Former Hey Rosetta! Frontman Tim Baker, and film director Jordan Canning are recipients of a new grant for music videos – a grant that will enable to pair to create a video for Baker’s debut solo recording.
On Wednesday morning, RBC and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television announced nine grant recipients of a new initiative called the Music Video Production (MVP) Project. The project provides funding and networking support to musicians and filmmakers for music video production.
“I’m very honoured and surprised,” Baker told The Telegram by phone from Toronto.
“It’s going to enable us to make a much better video, so I’m very, very excited.”
Baker and Canning teamed up to make a music video for the debut single off Baker’s upcoming solo album to be released this year. The album comes after Hey Rosetta! – the band Baker fronted for 12 years – announced an indefinite hiatus with a string of farewell shows in 2017.
The album’s debut single, ‘Dance’, is about “someone held apart from the life they want, the person they desire, or the experience they want to have,” said Baker.
“In another way, it’s about being held apart from nature.”
That’s the angle the pair decided to pursue with the music video.
Canning said the idea of being disconnected from nature was something that resonated with both her and Baker. They both hail from this province but are currently living in Toronto.
“In St. John’s, you can drive 10 minutes and you’re by the ocean or you’re in the woods, and you can escape a lot easier than you can in a big city, which is concrete everywhere,” she said.
Baker echoed her sentiment when he described what it was like for him to move to Toronto.
“I moved into a condominium, and really hated it – very, very disconnected from nature and from the ocean, obviously, but also just from grass and leaves and like, the wind – anything natural. I was just living in this plastic box in the sky and it really, really drove me crazy. So, in a way, (the video) is kind of calling to that.”
Canning said the video will be shot at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa over the course of about a day and a half.
Canning describes an idea of “beautiful taxidermy animals … frozen in time and put behind glass” as a way to speak to that disconnectedness with nature.
Without giving away too much about the video, Canning did say they’ve assembled a small crew as well as a choreographer and dancer.
Importance of grants for artists
Canning – a director for film and television – said music videos aren’t something she typically works on. In fact, those she’s done have been with Baker and Hey Rosetta!
However, one thing she knows for sure is that making any kind of film or video requires money.
“It takes people and resources and money – even the smallest-scale thing, you can’t really just do it alone,” she said.
“To even have a little bit of support behind you from something like the MVP Project … it just makes it possible. It makes you not have to pay for everything yourself, which is hard,” she said.
The grant provided eight artist/director teams across the country an average of $10,000 each to create and produce a music video, and also provided networking and mentorship supports.
The MVP Project is a partnership between RBCxMusic and the Prism Prize. Administered by The Canadian Academy, the MVP Project was created to enable Canadians in creative industries to “explore their musicianship, hone their filmmaking skills, and further their career growth,” according to a press release.
Other recipients in this inaugural round of submissions included recording artists Beatchild and the Slakadeliqs, GOVI, Jeremy Dutcher, Jordan Klassen, Milk and Bone, Sean Leon and Wild Black.
A new round of submissions will open again on Jan. 15.