Vancouver is home to a great number of independent artists, businesses, and artisans. Justin Pelletier, under the visual moniker Stray Matter, may know this more than most. Uncovering the best creative individuals Vancouver has to offer and turning his lens to capture and share them with the public is definitely a passion of his.
In Pelletier’s latest film, Rhythm., we’re introduced to local music producer Eli Muro to learn about his influences, goals, and motivations during a casual stroll through his Strathcona neighbourhood.
Below we caught up with Justin Pelletier to talk about his artistic style, his self-taught filmmaking skill, and what’s next for Stray Matter.
Please introduce yourself
My name is Justin Pelletier and I make films as Stray Matter.
Why did you initially want to get into filmmaking?
I never actually knew that I wanted to get into film until about eight months ago. A year back, I pursued a degree in technical apparel design but found that sitting in front of a sewing machine just wasn’t for me.
After graduating, I felt totally lost with my career path but knew that I was extremely passionate about one thing – visual storytelling. Photography had played a major role in my life over the past few years and so I decided to take a crack at film. As soon as I finished my first film, I knew I had found something worth holding onto – something indescribably magnetic. Feels.
Did you ever go to school for filmmaking?
I did not go to school for filmmaking. Currently diving in head-first.
You have worked with a lot of new independent businesses and artists in Vancouver. How do you decide who or what your next subject is?
Starting out, I really wanted to highlight the crazy talent that Vancouver has to offer. There is such an unique community of ambitious artists, entrepreneurs and craftspeople that make this city what it is. In terms of how I select my subjects, it’s a super random process. Sometimes it’s through research and other times I’ll just stumble across their work walking down to the local sushi spot. Intentionally random, though I’m always looking for inspiring people to feature.
Upon observation, your artistic style can be described as very clean, crisp and distinctly Pacific Northwest. Was that on purpose or just a natural development?
I can’t say that it was on purpose. A lot of my style stems from my photography work but where that comes from, I have no idea. With regards to my style, I really think it’s always evolving. I feel that I am never truly satisfied with my style and am always envisioning its evolution.
I feel like you’re right though, there will always be a hint of Pacific Northwest flavour. Wherever I go, my style will consistently carry hints of the amazing oasis we call home. This place is hard to beat.
What are you working on next?
I have a bunch of projects in the works at the moment. I’m really looking to take my work to the next level with some more impactful pieces and brand collaborations. I’m always looking for inspiring stories, people, and brands to work with. Continuing to learn, grow, and churn out the good stuff. That’s it really.