Category Archives: indie rock

new Waxahatchee album

The new Waxahatchee album CERULEAN SALT is out today, which makes this a glorious day. It rocks a lot harder than AMERICAN WEEKEND, but still Katie Crutchfield wears her beautifully wounded heart on her flowered sleeve. Only this time the guitars tears through your soul as well.  As I’ve said before, she is our most talented young songwriter.  And she’s one of the two or three best female vocalists making records today.  Get on the boat now…there probably won’t be a better album released this year.

 

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Filed under alternative rock, indie rock, rock n roll

Archers of Loaf & Internet Modeling (or World Premiers & a KickStarter campaign)

The World Premiere plus upcoming screenings of my new feature-length concert documentary WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? THE ARCHERS OF LOAF LIVE AT CAT’S CRADLE:

June 15th – NXNE Festival, Toronto, Canada (World Premiere)

June 18th – Sled Island Festival, Calgary, Canada

July 5th – CBGB Fest, NYC (US Premiere)

July 7th – Cat’s Cradle, Chapel Hill, NC

July 18th – The Brattle, Cambridge, MA

August 15th – Trylon, Minneapolis, MN

October 5th thru 11th – Northwest Film Forum, Seattle, WA

And my first narrative feature since FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS). A very dark, sensual drama that takes place in the world of internet modeling (y’know places like Model Mayhem and One Model Place with their one million members)…

Please pre-order the DVD to BROKEN SIDE OF TIME

Or at least watch the trailer:

Then visit the KickStarter page.

Thanks!

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Filed under alternative rock, archers of loaf, independent film, indie rock, kickstarter, model mayhem, one model place

The Black & White Rules of Indie Filmmaking – part 11

11. Editing-part 3

As I said in an earlier post: get the best sound you can when filming, because you won’t have the money for ADR, and even if you do, your actors probably won’t be very good at it.

When editing, make sure to checker-board your sound tracks. It’ll make your life a lot easier when it comes time to mix. Don’t go nuts trying to clean up background sounds and such, because your mixer will most likely start over from scratch. Keep effects to the bare essentials, play with volume, fade in and out. That’s in. Unless you’re a ProTools genius. In that case you probably won’t need a mix. But since I’ve never met a filmmaker who really understood sound, I doubt that’s a possibility.

As for music. First off, if you don’t have the rights to a song, DO NOT USE IT. It makes you a douche. Plain and simple, it’s stealing. And no, on your micro budget film you are never getting the rights to that Rolling Stones classic. No, someone in their camp is not going to read your script and realize they have to give you their song. That is not going to happen. That song is going to cost you $25,000, or more. And on any low budget film, it’s not worth it. (Really, you should be making music videos instead.)

And if you think you can get away with the version recorded by your brother’s band. Wrong. You still need publishing rights. That’s right, you need both publishing rights (basically, from the person who wrote the song) and master sync rights (from the person who owns the actual recording, usually the record label) for every song in your film.

Now, let’s say someone from the Rolling Stones camp actually returns your call. They are probably going to offer you something called “Festival Rights.” Do not EVER buy festival rights for a song. It’s one of the biggest rip-off in the film business.

First off, you don’t need them. No festivals check on whether or not you have clearances for the songs in your film. No one is coming after you, as you made no money from the festival screening. However, personally, as a filmmaker who always gets the rights to everything in his films, it pisses me off when a filmmaker submits a film that can never be released because he’ll never get the rights. It’s lazy, bullshit, filmmaking. It’s makes you a piece of shit in my eyes. You’re a thief. And I’ll have no problem confronting you at a festival. Or calling you out on it on a panel. (Seriously, that would be like someone just copying your film and submitting it as theirs. Might piss you off right?)

Secondly, if you were stupid enough to buy festival rights, and then lucky enough to sell your film, pretty much whatever you sell your film for is going to be the asking price for those songs you never bothered acquiring all rights to. That’s right, all the money you just made is going to music rights.

Feel like an idiot? You should.

And you now why. There are so many truly amazing indie bands out there, in the same boat as we are. Independent artists just wanting to be heard. And one of them will have a song that’s perfect for your film. Many of them will. And they will be more than happy to sell you non-exclusive rights to it for something you can afford. A hundred bucks, and maybe a ¼ of one percent of backend. Be creative. It can work. And you’ll be helping a fellow indie artist.

Look at the soundtracks to either YOU ARE ALONE or FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS) and you’ll hear over 30 gorgeous tracks from a variety of amazing bands from Crooked Fingers to Matthew Ryan, the Wrens, Sarge, Phosphorescent. Every one of them indie. In every case I negotiated with the artist. In every case it was something I could afford.

It’s something you can afford. Film within your means. Wanting a Rolling Stones song (and obviously I’m just using them as an example, but any major artist would charge similar fees, from Beyonce to the Shins, all the same) is the same as wanting to film a car crash on your $25K budget. It just make you look as if you haven’t a clue. Because, well, you don’t. (Correct, the Shins are not indie. I’m talking someone who releases their own music, on their own, or a very small label.)

You’re indie. Support indie. Don’t be a douche filmmaker.

Next up: the mix

My filmography.

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Filed under directing, editing, filmmaking, indie rock

A new video promo for our upcoming Grant Hart film

We put together a new promo video for Every Everything, our documentary on Husker Du’s Grant Hart.

We’ve got 11 days to go on the KickStarter project. Please support indie film by pre-ordering that DVD, t-shirt…we have so many great rewards.

