Ian Cameron, aka The New Park, has an enviable day job – shooting music. As a freelance director working in Montreal for over 10 years, he’s filmed and art-directed concerts, documentaries, publicity sessions, music videos, you name it. And he’s worked with some of the biggest names in music – Kendrick Lamar, Arcade Fire, Imagine Dragons – and many other performers in rock, classical, and experimental genres.
“With freelance life comes a healthy diversity of projects where I’m constantly challenged to push the boundaries of my own creativity. I recently art directed a show for Amnesty International honoring Alicia Keys, and a lot of the content for the projections was from my own stock images available on Dissolve.” See some of those clips here.
As you might expect, Ian’s musical projects have led to some amazing performance shots:
Clip: Handheld shot of a guitar player performing on stage
Clip: Close-up shot of man playing the synthesizer
From producer to creator
Straight out of film school, Ian left his narrative aspirations behind to pursue full-time event visuals, which led to working with some of the biggest DJs in the world. But that experience only sparked Ian’s desire to create his own music and video.
“I got tired of being at the end of the chain creatively, and started collaborating with different local musicians. This led to the creation of a band called The National Parcs, where we had the insane idea of shooting the visuals before composing the music, and using the video samples we shot in the woods musically, recording vocals and instruments using the natural reverb.”
The National Parcs were a success both musically and in the art world. The band toured Canada and Europe, had a residency at a film festival, exhibited at the Musee d’art Contemporain Montreal, and created an interactive version of the album for Toronto’s Nuit blanche.
(If you’re impatient, the music starts at 50s in.)
Projects that spark stock
Ian started shooting stock footage ten years ago to provide content for his live projections. He continues to shoot stock footage as an extension of his other creative projects, experimenting with techniques and subjects, rather than as stock for stock’s sake. These clips arose from The National Parcs project:
Clip: Stop motion of stones and twigs moving in the sand
“Some of the stop-motion setups took two days, others a few minutes. It really depended on the complexity, and how many times you started over. We all took turns manipulating the objects to keep it fresh. We built a sandbox, and animated in our studio while the others mixed the album. I have more stop-motion work from a recent project with animated origami that I’m excited to share.”
Clip: Orange embers from fire
Ian has been exploring the possibilities of drone footage. “You can explore things up-close that you never could before, although the nebulous and ever-changing laws are challenging.”
Clip: Aerial shot of an abandoned factory
Clip: Aerial shot of traffic on a bridge
Another project that inspired stock footage (of flickering incandescent light bulbs): projections for the Canadian band Fucked Up. “I was directing a show with them for Radio Canada, and wanted something simple yet powerful that wouldn’t distract from what was happening on stage.”
Clip: Close-up shot of a flickering light bulb
Clip: Close-up shot of a blinking light filament
Ian’s clips are a testament to his endless curiosity and creativity, along with his cinematography skills. How does he stay inspired?
“When I have a moment I try to go to galleries, concerts, see installations – and not necessarily work in my medium. Traveling also takes me out of my comfort zone and makes me feel more open to the world, to people and situations I might not otherwise encounter.”
Check out the rest of Ian’s clips — they’re all exclusively available from Dissolve.