By Adam McCaffery

On January 30, 2024, musician and performer Zoe Durno launched a music video for song Good Without It, with directing, camera, producing, and editing assistance from emerging artist and Ed Video member Fin Janleigh. The video also included art direction from Nina Devonuo-Fraiser and production assistance from Callista Pitman. 

Janleigh, a Canadian trans filmmaker based in Guelph Ontario, is a director of photography and editor who also works with writing and producing. Their interest in filmmaking began with stop-motion animation at the age of 8. 

On animation and stop-motion storytelling, Janleigh told Ed Video that “[it] has been great for learning filmmaking because you can do it by yourself and take your time. It lets you be super deliberate about every frame which is very helpful for learning filmmaking fundamentals.”

Now, Janleigh works professionally on a variety projects, including documentary-style ads, music videos, and event recording.

Recently, they won the Emerging Artist Award at the Toronto Youth Shorts and came second place at the Toronto Teen Film Festival, both for their short film In Which A Lonely Kid Accidentally Accesses Another Dimension.

The film was written and directed by Janleigh while completing a co-op at Ward-1 Studios, a Guelph-based video and production company. 

Janleigh initially reached out to Durno with the idea of making a music video for one of Durno’s songs, and the two settled on Good Without It because of their fondness for the song and its strong potential for visuals. 

Together, Janleigh and Durno workshopped the visual direction of the music video by drawing on the meaning and emotional themes of the song, and Janleigh, filling multiple leading production roles, oversaw the completion of the video. 

BTS photo from Good Without It production

Focusing on the themes of transition between childhood and adulthood, the video employs warm-toned projections and lighting to invoke feelings of nostalgia and familiarity. 

While the team faced production challenges such as uncooperative weather, crew changes, and a shortened filming timeline, the video came together thanks to the adaptability and flexibility of the team.  

The video includes scenes of a guitar performance from artist Durno interspersed with emotional, moving clips familiar to everyone such as birthday parties, moving homes, and looking back on home videos. 

Scenes of Durno from Good Without It

While at their Ward-1 Studios co-op, Janleigh heard about Ed Video’s production grant program and another film project that was supported through it. Given the music video’s small team of emerging artists, Janleigh thought that the production grant program would be a great opportunity to gain access to high-quality video and production equipment. 

The video’s technical production was made in part with equipment and resources from Ed Video Media Arts Centre through a production grant awarded to Janleigh by the centre.

The project was approved for an Ed Video production grant, and through it, the music video team gained access to Ed Video’s projectors, haze machines, and high-quality video equipment.

As a member of Ed Video, Janleigh reported that “[Ed Video’s] workshops have been great opportunities to meet other local filmmakers [and] the ability to rent high quality equipment for reasonable prices and the ability to consult with the very knowledgeable Ed Video staff has been super helpful.”

Ed Video offers production grants to emerging and established artists who would benefit from the use of the centre’s equipment, workshops, studio space, and other resources. Production grant applications are typically open year-round and are reviewed by a volunteer jury for approval.