Rather than attend concerts in person, Jim Vanderhorst and his dad would spend hours watching video footage of music concerts.
He was fascinated by the storytelling, and looking back, credits that time spent watching the videos for inspiring him to go into filmmaking, particularly, festival videography.
“The storytelling was the thing for me,” explains the G.P. Vanier grad who grew up in Merville.
“I used to write a lot, especially on narrative websites before there were blogs, and a lot of writing at UVic.”
Now, after seven years of perfecting his craft, Vanderhorst has become a prolific filmmaker in the underground electronic music scene, particularly in Western Canada, where he covers a variety of music festivals including Shambhala, Motion Notion and Cumberland’s Atmosphere Gathering.
His goal, he says, is to be “a positivist filmmaker,” capturing people at their best, and creating what he calls a time capsule for a particular festival.
Vanderhorst, who owns Rebel Cause Films, enjoys festival filmmaking in particular, because he says he’s recording special, celebratory and unique people coming together and expressing themselves.
“I’m trying to show the positive sides (of festivals), and not be judgmental. There’s something about music outdoors, with the bass speakers placed just right, no matter where you go, you’re feeling the bass, the ground shifting and you realize there’s so much bass in your body that you really become part of the music. It’s coming from you, and you’re part of the performance. It is a unique force.”
In addition to working with festivals and events throughout Western Canada and the U.S., Vanderhorst works locally, producing films and videos for major festivals in the Valley.
He also has become a teacher, working with other film companies and participants in the Comox Valley Art Gallery’s Youth Media programs. He notes he also supports the arts community by charging minimal prices for his work.
With some of his videos getting up to 50,000 views online, Vanderhorst says it’s time he invests in newer equipment for his work.
“My camera is old, some of my lenses are damaged. I want to produce the best for this community.”
He is asking the same community – and a larger audience – with a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for new gear for the summer season.
He created a Go Fund Me page with the goal of raising $9,000 for his Rebel Cause Summer Upgrade Drive, and as of press time, has raised nearly $1,600. For more info, visit gofundme.com/u29ebu4k, or rebelcausefilms.com.