Director George Vale
GEORGE VALE has shot music videos and more with everyone from Broken Social Scene and Stars to the Rolling Stones and Alice in Chains. For his first City Sonic film we sent him to Sneaky Dee’s to uncover Brian Borcherdt of Holy Fuck’s stories about Wavelength.
LL: Give us your “elevator ride” pitch: the concept for your film in three sentences or less.
GV: Brian Borcherdt gives a brief history of the scene surrounding Sneaky Dee’s, focusing on the Wavelength series and how it brought so many musicians together. Set to the music of Holy Fuck’s first LP, the episode graphically illustrates the connections between the individual artists and the paths they took to become the bands they are today, using Brian’s personal story of how influential Wavelength was to him and to many other successful bands.
LL: What was the biggest challenge shooting in this location?
GV: Trying to find a place to draw our Toronto indie rock hall of fame in Sneaky dee’s bathroom. It’s graphed up so much we had to peel one of the mirrors off the wall to find some open real estate. Now everyone’s going to be trying to find the map right? Or someone will find it in ten years when everyone included in the map is famous and living in LA and they declare Sneaky Dee’s bathroom wall a Heritage Site making the place impossible to tear down.
LL: What did you learn about Brian that surprised you?
GV: That he was as shy and funny as he was. Maybe that’s ‘cause I know him from playing guitar and jumping around on stage as much as he did in By Divine Right and his new music’s pretty lit up as well, so his on-stage persona is a bit of stretch when you meet him off stage. His solo record is more like Brian’s personality.
LL: Do you have any favourite vintage film “toys” to play with in your work too?
GV: The only old-school film thingy that I use that could compare to Brian’s sound/film synchronizer is some old scratchy leader I layer to give images a fatigued, period or documentary look. The leader’s been digitized so it’s not even in its natural form so I guess my vintage gag is a bit lame compared to Brian’s. Sorry, lovin’ digital technology too much these days, but I do know where to get a hand crank movie camera and some arc lights.