The making of COLOR ME OBSESSED – part 25

COLOR ME OBSESSED was a completely different beast from my last two film. A set of talking heads, over a hundred-twenty appear in the film, all with their own specific set of sound issues. An air conditioning unit we couldn’t shut off, LA street sounds, NYC street sounds, MPLS street sounds (I fucking hate street sounds), refrigerators, hums, buzzing, other bands playing loudly in the arena upstairs, dog tags jingling, interns turning log pages loudly, and one part-time uncredited B-camera person who moved so clunkily, Matt asked if someone was “bouncing golf balls off the window.”

We began, as always, at the first frame and worked forward. Tweaking, no so much those many voices, but those many distracting sounds behind them. Matt would, as he had for both You Are Alone and Friends (With Benefits) make everything sound perfect, all the levels even, etc and so forth.

The sound was halfway decent at best. And I’m not sharing the blame here. I take full responsibility for the sound in the film. And I even apologize in the end credits. But I didn’t want to shoot everyone in a sterile studio setting. That might work for Errol Morris, but it wouldn’t work for me. I wanted backgrounds organic (fuck, I hate that word) to the people being interviewed. If they owned a record shop, they’d be interviewed in their shop. To hell with the trucks zooming past outside on Lyndale. Or Grant Hart from Husker Du being interviewed in the basement dressing room at the 7th Street entry. I mean, could any setting be more perfect? Plus, we didn’t have a sound man. Our trusty mic stand stood in nicely. And many of the musicians we filmed seemed impressed by the quality of our shotgun mic.

And honestly, I might be overstating this a bit. When you see the film you’ll be thinking there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the sound.

And you’re right.
It sounds great!
NOW!
Thanks to Matt Gundy.

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The making of COLOR ME OBSESSED – PART 19

Our first official press release, our first four screenings…

March 7, 2011

Documentary on indie-rock legends The Replacements set to premiere.

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT & TAMPA, FLORIDA: COLOR ME OBSESSED, the first documentary about famed 80’s indie-rock band The Replacements, will have its World Premiere at the 5th annual Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa, Florida. Gorman Bechard, the film’s director, took top honors at last year’s GIFF with his romantic-comedy FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS).

Told through the eyes of fans, friends, and contemporaries, COLOR ME OBSESSED breaks from the traditional music documentary format of music and performances. Not looking to make a VH1/where-are-they-now style documentary Bechard took a unique approach, “I decided to present the band in a more iconic way,” he explains. “I thought, people believe in God without seeing or hearing him but rather through the passion, faith, and stories of others. After watching COLOR ME OBSESSED, I’m pretty sure music fans will believe in The Replacements in much the same way.”

Telling the band’s story was a project close to the heart for Bechard. Like many who were weaned on punk music he latched onto this brash young Minneapolis band with fervor. Dubbed “the last best band” by Spin Magazine, their live shows could be miraculous or downright disasters. Their fans, unwaveringly faithful. As critic’s darlings, their albums were wrought with angry guitars and passionate well-written lyrics that hinted at potential commercial success. Yet, somehow, the band managed to continually shoot themselves in the foot. Their relative obscurity was a motivating factor in presenting their story on film. “The Replacements should have been the next Rolling Stones,” Bechard says, “And to the people who loved them, I think they were.”

Combining over 140 interviews with rockers (Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, Tommy Ramone, Grant Hart and Greg Norton of Husker Du, all three members of Goo Goo Dolls), journalists (Robert Christgau, Legs McNeil, Ira Robbins, Greg Kot, Jim DeRogatis), and fans both famous (Tom Arnold, Dave Foley, George Wendt) and not, Bechard delivers the obsessive tale of the most influential band you’ve never heard of, The Replacements. And though containing not one note of their music, COLOR ME OBSESSED is a documentary that really rocks.

COLOR ME OBSESSED screens on Saturday, March 26th at 7:30 PM at the Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa, FL. On Saturday, April 2nd at 6:45 PM at the Wisconsin Film Festival in Madison, WI. On Friday, April 15th at the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival in Chicago, IL. And on Wednesday, May 4th in Minneapolis, MN as a special presentation of Sound Unseen’s monthly screening series.

For more info on COLOR ME OBSESSED please visit: http://www.ColorMeObsessed.com
For more on the director please visit: http://www.GormanBechard.com or contact us using the information provided below:

The making of COLOR ME OBSESSED – part 11

Over the holidays last year, two old friends joined the production team: Dean Falcone, whom I’ve known for about three decades, and who co-wrote the score for FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS), and Ed Valauskas, whom I first met when he played bass so many eons ago in amazing band Gravel Pit. Both have countless connections in the music industry. They would get us to many of the rockers who would so make this film work.

Our second day of filming interviews for COLOR ME OBSESSED was actually set up by Ed. Wednesday, January 27, 2010. Heading north this time, up to Boston. Five interviews in all, three of them taking place at the Q Division Studios. (Thank you very much!)

Only Adrian and I would make trip up. It being a weekday, Jim needed to work. It would actually be just Adrian and myself for a while, or at least until Sarah said, “I want to learn about video.”

The first interview would take place at 11 AM…so we hit the road at 7:30, just in case there was traffic or construction in and around Boston. (Like that could ever happen.)

First up: George Skaubitis, who worked radio promotions for Warner Brothers. George was very quiet and subdued, but he gave me one amazing quote, part of which you can see in the second trailer right here, calling the band a “glorious mess.” It was a short interview, but I’ll always take quality over quantity.

