Sunday, arts organizations and supporters all over the Inland Northwest are coming together to create “Music Video Jams,” Spokane’s first local music video competition.
Dashawn Bedford, one of the competition runners, said he found inspiration for the project doing something else: the annual 50 Hour Slam.
“It was always the love of music and video production together,” Bedford said. “I got into the 50 Hour Slam,” another intensive video competition, “a few years ago, and it was cool but it was a little tough because you really only have 50 hours to create, write, shoot and edit. I always though music videos would be fun because the scripts are already kind of written for you. It’s entertaining, there’s a lot of energy in it. I thought why not create a music video contest that highlights the artists just as much as the production crew?”
And that is exactly what the competition founders have done.
Organizers are hoping to build enough support and excitement in the community to ensure that the competition becomes an annual event for the region’s creators. In early August, local filmmakers and musicians were selected from a pool of candidates, divided into teams and given two weeks to produce music video collaborations for some of the original music written by participating musicians and bands.
The musician/filmmaker pairings include Atari Ferrari/Ryan Dean Tucker, Itchy Kitty/Robert Foote, Catastrophe/Levi Isaacs, Chris Molitor/Kendra Ann Sherrill, Kaylee Goins/Nicolas Hinman, Light In Mirrors/Chloe Farmin and BaLonely/Darrien Mack.
Chris Molitor and Kendra Ann Sherrill collaborated on a video for “Carry Me,” a song from Molitor’s 2017 album “Coming Home.” Molitor said the process has been a helpful one for filmmakers and musicians alike.
“Most independent musicians are constantly hustling and doing everything themselves; to be able to give a piece of the creativity and a piece of the process to someone else and watch them take it and run with it was so liberating,” Molitor said. “Definitely a fun part of the process was just not having to be in charge of something and giving up a little control; in the collaboration something even better could come out.”
Molitor added that even as a fairly seasoned independent musician, the opportunities for creating music videos that showcase his work are few and far between.
“This is actually my first music video even though I’ve been doing music for eight, nine years. This gave me an opportunity that I’ve never had before partly because you know you always want to make sure people are getting paid and it’s expensive. It’s (really difficult) to get the time or the finances to take that leap.”
But he and his wife have found great support in the growing creative culture of Spokane since moving here a couple years ago.
“To be a part of the creative community here … it just seems to really keep happening for me and my music,” he said. “Kendra has been a gem and I think we’re actually going to be making more music videos together in the future.”
The resulting music videos will be screened and viewed for the first time and judged on the spot Sunday night at the Bartlett. The screenings are open to the public and viewers are encouraged to come and experience the new works that these groups have successfully put together over the course of just two weeks.