Stratford artists team up for movie-inspired premiere music video at drive-in


A made-in-Stratford music video created in the style of a spy movie will premiere as a special feature on Friday at the pop-up drive-in currently in the middle of its second summer on St. Patrick Street .

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A made-in-Stratford music video created in the style of a spy movie will premiere as a special feature on Friday at the pop-up drive-in currently in the middle of its second summer on St. Patrick Street .

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The video is a collaboration between musician and producer Ethan McCarroll, also known as Ethan Maac, and filmmaker Kris von Kleist. Shot over the May long weekend with a handful of local actors, the video for McCarroll’s new song, Past Due, will debut before Steven Spielberg’s 1975 thriller Jaws, which premieres at 9 p.m.

“We saw this as a huge opportunity to show this project that we both worked so hard on, really on a tight budget,” said McCarroll. “We’re super excited about how it all came out and I think people are going to really like it.”

McCarroll is a Stratford native who was living in Toronto when the pandemic was declared in Ontario last spring. He decided to move and has since opened a small recording studio on Lorne Avenue, working with local artists such as Liv Robinson and Meredith May as well as others from elsewhere in southern Ontario.

“The last year has been weird, but it’s been good because a lot of people are looking to do creative things, especially when they’re at home looking for (something) to do,” said McCarroll. “I think for me (the pandemic) has been an opportunity not only to do the same and create music on my own, but also to provide this service to others.”

Past Due is a track that has been on the back burner at McCarroll for some time.

Although he started writing it before the pandemic, McCarroll said the synth-rich hip-hop / pop song has started to take on its full meaning over the past few months, reminding him of the soundtrack to the movie. action néo-noir Drive by Nicolas Winding Refn.

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For von Kleist, the song’s intro features a tone reminiscent of action flicks from the late ’80s and early’ 90s before developing a more contemporary groove. After working together on a promotional video for an album McCarroll recorded in 2019, the couple decided to further explore the idea for the film. They came up with a concept that features McCarroll as an undercover spy above his head, complete with black aviators and a vintage Jaguar.

A music video directed by local filmmaker Kris von Kleist will be shown this week as a special feature at the pop-up drive-in downtown.  (Photo courtesy of Claire Scott)
A music video directed by local filmmaker Kris von Kleist will be shown this week as a special feature at the pop-up drive-in downtown. (Photo courtesy of Claire Scott)

“I didn’t create anything like it… so it was a lot of fun to find out and be resourceful,” von Kleist said. “I’m really a filmmaker driven by the tone we work with and that’s the beauty of working with musicians… they already have the soundtrack. It was just like that kind of nervous espionage that the song really emphasized.

Having a big screen for the premiere of the video was a bonus to the project and an opportunity that von Kleist appreciates. The drive-in, built last year to provide a fun night out downtown, has been a boon for area residents who enjoy watching or making movies, she said.

“If we didn’t have a place like this it wouldn’t be so exciting for us. It gives that physicality instead of just clicking the download button and it’s done.

“We can soak up some more of it,” von Kleist added. “I think for any artist… being able to just have that space and that time to really appreciate (a project) is really sacred and really special to experience. There is something quite powerful about this.

cmontanini@postmedia.com

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