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A Toronto Love Song, 3 Years in the Making

Posted by Tim / May 31, 2009

Yesterday Justin Ewart sent us a video he started making back in July of 2006. With help from some close friends, the TTC, his uncles camera and a cheap Dollar Store CD player he navigated the city for five days asking random strangers to appear in his music video. Three years later he's finally found the time to edit the video which has now been posted to Vimeo, TouTube and embedded below:

Intrigued, if not feeling a little melancholy, I caught up with Justin to ask him more about the video, his inspiration for it and what took so long to share it with the world.

What inspired you to create this video?

The concept came to me while meditating with friends at a Buddhist meditation center in the west end. The inspiration for this rendition of the song came from my first high school love. When we broke up she snuck the lyrics to this song in to my locker and I realized just how sad of a song it actually is.

How long did it take you to shoot/edit the video?

It took 5 days of shooting and sunburns, and then a couple of years of editing on and off as I was sorting out how to obtain rights to actually show the video and working on other video projects. Part procrastination and part frustration with pulling it together.

How did you select the people who appeared in the video?

People were selected at random off the street. It took 5 days of me and whatever friend I could sweet talk into coming with me that day wandering around town with signs that said "Want to be in a music video?" We would take whoever came up to us or who we could start random conversations with. It was a really interesting process for me, hearing all of the stories from the people in the video for why they picked who they did and what they meant to them. Some of the stories were really heart breaking, like the old man who dedicated the video to his wife who had passed after a prolonged painful illness, and the guy who had a tattoo of his lost love on the back of his neck. All of the people in the video are real and none of it was arranged ahead of time.

What do you do for work/fun?

I work as a web designer by day, but I am really an aspiring director/editor, actor, artist, writer. I've also studied Astrology for over 10 years and hold a BA in Philosophy. My heart is really in the arts, but being an artist doesn't always pay so well and I got sick of waiting tables, so, I make with the webby-geeky for bucks. But I do hope to shoot features some day.

Is that you on vocals?

That is me singing and playing guitar. This is a cover version I recorded for an album I released at the end of 2005 called "In The Morning I Woke Up". After the album was complete I gave myself the ambitious project of creating a music video for every one of the songs on the album. I made a couple of videos with a director/now friend I found off Craigslist, and attempted to direct a bunch of others myself. Some of the footage didn't turn out, and some were just crap, all in all I ended up with four videos I really liked and you can see them all on my website or YouTube.

I'm currently in pre-production to start another album and hoping to direct more videos or even a long form feature concept for the whole album. I think the best way to approach any creative project is with as much ambition as you can muster. Then if you fall short, you'll probably still end up with something pretty great.



Laura / May 31, 2009 at 07:58 pm
Well gosh, that's just beautiful.
Nat / May 31, 2009 at 09:09 pm
That was really nice, kind of made me sad.
Oileanach / May 31, 2009 at 10:04 pm
This is touching in many ways - isn't that carved tree at 2:04 the one that vandals burned up last week? A lot can change in 3 years. Not to be morbid, but I wonder what the odd are that one of these subjects has died?
Heather / June 1, 2009 at 09:59 am
Sameer Vasta / June 1, 2009 at 10:03 am
This makes my heart ache, in a hauntingly beautiful kind of way. Thank you for sharing.
Lauren / June 1, 2009 at 10:18 am
Wow, that was really heart wrenching. And beautiful. Thanks to Justin for sharing and Tim for posting.
Naomi / November 21, 2009 at 02:58 am
Really lovely. Reminds me how beautiful strangers can be and how powerful simplicity is.
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