Gimme Your Answers (Prism Prize): An Interview w/ Joel Mackenzie, director of Rich Aucoin’s “Yelling in Sleep”

Joel Mackenzie
The Prism Prize is an award established to recognize the artistry of the modern music video in Canada. After watching hundreds of videos, a jury consisting of journalists, filmmakers, artists, and other members of the Canadian music and film industries voted for their favourite music video to win a Grand Prize of $5, 000.

With the Top 10 Best Canadian Music Videos of 2014 officially announced to the public, A Music Blog, Yea? were pleased when given the chance to interview the 2015 Prism Prize nominated filmmakers. In this interview, we speak with Joel Mackenzie — director of Rich Aucoin’s Yelling in Sleep — to discuss their video’s highlights, favourite films, and dream collaborations. Read our interview below, and check out all of the other interviews here.

AMBY: Welcome to AMBY and congrats on being a Prism Prize nominee! Please explain to our readers how you first got into your industry.

Joel Mackenzie: I always loved drawing, but I also loved making money, so I tried to find a way to combine my two passions. I equipped myself with degrees in classical animation and Film in order to try and combat poverty. So far it is going OK, and gives me the chance to work on personal projects like the Rich Aucoin Video in my off-time.

AMBY: What inspired the story/concept told in your nominated video?

Joel Mackenzie: I wanted to make something that was distinctly Canadian.  I wanted it to be equal parts BraveStarr, Power Rangers and Logdriver’s Waltz. Aside from the “Don’t Destroy Nature” theme, I really wanted to work in a fun Canadian mythology that included 8 bit video game graphics.

AMBY: What was one of the highlights you had while creating the video?

Joel Mackenzie: One of the big highlights for me was being able to see the video screen at the Ottawa International Animation Festival on opening night, with most of the cool dudes that helped make the video. The audience seemed to really like it, so it was nice to be able to share that moment with the people that made the video possible.

AMBY: Which other videos or films have you been enjoying lately?

Joel Mackenzie: Oh man! DANGER 5 on Netflix!

AMBY: If you could work with any other musician to collaborate on a new video with, which would you choose?

Joel Mackenzie: I till can’t get enough of the newest Death from Above 1979 album. It would be super cool doing a, gritty animated video for them.

AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about you that nobody knows yet?

Joel Mackenzie: My favorite dinosaur is Ankylosaurus. Preparing for backlash, now that my embarrassing secret is out.

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Thank you Joel, for giving us your answers!

Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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