Gimme Your Answers (Prism Prize): An Interview w/ Scott Cudmore and Michael LeBlanc, directors of The New Pornographers’ “Dancehall Domine”

Leblanc & Cudmore
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 Scott Cudmore and Michael LeBlanc — directors The New Pornographers’ Dancehall Domine — 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.

Scott Cudmore and Michael LeBlanc: Thank you. I´m only speaking for myself personally but I had a bunch of friends that were musicians, so I wanted to make music videos for them. I was always into music videos and it also seemed like a good way to make something that would be seen by at least a few people since they have a bit of a built in audience in the artists fans. So I did a couple and then those led to others and it grew out from there. I never really did anything in the industry before writing treatments and then making my first few videos, mostly through trial and error. I went to film school before that but I didn´t want to just start making narrative work or short films or things like that.

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

Scott Cudmore and Michael LeBlanc: The first major piece of inspiration was the footage Clouzot shot for his unfinished film L´enfer. The swirling lighting, the colour, all that. We wanted to pay a bit of homage to that. And from there I just started adding other screen tests. So basically the idea was just to create a video that is basically a montage of various disconnected screen tests. And it kind of built out like that.

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

Scott Cudmore and Michael LeBlanc: Paolo Nutini´s Iron Sky video is really amazing and floored me a bit when I saw it. I was on set for a video at the time and I thought, like, oh shit, now what? The work that Ian Pons Jewell has been doing is also really consistently awesome. There´s a lot of great stuff being made, it´s an exciting time for music videos, really. I´m happy that the ´how did they do that´gag type of video is kind of going away a little bit now and that things are getting more cinematic.

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

Scott Cudmore and Michael LeBlanc: Probably Kanye West.

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

Scott Cudmore and Michael LeBlanc: My fiancee knows everything about me.

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Thank you Scott Cudmore and Michael LeBlanc, for giving us your answers!

Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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