But watch the video. It will make you want to see more…

Click HERE

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Filed under documentaries, errol morris, filmmaking, indie rock, rockumentary

What Did You Expect?

I finished editing my Archers of Loaf concert documentary WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? yesterday. I love this film. I love this band. I actually feel as if I somehow managed to capture their raw energy as well as their personalities in the film. And a lot of credit goes to my amazing crew: Jan Radder, Sarah Hajtol, Adrian Correia, Andrew Ross and Cory Maffucci.

It still needs color correction, a sound mix on the interview sections, and probably a little tweaking of a shot here and there. But it’s basically finished and I’m really happy with it. And also sad, that I won’t be blasting those amazing songs every day in my editing room.

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What Did You Expect? (And 3 other features!)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

August 2, 2011

Archers of Loaf Concert Film Announced.
What Were We Thinking Films Receives Funding For Three Features.

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA & NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT: Director Gorman Bechard, whose current feature, COLOR ME OBSESSED, A FILM ABOUT THE REPLACEMENTS, was named one of “The Seven Best New Music Documentaries of the Year,” by Rolling Stone, takes on another iconic indie rock band with WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?, a feature film capturing the excitement and raw energy of the Archers of Loaf reunion tour.

Filming in August at the legendary Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the film will bring to the small screen the explosive nature of an Archers’ show. “I believe the Archers of Loaf were the greatest rock band of the 90’s, and certainly one of the greatest live bands of all time,” Bechard explains. “The sheer power of their live shows needs to be preserved so future generations can know what a rock a band is supposed to do on stage.”

Bechard’s New Haven based What Were We Thinking Films has also just received backing for three feature film projects:

PIZZA, A LOVE STORY, a documentary that delves into the phenomenon that is New Haven brick oven pizza and the trifecta of Sally’s, Pepe’s, and Modern Apizza. With perpetual lines around the block and customers that include everyone from presidents to rock stars, these three legendary restaurants come rich with history and spark passionate debates. Beginning with the Italian migration to New Haven in the late 1800’s through the urban renewal debacle of the 50’s and 60’s, and into today when a two hour wait in line for a pie is not uncommon, Pizza, A Love Story is about family, passion, and of course one of the world’s favorite foods, pizza. Filming is currently taking place in the New Haven area.

ONE NIGHT STAND, is part two of Bechard’s planned “Alone Trilogy,” which began with his award-winning YOU ARE ALONE. Starring Lynn Mancinelli and Alex Brown, two leads from Bechard’s indie rom-com FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS), the horror film explores what happens when you take the wrong girl home. “It’s completely twisted and claustrophobic,” Bechard explains, “the entire film takes place in one small studio apartment, with mainly the two lead characters. It isn’t until the end of the first act that you realize what’s happening, and by the time you get to the third act, you realize you were wrong about that too.” Filming is scheduled for January 2012.

the temporary poster for BROKEN SIDE OF TIME

BROKEN SIDE OF TIME, also starring Mancinelli, is the first film set in the world of internet modeling. A dark road trip of slow redemption, the film takes a look at a woman who realizes her lifestyle is a death sentence. “She decides to give it all up, and go home,” the director explains, “but not before one last taste of the vices which are killing her.” BROKEN SIDE OF TIME is filming now, and is scheduled to be part of a filmmaking panel for the Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival in Bay City, Michigan in late September. Attendees can watch Bechard and company as they shoot the closing scene of the film.

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Filed under alternative rock, archers of loaf, brick oven pizza, filmmaking, gorman bechard, horror, independent film, indie rock, new haven pizza

The making of COLOR ME OBSESSED – part 31 (I NEVER WANTED MUSIC!)

A perfectly over-rated example of the rock doc genre is the Ramones flick END OF THE CENTURY. Yes, it’s better that the average VH1 special. But not by that much. In every frame you know that Joey is already passed onto the other side. Had the filmmaker begun the project two years earlier, I wouldn’t be making this criticism. But the film feels wrong to me. As do most rock docs made after a band is longer with us (for whatever reason). Whether that band be X, the Beatles, or anyone in between. Something is missing.

Which is why I never (“NEVER!” I screamed) wanted for a moment to give my favorite band of all time such treatment. I truly believe that any “traditional” doc on The Replacements will play like one of these VH1 specials. So, when the opportunity to make this film fell into my lap, I knew I had to come up with something as daring, as unique as my subject. That fuck-you to tradition that The Replacements so deserved.

I knew some would have issue with my approach. That, like the band at so many junctures in their career, I risked falling flat on my face. But, and anyone who knows my career knows this to be true, is was a risk I was more than willing to take.

What probably surprises me most is that some people insist I’m lying. That I couldn’t afford the rights to the Mats music. I have to think those people just can’t comprehend risk taking, or doing something different. They’re so caught up in tradition, they see the world through blinders and are unable to accept originality. How they ever became Mats fans is beyond me. Perhaps they grew jaded and crusty as they got old. Or perhaps they’re just jealous that it worked. As I know it does. As the dozens of IMDB reviews from people who’s seen the film at festivals have confirmed. Many of whom who entered with their arms folded against my no-music nuttiness, only to leave with a satisfied grin plastered to their face. Originality can do that. It can make you feel alive again. (If you give it a chance.) Sort of like The Replacements did the first time we all heard them.

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Filed under directing, documentaries, filmmaking, independent film, indie rock, rock n roll, rockumentary, the replacements