Next up was Dave Minehan of The Neighborhoods…

The making of COLOR ME OBSESSED – part 8

Now I had tried indiegogo.com before for another project. It’s a place where you put your project online, and seek backers. NOT investors. Backers. People who donate money to your film in return for a dvd, a poster, an associate producer credit, a day on set, a role as an extra, anything you can think of really. But unlike investors, they do not own any part of your finished film. They own no part of the profits. They will never be paid back. And likewise you do not have to register with state banking commissions, you do not need a securities lawyer. (Filmmakers, if you’re looking for investors, be careful and check with the laws of individual state. Fines are not fun.) If you can find people who believe in your project this is very much the way to go. But to be honest, I had no luck with indiegogo, and I think most people who tried them at the start were in the same boat. Checking their site now, they seem to have completely changed format, basically copying the much more successful KickStarter.com.

When I first put up COLOR ME OBSESSED on KickStarter back in October 2009, it was mostly an exclusive club. You needed either an invite from one of the people who had projects on the site, or from one of the site’s founders. So I sent said founders an email, explaining who I was, and what I was making, and within a few days received an invite to make CMO a KickStarter project.

You can see the original CMO KickStarter page here, including the listing of what I was offering backers at what price. As you can see it proved tremendously successful. And I knew that when time came to find Mats fans outside of the tri-state area in which I resided, I be able to pack up my crew and go.

As an aside, I can’t say enough great things about KickStater. Everything about it is professional, well thought out, and easy to use. They truly have some amazing projects, and have helped many artists like myself achieve goals which might have otherwise been out of reach. KickStarter rocks!

The making of COLOR ME OBSESSED – part 7

Somehow almost a year went by, as I needed to finish up the tax credit paperwork (don’t get me started) for FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS), complete the film, do the sound mix, begin submitting to film festivals, then actually hit the road on the festival circuit. (I could blog about that, but instead watch the amazing indie film OFFICIAL REJECTION, and you’ll learn more than you will ever need to know about film festivals.)

But in August 2009 I posted an ad on Craigslist stating that I was looking for a co-producer. I got one worthwhile response from Jim Leftwich, who not only wanted to learn about production but was a huge fan of The Replacements. We sat down over pizza at Pepe’s and hashed it out. Jim would work the East Coast interview schedule.

I believe Adrian Correia, my cinematographer on FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS) had always been on board. I had been turning Adrian on to new bands since hiring him to shoot that last film. Despite no up-front pay, Adrian jumped at the chance to work on CMO.

Sarah, Jan, Jim, Adrian…that was my crew at the start. It would change as we moved along…but for now, everything clicked.

And…yes, no up-front pay. Everyone including myself would own a chunk of the back end. If the film did well, we all did well. I did not want to spent months (or more) looking for investors. I didn’t want to do all this work on another film, and then when it finally sold not see a dime. And luckily a new web startup would help me achieve that goal.

The making of COLOR ME OBSESSED – part 6

I knew I would need help in the making of this film, specifically in finding the right people to interview, and arranging what would hopefully be a grueling schedule. A good but small and dedicated crew would be essential. Finding the right crew who could understand and would support my vision.

I started with a poster, as having an image, then getting a website up quickly, is more important than I could possibly explain in a short blog entry. It’s like this: if you don’t have a site, you don’t exist. So as soon as I began talking with Hansi, I turned to Sarah Hajtol who designed my FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS) poster. Not only was she interested, but she asked if she could design the CMO website as part of her thesis. She didn’t have to ask twice.

Then during the summer of 2008 (August 21st, to be precise), I contacted an old friend, Jan Radder. At the age of 15, Jan worked as a production assistant on my film PSYCHOS IN LOVE. You can read his account of that gig on his blog (and hopefully one day in full detail in his memoir). Many years back, Jan moved to Minneapolis, but we’ve always stayed in touch, having music as a common bond. At first I asked him simply to get a photo of the Let It Be house that Sarah might manipulate for the poster.

That poster idea didn’t work, but within a month I wrote: “I want to talk to you as well, as I feel you have a lot to offer on this, if you want to come on board in a co-producer fashion.”

To which Jan replied: “Wow. I’d totally be interested. Let me know what you’re thinking.”

Little did I realize at this point just how important Jan and Sarah would become to the film…

The making of COLOR ME OBSESSED – part 5

The last interview of that first day was with Randy Ellis, down at a great old record shop, The Record Collector Store, in Bordentown , NJ. Randy booked the infamous City Gardens in Trenton, NJ. And one show in particular, known on bootlegs as The Late Bob Show, would eventually play a small but entertaining role in the film, as people came forward with very different, very funny, stories about what happened that night.

We conducted three interviews that first day, Saturday, November 21, 2009. Me, cinematographer Adrian Correia, and co-producer Jim Leftwich in my Jeep Liberty. We used a Canon XHA1 as our A-camera, and a Canon HV-20 as our B-camera, everything a two camera shoot, giving me the option to trim a story when necessary. The microphone was an Audio-Technica AT897, on a stand with boom, cabled directly into the XHA1, which itself was on a set of Manfrotto sticks. Adrian hand-held B-cam. Jim took notes. I asked the questions.

Then after what had to be a 12 hour day of shooting and driving, we headed back through the worst traffic I’d ever seen on the Jersey Turnpike. But it didn’t matter. I was already beginning to edit the film in my head.