In Between the Acts, The Globe and Mail takes a look at how artists manage their time before and after a creative endeavour.
The winner of this year’s $15,000 Prism Prize for most outstanding Canadian music video is Fantavious Fritz, for his simple but quietly potent portrait to the song Work, a slow, gospel-tinged number by the soulful R&B artist Charlotte Day Wilson. The video features women and gender non-binary people commuting to work on a down escalator. The winning duo plans to donate the prize money to a women’s shelter and to fund a “one-time grant” for a female music-video director. The Globe and Mail spoke to Fritz, a Toronto-based director, about the video and other projects, past and future.
I’m not sure there was a concrete discussion on a political message to the video originally. We were trying to figure out a simple way to introduce Charlotte to her audience. We felt a great way to do that would be to surround her with people from her community and to do something that fit the song’s strength and elegance.
Obviously, we were also considering the socio-political climate. Donald Trump was elected President in the period between the conception of the video and the actual shoot. So it became an idea to make the act of making the video a gathering of women and gender non-binary people who were invited to participate. I wouldn’t call the video a protest per se. But it was definitely a loving and positive exercise in community.
I’m currently writing my first feature-length narrative project. I don’t want to say too much about it because, I think, in this stage of the process, speaking out loud about the idea can ruin the magic of it for me.
I’m from Calgary. I will say the story is centred in that place I grew up, in that city and in that time. It was a very turbulent era in the oil industry. The story focuses on the youth experiencing that time and place in a very different way that the rest of the country did.
I’m kind of an observer. I try to listen and to observe the world around me and follow my instincts – things I like or things that scare me. And then I try to articulate ideas that come from those observations.
I made a short film, Lewis, in 2015. It was about a stray cat. I’m obsessed with the idea of a stray cat, and I imagine myself as that kind of character: a wondering observer. I just really enjoy soaking in what’s around me. I feel like the cat is such a great and pure version of what I feel a filmmaker does.