Chirping Bird Films Airdrie

Creative Collaboration

A collaboration with a message

Chirping Bird Films AirdrieThey’re not sure whose idea it was, but these two Airdrians teamed up, made an award-winning music video, and have released a second powerful project over the summer.

Jay Stoudt, guitarist for the cover band Steady The Wheel, and Paul Hurst, owner of Chirping Bird Films, both work for the City of Airdrie – but those are just their day jobs.

The magic between them happens where their individual passions cross.

“We collaborate professionally and maybe as hobbyists,” Hurst says.

“Paul is able to interpret and read between the lines,” Stoudt says, “and create visuals that show what I’m saying.”

The two became friends while working for the City, where Stoudt is manager of IT, and Hurst is network engineer, but they’ve had their own artistic journeys.

Stoudt’s band was featured in airdrielife in 2011, and they’re still making music.

“We have enough gigs now that we work just as much as we want,” Stoudt laughs.

A father of two, he began writing his own lyrics in 2006.

It was his song, Behind A Mask, about first impressions not always being accurate, which led to the collaboration with his friend.

Hurst, who recently became a first-time father, began filmmaking in 2011.

“I liked watching movies, but the mystery behind it? I never really thought about it.”

But after working on a film, he was hooked.

“I realized then that I had a natural tendency for telling stories.”

Dead End, a horror flick he shot in 2015, was Hurst’s first attempt at producing a movie.

“It was a great collaborative experience. When you work with good people, it all comes together really well.”

Since then, he’s filmed 11 more projects, “some with cheese, and some with not so much cheese.”

Hurst also prefers using local actors and crew.

“There’s more than enough talented people right here.”

It only seemed natural that the two friends would eventually collaborate on a project.

 Behind A Mask, directed by Hurst and produced by Stoudt, earned Steady the Wheel a Best Music Video award for the month of October (2016) in IndieWise’s popular online competition.

“All of my songs have a story that means something to me,” Stoudt says, “but they’re open to interpretation.”

A music video, he explains, allows whoever sees it to view it the way the songwriter imagined it.

When Stoudt wrote Ready, a song about bullying that came out of his own childhood experiences, Hurst was on board.

Shot in locations around Airdrie, they employed Stoudt’s 19-year-old son, Ashton, as the lead, along with four of his son’s friends, all first-time actors.

“They were incredible,” says Hurst. “It was a collaboration with them, and they helped make the issue real.”

Stoudt admits watching his son portray the bullied teen was difficult. “It’s my story and my kid; you’re connected to it.”

Hurst’s visual interpretation of the lyrics is honest, not shying away from the issues of bullying and teen suicide. Steady the Wheel’s solid classic rock sound and Stoudt’s poignant lyrics add tension as the story heads toward an inevitable conclusion.

It’s the effect they wanted, but after sharing the video with family and receiving feedback, they made a change.

“We adjusted the ending to be more of a choice, with a positive message for help,” Stoudt says.

Hurst agrees: “We had to ask ourselves, ‘What are we trying to say?’”

“Paul captured my vision,” Stoudt explains, “and if it saves the life of just one person, I’ve accomplished what I wanted to achieve.”

“It’s a great song,” Hurst says. “We made something special.”

Ready can be seen on YouTube and at the Chirping Bird Films website.

Ready Lyrics

READY

Not today maybe someday

Not sure where we’ll see

But I’ll know it when

I’m ready

I just can’t take the pressure

It’s driving me insane

In a letter to my family

It’s not easy to explain

I’ve reached out for assistance

You keep ignoring me

Living life is not that easy

Only wish that you could see

Yes I’ll know it when

I’ll know it when,

I’m ready

I think I’ll pull the trigger

Put an end to all this pain

In a letter to my family

It’s not easy to explain

The voices are relentless

Continually taunting me

Yes I know it’s not courageous

But I wish I could be free

Yes I’ll know it when

I’ll know it when

I’m ready

SOLO

Ready

BRIDGE

Ready x 3

I’ll know it when

Yes, I’ll know it when

I’m ready

Ready

Ready

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