Matt Hulse admits he has no experience in the music or film industry.
He’s a local environmental and aboriginal lawyer who’s weeks away from being called to the bar and once played in a high school band.
But the 28-year-old is gearing up for the screening of his first music video called Biketown — a parody of the song Downtown by Macklemore that showcases aspects of cycling in Greater Victoria.
It features both regular cyclists and a number of local personalities including Mayor Lisa Helps, MP Murray Rankin, Brent McMahon (Ironman and two-time Olympic triathlete) and 2006 Canadian Ironman champion Jasper Blake. Hulse is tingling with excitement that his idea spawned more than a year ago has now turned into a reality.
“I am quite pleased with it. It really looks good and I’m excited to share it,” said Hulse in the days leading up to the premier. “It’s kind of one of those things where at the start it’s a good idea, but will it happen? Some of my friends didn’t think it would.”
The idea for Biketown began in October 2015 when word was starting to spread about the city’s plans for the controversial multi-million dollar Biketoria project — a comprehensive, all-ages cycling network. A cyclist himself, Hulse attended an information meeting on the project, then Macklemore’s song Downtown was released, spurring his creative juices.
Hulse came up with his own lyrics for the song that incorporates all the various aspects of the cycling community in Victoria. But he figured nobody would listen to it if he just made the song, so he decided to turn it into music video with cameos from prominent members of the community.
“There’s a lot of athletes and cyclists around here that you are only one or two connections away from. Some were interested and some just didn’t get back to me,” said Hulse, who felt the pressure to succeed once he got more people on board. “It was really a boost for me when some of them signed up.”
Once the song (which features local artists Tane Kendrick and Erika Finestone) was recorded, the ball really got rolling and Hulse, was able to take his masterpiece to shops and business, asking if they were willing to help make the video. Many jumped on board, including Rylan Gladson who filmed and edited the video, and Noel Anstey of Quadratic Sound Studio to produce it.
Filming began last October and took place over two weekends, covering various areas throughout the region such as the Hartland Landfill, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Galloping Goose, Fort Street Cycle and Thetis Lake.
Hulse stars as the main character, but was often left thinking, what the heck am I doing?
“This is completely outside of my wheelhouse, but at the same time it was so much fun and the people I was working with were great,” said Hulse. “The bike to me represents a lot of the coming together of my interests and I think it can solve a lot of problems in a way — from community building to climate change action, active transport, health issues. This is kind of one of the ways we can make cycling even more fun and more interesting.”
Biketown will be released at a screening on Monday, Jan. 23 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Victoria Event Centre. For more information visit facebook.com/biketownyyj.