As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, eccentric bedroom musician Tommy Doss is invited to lunch by the connection-starved Lucy, who is taken by his enigmatic personality and homemade tapes.

Director’s Vision for ‘Tapeboy’

Tapeboy is my love letter to low-budget filmstrips, DIY psychedelic rock, experimentalism, and isolation (in both meanings) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking place during the pandemic in Kensington Market, Toronto, the film sees the story of two people on a date, one starved for any kind of connection, and the other content in the world he’s created. Like a tape, there’s two sides to the story, and on the other side is the comfortable world Tommy lives in, full of his music, his tapes, and the Walkman he plays them on. The film is meant to evoke the feel of a Super 8mm home movie, between the actual Super 8 footage, and the pacing and timing of a dusty film tucked away in a bin. I wanted to use Kensington as a canvas for the story, a place where neighbourhood meant supporting local haunts and shops, a decision that meant featuring the real-life Paradise Bound Records and Ozzy’s Burgers. The film is a love letter to the area, and also to psychedelic indie music, particularly Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys’ Smile, various groups from the Elephant 6 Collective, Captain Beefheart, and Daniel Johnston. Whether it be the lush, vibrance of Kensington in the Fall, or the anything goes of Tommy’s basement, or the reality of isolation during the pandemic, or the joy of just sharing a tape — and forming a connection.