top of page


Union Duke is a Toronto-based folk-rock band.

Earlier this month Union Duke posted their new music video for 'Heavy Wind'. The Toronto Arts Report is pleased to share the video along with an interview with director Banner Isaac.

Banner Isaac is a Toronto-based screenwriter and director.

Union Duke just released their new music video for 'Heavy Wind', which you directed. How did you get involved in the project?

After sitting on my ass for five years as a staff writer and development guy, cranking out chick flicks and Christmas movies for Hallmark & Lifetime I was itching to get back into the directors seat. Besides using my holidays to direct the horse show broadcast for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair every year and… well… a Dr. Ho infomercial, which is a strange and confusing story in itself, I wanted to get back to my roots as a real Director god damn it! The story’s not all that interesting, I’ve known the fellas in Union Duke forever so I drove over during one of their practices and pitched them the idea. They liked it… but then asked who was going to pay for it? I told them I’d figure it out, so a few weeks later I basically sold my car and the rest is history.

What were your visual or tonal inspirations for the music video?

I was going for a nostalgic wholesome American country variety TV look. The performance would be shot in soft focus with pastel browns and creams, highlighted with a brilliant pink background to give it some pop. Lighting was theater grid with proscenium accents in order to hit our 40 year old star filter to give us those iconic diffraction spikes. All this was to create the illusion of discovered footage from the 70s shows like “Grand Ole Opry” or “Midnight Special”.

What were some of the challenges you encountered when you were planning and executing the project?

One word - MONEY. Lets be real, with a big enough budget you can pay anyone to do anything and they’ll do it with a smile, even if they hate your friggin guts. Honestly I was blessed with the best team anyone could ask for, smoothest project I ever worked on. There was only one hiccup and that was the straw bales, we only needed six of but you have to buy in bulk. So me, my Producer Kris Elsley, and my tiny black Pomeranian hopped in a broken rental truck, in a storm, drove out to the middle of nowhere, and loaded up 42 of these stupid things by hand. Word of advice… NEVER WORK WITH STRAW BALES! Oh and I guess I swear a lot, so that was a challenge to keep in check around talent.

What do you get up to when you're not directing music videos?

Just writing for TV, currently working on a brand new Discovery Channel Shipwreck Show which I’m sure will prove to be wet and wonderful. Have a few more indie video in the works so… CAUTION SHAMELESS PLUG: if there are any other music artists out there that want to hit me up, I’m always down for a colab!


October 27 – Edmonton, AB – New Moon Folk Club

October 28 – Calgary, AB – Nickelodeon Music Club

November 3 – Coronation, AB – Coronation Royal Performing Arts

November 4 – Macklin, SK – Macklin Arts Council

November 6 – Kindersley, SK – Kindersley & District Arts Council

November 7 – Leader, SK – Leader & District Arts Council

November 8 – Biggar, SK – Biggar & District Arts Council

November 9 – Rosthern, SK – Station Arts Centre

November 10 – La Ronge, SK – La Ronge Arts Council

November 12 – Melfort, SK – Melfort Arts Council

November 15 – Preeceville, SK – Whitehawk Arts Council

November 16 – Yorkton, SK – Yorkton Arts Council

November 17 – Watrous, SK – Watrous Area Arts Council

November 18 – Shaunavon, SK – Shaunavon Arts Council

November 24 – Bonnyville, AB – The Bonnyville Centennial Centre

November 25 – Bonnyville, AB – The Bonnyville Centennial Centennial Centre

bottom of page