PORTLAND, OREGON — In the fast-paced world of independent music video production things can go from major to minor in a heartbeat. Soon after completing a music video for a New York-based artist, filmmakers Glenn Scott Lacey and Steven Dempsey of Portland-based Americonic Films got word that the musician had decided to go in a different direction, leaving them with a beautiful video and poignant story, but no music.
“It was devastating because this was some of the most meaningful and personal footage I had ever shot,” said Dempsey, Americonic Films’ director of photography. ” The idea that it might never be seen was heartbreaking.”
Determined not to let the project go by the wayside Lacey and Dempsey turned their attention to Portland’s up-and-coming musicians, conducting an exhaustive search in hopes of finding the perfect partner to complete their project.
They found that person in Tyler Stenson, a musician with a song in search of a video.
Twice-named Portland’s “Performing Songwriter of the Year” by the Portland Songwriters Association and named “Best Male Artist” at the 2011 Portland Music Awards, Stenson’s song “This Too Shall Pass” perfectly complimented the story told in the Americonic video.
“Tyler’s song not only fit the imagery in the video, but it carried the same message.” said Lacey, Americonic Films’ director.
Lacey made contact with Stenson, and the next day, they met. “Glenn just rough-synced my song to the existing video and it was unbelievable how well it visually aligned with the lyrics and music” said Stenson. “I try to take big issues and ideas and personalize them, and it was amazing to see the story I was telling with music come to life on the screen.”
After a one-day shoot of Stenson’s scenes and a late night of editing, the video was completed just in time for Stenson to release it to his fans. This was crucial, as he was entered in a national contest sponsored by Zazoo, in which fan votes pared down 3,594 entries to just ten. Stenson made the cut.
Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz would review the top ten and pick the winner, who would open for the band at the Outlaw Road Show, part of the prestigious South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas on March 9th. Once again, Stenson won.
“Steven and I couldn’t be more thrilled, especially because we may have played a small part in getting this amazing artist’s music noticed.” said Lacey. Like the message of Tyler’s song, “this too shall pass”, there are happy endings.