Good move: Chessboard videos and waterfalls share Asheville Music Video Honors


Ian Ridenhour gives heartfelt thanks for sharing the top video award, as his filmmaker Kira Bursky (at left), watches. Photo by Pete Zamplas.

Capone had sultry voice and imagery in “Scars.” The singer-songwriter had it shot at Skinny Dip Falls in Canton, over four days. Lighting was dark, to fit the mood. Capone often slowly submerged herself in the river and at times grimaced while singing soulfully.

Water felt freezing cold and numbed her unclothed body, for a four-hour filming stretch, she told The Tribune.

Capone, 27, is a Reynolds High School alumnus. Soul, folk and rock are among her piano-driven genres. She joins pop-folk Bridge 19 for a show May 27 in Isis Music Hall in Asheville.

Andrew Anderson, the preeminent maker of local rap videos, ventured away from that genre for this one. “Scars” and Ridenhour’s “Dancing Children” shared top honor, at the awards gala April 19 in Diana Wortham Theatre. All 27 contesting videos were shown, then winners announced. MVA had 58 entries.

Kelly Denson and “Jason G” have run MVA for half (five years) of its run thus far. MVA was launched by Jenny Greer-Fares, then run by Erin Scholz. Those two joined Kelly and Jason on stage, for a moving moment.

Ridenhour had an idea for a chessboard theme and background, in his classy special effects-blossomed video that Bursky made with smooth-flowing flair and brisk imagery. Ian said “my brain exploded with so many possibilities” to express his song visually. It took merely five takes in two hours, to film it, he said.

Sharing the top MVA honor felt “unreal,” he told The Tribune. He told the crowd his father Jamie Ridenhour is his guitarist.

Pianist Ian writes alternative pop-rock. The sharp lad graduated from high school at 14, in Bismarck, N.D. Now 16, he studies at UNC-Asheville. He competed on TV’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in its Whiz Kids Week in Stamford, Conn. early last year, advanced the furthest, and won $50,000. He did the video last year.

Ridenhour finally follows the dancing children by dancing himself — and well — near the video’s end. Earlier, Ian falling through the floor was his idea.

Award-winning filmmaker Bursky directed and edited this smooth-flowing video. It also won for best editing. A favorite scene is a winged, mini-Ian floating up to the top of his head into his inner “portal.” This reflects self-actualization, of expanding horizons and potential.

Bursky also won for best visual design, for VIA’s “We are the People” in which faces morphed into different shades. She won as All Around Artsy, the production company she started in 2009 and which has made more than two dozen films.

The Nyack, N.Y. native turns 21 this Saturday. She studied Motion Picture Arts in esteemed Interlochen (Mich.) Arts Academy. She graduated in 2014, was among 60 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts finalists, then within months won awards at two festivals for her dark fantasy short film. She is also a songwriter, and records as Miss Whimsy.

She was very bubbly and deferential, talking about artistic magic and rewarding collaboration in accepting awards and later in her comments on Facebook such as about “vibrant moments of adrenaline-infused awe” at the podium. The evening felt “beautifully surreal” to her.

In what is a potential popularity contest, the people’s choice decided by the crowd’s text votes went to rapper Teyg and video-maker Anderson for “Unconditional.”

Other winners included gypsy swing Resonant Rogues (Fiasco Pictures) “Long Way to Galway” for cinematography, and Abab’s soulful “Clowns” (Parker Pfister) for costume design. The Rogues play this Saturday 8 p.m. in Isis Music Hall, and release a new CD May 12. The Rogues’ Sparrow and Keith Smith noted they were busking on Asheville streets, when they met Fiasco’s David Saich and later collaborated on the video.

The Broadcast won for best song, for soulful, hard-driving “Steamroller.” Singer Caitlin Krisko, who grew up just above the Motor City, was shown driving an early Sixties full-sized Pontiac Catalina on an open road while singing throughout the video. The Broadcast next plays locally June 3, outside at Sierra Nevada’s facility in Mills River.

Krisko, away touring with the rock band during MVA, delivered a pre-recorded acceptance. She closed encouraging aspiring video-makers that “you can visualize and manifest your creation.”

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