Dan Griffin // Bordertown

Dan Griffin called us up in June to make a video for Bordertown, a song that explores the purgatorial experience of living in Windsor – a place that defines itself based on its relationship to its border city – the fallen empire of Detroit. Dan sings about the loneliness of living in an unfamiliar place, about the strangeness of living in a rundown bordertown, linked by the Ambassador bridge and constantly in the shadow of its looming American counterpart, where evidence of its glory days of prohibition era rum-running, of the burgeoning Motor City are littered throughout.

So Maya and I traveled to Windsor and Detroit, along with our friend and tour-guide Dave Todon – a talented photographer who grew up in Windsor, and who knows all the best ditches and back alleys for skateboarding and other general shenanigans.

In this black and white doc-style music video, we shot local Windsorites skating, hitching themselves to backs of cars, shotgunning beers, vomiting, chasing birds, crossing the border, doing burnouts in garages and dancing in clubs at night. It was about finding beauty in the bleak landscape of a rundown city, about capturing youths finding ways to pass the time that only those in dead-end towns know how to do, about creating moments that feel like we are careening uncontrollably through life which – in a rundown bordertown – is the only way to truly feel alive.

Special thanks to Nick, Hill, Dinger, Robin, Joel and Lucas for showing us around town and letting us photograph them getting up to no good.