Here are three local groups that made their mark on YouTube.
Greg MacPherson – “1995”
This video is notable because G-Mac is teaming up with local filmmaker and managing editor of The Uniter Nicholas Friesen for the second time. In their first attempt we were treated to the brilliant, bubble gum, animated epic, “Party at Greg’s.” This example is far more stripped down and aggressive.
Gone is the—wink, wink—cameos and overarching story that tied their first collaboration together. In their place we are treated to a black-and-white performance video, composed of frenetic jump cuts and an incredibly narrow depth of field. This work trades the endearingly gimmicky nature of their previous work for a darker tone that put the charismatic MacPherson at the forefront in a way that captures the vibe of videos that were being made when the song is set, 1995.
Surprise Party – “Jealousy”
You don’t get more lo-fi than this little gem of a video.
Using a song off of the Beach Station Blues II compilation album, Surprise Party has created a visual work that would be right at home on the Winnipeg Babysitter DVD that the Winnipeg Film Group released a couple years back. Tripped out changes in hue, a practical bathroom mirror kaleidoscope effect, a man-on-man balaclava clad make-out session, and a kinky little slap for good measure make up this video.
This video looks like it was filmed in an afternoon by a couple of wasted madmen, but it is infinitely watchable and more honest than anything someone with a film degree could ever make.
The Lytics – “Toot Your Own Horn”
Mike Maryniuk has made some of the best videos this city has ever produced. His work with American Flamewhip, Pip Skid, and Smoky Tiger are the gold standard that all acts should aspire to when putting pictures to their music. The man knows how to make every frame count; his videos are jam-packed with action and intriguing visual techniques.
“Toot Your Own Horn” mixes animation, film, and video flawlessly to capture the group’s kinetic, infectious energy. My favourite part is how Maryniuk uses cracked and scratched painted leader to frame shots of the group performing in front of the Nutty Club building, in a way that brings to mind a funky hip hop version of Stan Brakhage.