An Okotoks musician has been recognized for his out-of-this world music video.
Ben Metcalf, who makes up half of electronic duo Betamax Dub Machine, received the award for Best Music Video at the Edmonton Short Film Awards on Oct. 16 for the accompaniment to the duo’s song BETANAUT.
“It was a complete shock to win. I just entered it and never thought I’d actually win.” said Metcalf. “It was a good surprise. The evening was full of really good videos.”
The idea to do the music video came from Betamax Dub Machine vocalist Roberto Montoya, and Metcalf ran with it.
“I did the music and the singer wanted to do a video, so I thought I’d have a go at doing a video, and it turned out better than I thought,” Metcalf said.
With Metcalf situated in Okotoks and Montoya based out of Austin, Texas the two met over social media when Metcalf sought out a vocalist for his ‘80s synthwave tracks.
“I do the music and it over to Roberto, and he comes up with these awesome lyrics,” Metcalf said of the partnership, which began in April.
“It’s working out really well. We’re getting lots of radio play.”
The video features a young girl dressed as an astronaut, played by Metcalf’s daughter Skye, taking flight in her imagination.
Lifting off in her spaceship (themed tent), the small spacefarer sets down on an alien landscape, with scenes being shot in the Alberta Badlands, near Drumheller.
“Three and a half minutes of video took two days, and I was using my daughter as the astronaut,” said Metcalf, adding some improvised craft services were required to get the talent working.
“She’s three and a half and just wanted to play, and I’m maybe not the best director, but we got the shots we needed and it was good fun. I had to bribe her with ice cream and a cheeseburger.”
Once shot, the video was then handed over to colourist Ethan Hill.
“I’m completely colourblind. I had to look for a colourist to do all the work because it's just something I can’t do,” Metcalf said. “I get on the Calgary Film Facebook group page and he replied to my post, and he did a great job.”
Overall the video was an enjoyable learning experience.
“I’m not by any means a professional film producer, but it was fun. It probably took two to three weeks, just with all kinds of edits and putting them together matching to the music,” he said. “Some of the effects took quite a long time because I had to watch YouTube tutorials on how to do stuff.”
The duo will continue releasing music and hope to create another video in the future.
“I’ll wait for Roberto’s lyrics and if anything grabs my attention, I’ll do a video for it,” Metcalf said.
“I’ll be doing another one for sure."