Monday, 20 January 2014

Bryan Finlay: Filming of 'Bulletproof' Behind the Scenes

I run into the Edmonton Paintball Facility on December 11th, 2013 hoping  to escape the snow and chill that has begun to settle in my bones and I am wondering why I am not headed home after a long work day to the comfort of my warm bed. I pass through the chilly foyer of the building into a large room occupied with several excited young people. It isn’t long when I am reminded as to the reason why I am there: I turn my head and make eye contact with young Singer/Songwriter Bryan Finlay, who, has given me every reason to believe in the resurrection of a truly soulful and inspiring recording artist of our time. He has impressed me consistently every time I am graced with his presence, and I smile to myself knowing full well that it would have to take a major obstacle to prevent me from attending ANY event he’s involved in.

He gives me a nod from across the room and makes his way over to me and my family who were thrilled to be partaking in the filming of his latest music video: ‘Tonight is Alright’. The song has made its way into the top ten spot on radio stations in the last year and the release of his album ‘Bulletproof’ on October 5th at the Starlite Room in Edmonton has catapulted him into the spotlight performing with other established artists such as Down With Webster, K-OS (at the Hot 107 Patio Party this summer, Finlay was the winner of the Hot 107 radio station Hot Factor contest!) and Dirty Radio.

“Do you like my Baked Potato pants?” he smiles modeling a shiny silver pair of trousers which esteemed stylist, Cassy Meier (appearances on Breakfast Television) has picked out for the video shoot. (As a side note: Finlay even had lights sewn into a second pair of pants for a close up/in-the-dark scene – lights! Brilliant!) Of course, I laugh, it’s his wicked sense of humor which has has enraptured and charmed  friends, family (and now his fan base): he is down to earth and relatable and in every aspect of his career thus far, it shows. His fan page and twitter followers continue to climb and awareness within the community, (and quite frankly, even internationally) has caught on like a prairie fire.

This is also the very same young man I watched shivering in a water fountain at midnight in Sir Winston Churchill Square this past summer while filming his first video, ‘Bulletproof’ which just released today (go to: to watch it!). It is a song that has been specifically written about his experience with heartbreak as a result of being bullied. While cast and crew of the video tried to escape the heat of the summers eve during the filming of 'Bulletproof' (a vintage 1920’s period setting), cast and crew of the December filming for his second video was a stark contrast: modern, bright colors, paint splattered everywhere, color bombs and a very excited young crowd (including his sister Caitlyn!) danced and fist-pumped while Director, Blake McWilliam and his team (who directed & recorded both Finlay’s music videos) captured it all.

From his early days until this moment, it has been a tough but rewarding journey for Finlay and he has openly expressed his experiences with being bullied while in school, a challenge which has he has faced and overcome through his music recordings. The song 'Bulletproof' was written with this in mind and the video is a reflection of the kind of emotional torment and deception that some of us experience which makes this next hit very relatable to his fans. The recording itself is a masterpiece: soft, languid tones reminiscent of a young Frank Sinatra combined with Finlay's distinguished vocals truly lend intensity. This is a song that will hit you right in the heart. 

Finlay’s biggest support team, Dan Davidson and Ari Rhodes (Hands Up Record label Producers and management team for Finlay) were also present along with his peers in the industry: Recording Artists 'Flash Jam' (band), Rachel Woznow, Olivia Wik, Candice Ryan and Yasmeen Najmeddine, most of whom are featured in both of his music videos. Feedback from Rhodes and Davidson was apparent in the smiles on their faces as they stopped to chat with the cast. When asked what he thought of the filming of 'Tonight is Alright', Davidson replied with an enthusiastic "It's gonna be awesome! We are very pleased with all of it!". Recognition goes out to both men for their countless hours in meticulous planning the steps to success that has lead Finlay to this point. In addition, band members Jon Squires, Drew Carlson and Vinnie Worth have consistently supported Finlay at every performance both through filming of the videos and public performances (even if it included subzero temperatures and freezing their fingers off as they did New Years Eve!). Their individual excellence in their own respective fields is true quality sound.

I look forward to many more upcoming performances and appearances by this team as they move forward into this new year! Well done Boyz!

*Please note: Tonight is Alright Photo Album to follow in Separate Feature*

Photo Gallery for Bulletproof:

Dan Davidson (center) with members of the band 'Flash Jam'
Touch Ups! Finlay and his Model Muse take five
Actors prepping for the nightclub scene

Stylist Cassy Meier (Center) preps Finlay in his Tux while Director Blake McWilliam gives direction
The Mystery Lady...
Lights, Camera.......Action!
Model, Nica Stone
Finlay stops to chat for a few 
Recording Artists Unite! Candice Ryan with Flash Jam

Bryan Finlay

Side Note: Huge recognition goes out to Davidson whose wife gave birth to their baby girl only days prior to the filming of 'Tonight is Alright' in December. It couldn't have been easy to carry off the role of ‘new dad’ and still have the determination to see his artist through the process of filming the video on very little hours of sleep. I am not surprised though, Davidson has attended all of Finlay’s events this past year, setting up, performing with, and lending his support whenever possible (as well as launching new music with his band Tupelo Honey)! 

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