West Kelowna director nominated for Juno Award

Johnny Jansen directed B.C. band Said the Whale’s ‘Record Shop’ video

When rock band Said the Whale asked Johnny Jansen to possibly direct a music video for their new hit song, the West Kelowna filmmaker had the perfect idea already in his back pocket.

Using records, Jansen and his team created a music video using phenakistiscope effects, a way of animation that uses motion to create an illusion of a single moving picture. The finished project was a huge success and Jansen was nominated for a 2020 Juno Award for Music Video of the Year.

“It’s been an idea I’ve had for quite some time now,” said Jansen.

“I always had it in my mind that it would be really cool to do that for a full music video. I just thought about how I would be able to do it and when Said the Whale approached me and the song was called Record Shop, I was just like ‘wow.’”

While the idea was a no-brainer, Jansen said he was shocked when he found out it had been nominated for a Juno Award.

“I was not expecting it and it’s an hour to be recognized for this piece of work,” said Jansen. “It’s very cool that they chose to recognize the dedication and passion of the project.”

Jansen, said that he and the team put countless painstaking hours into the music video, which used close to 130 records.

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Jansen first starting making music videos for his former Kelowna-based band Field of Greens and did more video producing while working with Club Penguin when it was still running in the Okanagan.

From there, Jansen moved to the coast in 2014 when the band broke up and his name made its way to Vancouver-based band Said the Whale. They tracked down the Okanagan director for their first collaboration to create something a bit “out of the box” for their song UnAmerican.

“That’s the start of this relationship,” said Jansen.

“Because it was so successful, they were super comfortable with me experimenting. I think that it’s something different and bands like something different. It was another piece of art that’s parallel with their song.”

UnAmerican, another video that used practical effects, won the 2019 Leo Award for Best Music Video as well as the Audience Award at the 2019 Prism Prize.

The Prism Prize was a milestone for Jansen; It’s an award that’s well known and highly sought after in the industry. After that win, Jansen began getting hungry for the next award pinnacle: the Juno Awards.

“There was lots of pressure because (Record Shop) was the follow-up video,” he said. “The Junos are awesome and I’m thrilled.”

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Up next for Jansen is a feature documentary film in the Okanagan and he’s excited to continue the whirlwind of a year it has been for his career.

But first, he’ll be taking his wife to the 2020 Juno Awards on March 15 in Saskatoon to see the show and the fruit of his labours.

“I feel this video means a lot to me,” said Jansen.

“It was technically challenging and very personal. It was all in my head as I was the only one who knew what to do and everyone just had to trust me. I’m grateful for Said the Whale for trusting me and in that way, I feel very happy to get the recognition.”

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