Nature, Soundscapes, and the Creative Process - A Conversation with a Justin Pelletier

With the separation of the past few years mostly in the rear view mirror, we’ve been excited to get back into the community. To spend more time face-to-face with the people that have helped or inspired the brand over its lifetime, whether they be friends of the company or people whose work we’ve appreciated from afar.

Recently, we had the chance to sit down with Justin Pelletier a friend and contributor to the brand whose work as a filmmaker has had him turning his camera and storytelling skills to projects locally and internationally. Known for his vibrant, energetic style, he has the ability to authentically capture a subject or idea through his own individual lens. For our conversation we turned the camera on Justin, discussing the nature of his creative practice as well as the conditions and inspirations that fuel and inform it.

Tell us a little about your background - what inspired you to get behind the camera and set you on your current path?

It all started with street photography. I became obsessed with capturing raw moments in the streets and that helped refine my natural compositional skills. One day I decided to switch my camera to video mode and the rest was history. I was hooked on filmmaking.

Take us through your day-to-day. How are your clothing choices informed by your daily activities?

For me clothing choices are informed by my environment and how I’m feeling that day. With Vancouver being a diverse climate, my clothing choices always need to provide some kind of function but at the same time providing aesthetic and comfort.

Where does the creative process start for you?

Music is a major influence in my work. I’m constantly deep diving into old soundcloud archives and when I find something interesting it always sparks imagery in my head. I’ve had entire films dreamt up from a single soundscape.

Do you ever suffer from creative block? If so, what do you do to get re-inspired?

Creative blocks are a natural part of the creative process. Earlier in my practice I would try to push against the creative block but as I’ve grown I’ve found a more holistic approach is just embracing the natural flow of things which leaves space for new ideas to come on naturally.

Regardless of your subject matter you seem to be able to instil an emotive, other-worldly quality to the outcome that is almost Lynchian. What inspires you and influences your approach?

I’m really drawn to the combination of visual, sound and story. When I’m out shooting I’m always thinking about how a certain shot or camera movement will fit together in the edit. It’s often a process of trial and error but I always have a vision in mind that builds throughout the entire process.

    Nature is a strong presence in your work. Is that a conscious decision or do you find yourself drawn to these scenarios?

    Nature is a big part of my work because it has such a timeless element. Early on, I was capturing fairly obvious things in nature but over time I’ve become interested in documenting nature in a more refined way. The real beauty of the natural environment is that it’s always changing and evolving with the seasons and theres always something different to see even coming back to the same spot time after time.

      How has your process evolved over time and where do you see it taking you next?

      Overall my process has become more fluid over time. I went through a stage where my process was more rigid but I’ve found that an easy way to become stagnant. I’m always looking for more opportunities in the filmmaking space and follow my intuition and interest.

      Director / Photographer: Norihisa Hayashi | Cinematographer: Ole Vezina | Music: Tokiomi | Stylist: Genki Mizoguchi | Interviewer: Samuel Gunton | Model: Justin Pelletier