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Comments on "The ABC of ROFFEKE" Screenings (September 2015 at iHub)

I liked all the films especially the one for Superman [“This is Joe”] and the last one which was longer [“ Frontman ”]. I look forward to at...

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Interview: Alec Herron - Producer of "The Music Stops Here"

ROFFEKE: What lessons did you learn from carrying out the Kickstarter campaign for "The music stops here"?

Alec: I learned to allow people to buy into the project, rather than just donate money. By this, I mean we hosted events where donors and potential donors could see the work in progress, feeling a part of an ongoing project that they could see and help progress and be a part of. It's also important to keep the donors updated on your progress, not just take the money and say 'thanks, cya'. You have to remember that were it not for their kind donations, your film wouldn't be going beyond your laptop screen.

ROFFEKE: In the BBC radio Manchester interview, you admitted that you were "losing money" because of this project. What priceless things have you gained from making this documentary?

Alec: This is our first documentary, both for myself and (Director) Adam Farkas. Technically we learned a lot about film-making and production, though this is quite obvious, I guess. From the Star and Garter I learned that culture means much more than anything else in this city. Manchester is a passionate city and at the heart of that passion are two things: football and music. I gained an even greater love for my city and for the people that make it so special; the unique characters, the creatives, the down-to-earth spirits and most of all, the people who keep enjoying the city's nightlife and don't give up on the music.

ROFFEKE: Which scenes would you have loved to be included in the final cut of the documentary?
Alec: There is a scene about the 'Smile' indie disco, which many will claim is the longest running indie disco in the city that, essentially, can claim to have invented indie rock. We just couldn't fit this into the shorter version of The Music Stops Here, but we will look to include this in a later form. There are also some great scenes which go into the local political situation that has led to the due closure of The Star and Garter, which add real depth, but might be a bit too overwhelming for a casual non-Manchester viewer.

ROFFEKE: If the "soul" of the Star and Garter could speak, what do you think it would say?

Alec: "Turn it down!"

ROFFEKE: Advice for aspiring documentary producers?

Alec: Just pick up the camera, find the right story and go for it. Don't worry so much about the technical side. People will forgive some dodgy camera angles or sound glitch, but they won't forgive a boring story. Also, when people say "No" to speaking on camera, try again another couple of times. Some of the best interviews you'll do are with initially very reluctant subjects. Equally, some of the worst interviews will be with people who have too much to say!

(Like Placebo:Alt. Russia, The Music Stops Here touches on SDG 11 and SDG 16: "Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable" and "Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels." Under SDG 11, target 11.4 stands out: "Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world's cultural and natural heritage.")

Interview: Maxime Guérin - Director of "Save Me a Dance"

ROFFEKE: Why did you pick "1789" by Fuzzy Vox for the opening scenes of the film?

Maxime: A friend of mine made me discover Fuzzy Vox which is a "not so young" band from the suburb of Paris. I really loved their music that can be defined as a perfect mix between some pop Neo-punk such as The Hives and the old rockabilly standards. It's pretty bouncy and positive so when they accepted to lend me a few tunes, I immediately thought of "1789" as a very good opening credit song. It launches the movie in a rock'n roll and funny fashion and it drags the audience to the juvenile and reckless teenage atmosphere I was keen on creating.



ROFFEKE: The lyrics of "I'll be Gone" are very fitting for the theme of "Save me a dance". Did you consider the lyrics of the song when you picked it?

Maxime: It actually is a happy coincidence. The scene was horribly missing music and I added this tune to help the mise en scene and the suspense work. One can't imagine how a rockabilly song brings fun to a scene. Since the movie will mainly be seen by a French audience, I wasn't really paying attention to the lyrics. But when I listened to the song a second time, it became clear that the lyrics and the song were perfect for the scene. I hope it will help the movie catch the English speaking audience.



ROFFEKE: My favourite song in the film is "City of Quartz" by Nine Eleven. If you had to pick a song from a totally different genre for that scene, which song would you pick?

Maxime: Your question is really tricky since one of the main bets, if not the most engaging, was to use a dark hardcore song to cover the final sex scene. In a few festival screenings, some people left the room at this moment, missing the end of the short film. I totally own up for this choice of music which, in my opinion, transcribes perfectly the state of mind of these clumsy, furious and genuine teenagers. And to be honest with you, this bias was the very starting point of my project. So I really can't imagine any other type of song for that scene.



ROFFEKE: What are the advantages and disadvantages of both writing then directing your own film?

Maxime: This short film was a light project with a crew of friends, a young and vibrant cast and very little money involved. So I don't think it would have been possible and realistic to direct it without having written it first. It took me a very long time to get a final version of the script and to be glad and certain of what I wanted to tell through the characters. And even with all this subtle work I made mistake while directing the movie that gave me a hard time during the editing. So I don't see how the writer and the director could have been two different people for this movie.

ROFFEKE: Advice for aspiring writer-directors?

Maxime: Through the example of this short film I would advice anyone who wants to direct a movie with a strong bias and some fresh ideas to go for it. It's always worth it. A couple of years ago I spent almost all the money I had for this film, nowadays I'm not really missing the money, and I have directed a short film I'm proud of.

Review: Blurred Memories

Review by Joseph Ochieng(Intern)
Band: Shake The Deaf
Production: French Connection Films
Director: Joffrey Saintrapt
Actors: Tyler Parr, Kristi Ann Holt

The story, crafted by Joffrey Saintrapt, is about the life of an old man longing for the early days of his life. Moreover, this music video takes the viewer through a comparison of the then-versus-now of the man's life. The opening montage begins with fireworks then crosscuts help introduce the lead character (Tyler Parr) and the state of confusion he finds himself in. The Montage builds suspense as the viewer keeps guessing, while the events unfold. The character’s world is introduced by a montage of panning and tilting shots while he is still lying on a park bench, owing to the intrapersonal conflict he finds himself in, trying to unravel the circumstances which led to his current status.

The music starts from simple, melodious rock bits which escalate to hard rock as the viewer is thrust into the early life of this character. Joffrey Saintrapt has succeeded in the use of reverse motion during the flashback sequence. The actor enters into something like a daydream as he lies on the park bench. In the dream sequence, he leaps into his yesteryears, while all his idiosyncrasies play beforehand; he is energetic, swings himself at a park, meets with his love, walks in the streets, and goes to nightclubs. The reverse speed helps in getting into the mind of the character, as he is nostalgic about how he spent his youthful moments. In the flashback scenes, the reverse motion is accompanied by high pitched rock 'n' roll as well as the baroque tunes. The close-up shots of the words NO EXIT and EVICTION show that however much the character is on a journey of self-rediscovery, he might do only a little to get the answers he is seeking. Considering, he is aging, and life has reduced him to a pauper, a loner, and a binge alcoholic.

This is a music video that makes you want to pause in between the scenes to ingest every bit of the techniques used.