filmed his side of the video. The second Jesse put up the flares, it just felt “off”. Jesse's performance was great, but in my head it was always Alex in the video. I shot everything I needed with Jesse, and was prepared to use it in the final cut,
I wanted to get a birds eye view looking down at the smoke signals on the beach. A massive malfunction put my drone into a tree and immediately ripped me out of shooting mode into drone crisis mode. After an hour of us trying to get it out of a tree, we resumed shooting but by then our light was gone. Jesse was a massive help not only stepping in to be in the video, but he was crucial in the rescue of the drone, hauling a 20ft long tree up from the beach.
I still feel terrible for cutting him out of the video. Jesse handled the situation with absolute grace. Telling somebody that their performance is cut isn't easy.
With the drone crash messing up the shoot, I was forced into a reshoot situation. This afforded me the opportunity to edit together the video, and present Alex with a solid draft. Being that we had to reshoot the male scenes, I had a talk with Alex, and he agreed to appear in the video.
Shooting a week after our all night shoot, we took an hour on the beach to shoot all of Alex's footage against sunset. As soon as I rolled the first take with him, everything felt right. Alex bravely took 3 blasts of coloured powder shot from an air charge without fear for the climax of the video.
I had concerns on how the blast would feel physically for both Alex and Jesse, so prior to firing the cannon at them, I took the hit myself so I could not only explain to them what to expect, but also it would allow me to show them that I wouldn’t ask them to do anything I wasn’t willing to do myself.
Ending the night covered in pink powder, Alex absolutley nailed the exact performance that I had envisioned.
The video has been painted as a visual picture of the song. I’ve mentioned in the past, I have Synesthesia and when I hear music, a painting is created in my head. The visuals that I have created for this song, are very close to the colour palate I see in my head when I hear this beautiful piece of music.
A huge thank you for everybody involved with this video, Alex, Jason, Sara, Siobhan, Jesse, Deborah, and my daughter Maya who came out for reshoots. This video was a lot of work in a very short amount of time, and I appreciate everything that each one of these people did to make this thing possible.