Alberta-born country music star Corb Lund brought a little touch of Christmas to SAIT Polytechnic on Oct. 27.
Lund and a production crew made up partly of Film and Video program students used one of the TV studios in the Senator Burns Building to shoot a video for his Christmas song, ‘Just me and these ponies.’
Lund, who was making his first visit to SAIT, described his experience as “good.”
“Calgary is one of our best, most supportive cities. We are happy to be able to shoot the thing here,” he said.
Lund said the video is going to show the darker side of the festive season, “[focusing] on the parts of Christmas that aren’t so fun.”
The video will focus on Lund after shooting a Christmas special, where in the aftermath it shows everything on set is fake.
Part two of shoot, in Longview, Alta., will tell the story of a man who doesn’t see his family for Christmas.
“I like bummer songs,” said Lund, whose past hit songs have included The Truck Got Stuck, Bible On The Dash, and Five-Dollar Bill.
“Happy songs are a drag.”
Producer John Kerr and director Trevor Smith, both graduates of the Film and Video program, made the decision to shoot the video at SAIT for scheduling and budgeting reasons.
“It seemed like a good fit to be able to access the SAIT locations,” said Kerr, who is also a part-time film and video instructor.
The idea for the deliberately low budget video came about while Kerr and Smith were travelling with Lund, wh0 was playing a reunion tour for the Edmonton indie rock band, the smalls.
Kerr and Smith were working together to create a documentary, ‘Forever is a long time,’ to celebrate the band reuniting after 13 years.
Having worked together previously on music videos, Kerr, Smith and Lund began to collaborate and the project quickly came together.
“[It was] 10 days from concept to shooting,” Kerr said.
“Bringing it together, as fast as we had to, was challenging but fun. We [Smith and myself] took turns planning and scheduling and here we are.”
The plan was to have an estimated 14-hour shooting day with Lund, the production crew and second-year SAIT students, on campus.
SAIT Radio, Television and Broadcast program instructor Leen Kranenburg said it was exciting to have Lund come in to use the space.
“It is an opportunity for us to maintain connections with the professional community and for our current students to get experience working with professionals,” Kranenburg said.
SAIT students working on the set had the opportunity to put their time towards their second year practicum requirement.
Second-year film and video production student Richard Sinn said it is awesome working on the set.
“We get to set up Christmas a couple months before,” he said with a laugh.
Second-year film and video production student Taylor Whitehouse said she only need four out of the 45 hours of production to complete her practicum but she was going to help the crew for both days of shooting.
“It is fun – it’s exciting,” Whitehouse said.
“I feel cool to be able to work with all these guys – they are great.”
The crew spent one day at SAIT shooting and continued to Longview, Alta. for further work on Oct. 28.
Lund expressed his appreciation to SAIT for letting him use the space for shooting.
“I’m not really a film guy. I just try to get out of [the videos] without looking stupid, ‘cause it’s really easy to look stupid in music videos,” he said with a laugh.
“I haven’t always succeeded.”