Beautiful Noise Director Eric Green Discusses Documentary Making, Kevin Shields & What’s Next [Interview] jimmy 14/06/2014 features, interview 1 Californian film maker Eric Green has spent almost a decade working alongside producer Sarah Ogletree to create a music documentary that explores the birth of 80s and 90s guitar rockers My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, The Jesus & Mary Chain and many more! The huge task meant coordinating more than fifty interviews, negotiating music clearances and raising funds with the help of like minded music lovers. Late last month Beautiful Noise was warmly received at its Seattle premiere. Eric continues to organise Beautiful Noise screenings on the film festival circuit and has kindly made some time available for an interview. There’s still plenty of supportive fans eager to see the film (as the home video release is still to come), hopefully this will ease the wait… Thanks for taking the time out to chat Eric. ‘Beautiful Noise’ has finally premiered in Seattle – congratulations! How does it feel to finally share your documentary with the world? It feels good, my producing partner Sarah and I are very proud of the film. How did you first get started in film? I grew up obsessively watching movies and my interest turned into writing and directing. What inspired you to create ‘Beautiful Noise’? I would flip channels and see documentaries about every music genre imaginable but never these groups. You managed to assemble an amazing bunch of people for the film. Did this involve a lot of door knocking or did you have an existing network of friends to help you pull it off? It was an impossible task. It took a lot of emails and calls and asking people for help, each interview helped us get the next one. Given it’s been more than twenty years since the rise of My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Cocteau Twins – it’s amazing that there isn’t more books/films about shoegaze – why do you think that is? That is part of why I wanted to make this film. They were ahead of their time in the beginning and their music wasn’t widely circulated because of it, I think with the internet and the dedication of their fans word has spread now and they are at a sort of tipping point. I see 18 year olds walking around Amoeba music here wearing My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive shirts and that speaks volumes I think. Can you tell us a little about what went into creating the documentary. Did you start out with interviews and then plan out a narrative? I wrote a treatment that was the basis for the film and the story points evolved over time as we would get each interview. Ultimately Sarah and I went through all the interviews and selected clips, transcribed them and then I wrote the script which became the blueprint for the film. The documentary went through many iterations as we discovered new archival footage and the motion graphics and visual effects were designed. It was originally something like 4 hours with all interview clips. It was really hard cutting any of the clips because there are a lot of interesting aspects about these people and the music they made. Who was the most enjoyable interviewee? Any surprises? They were all pretty great, Kevin Shields stands out. After two years of trying to get an interview with him it happened at the last possible moment before we had to catch a flight back to the U.S. on one of our trips to the U.K. I had almost given up and then he showed up at our hotel in the middle of the night and sat down for a four hour interview. He is a really interesting guy. Given you’re a big fan of these artists yourself, did you have any “oh wow I’m talking to…” moments? I have interviewed a lot of famous people over the years. I make a lot of short form documentaries on the making of films and I have learned the best thing to is to try to talk to them as a friend who happens to be a great artist. I really liked meeting every person in this film, they are all extremely interesting and nuanced individuals and I found I had things in common with most of them, we were very like minded. What were the biggest challenges putting the film together? Ten years is a long time! Music Clearances were the biggest hurdle. There weren’t investors lining up for this film. It’s a labor of love and it couldn’t have happened any other way. If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything differently? This is one of those things that could only ever happen once, and only exactly as it did or it might never have happened at all. I really had no idea how difficult it would be, in nearly every aspect. What’s next for Eric Green? Any future projects on the horizon? Yes, I have a lot of projects I’m working on. I have a novel coming out, I’m finishing a new script, and Sarah and I are working on ideas for a new film. Any parting advice for budding documentary filmmakers? Always be prepared, never give up, even when it seems like it may never happen and no one cares, don’t let the rejections get to you, just keep looking for a way until you find it. Like I said, I had no idea how hard this was going to be but I also had no idea how many people, a great many people, would see the value in it the way I do and help me to make it happen. My producing partner Sarah was a very integral part in making this film and when I started I hadn’t even met her yet. So yeah, be prepared for anything. *Read Eric’s Beautiful Noise Film Diary @ Synesthetic Sensations* More Of Beautiful Noise & Eric Green online @ Tumblr @ Kickstarter @ Twitter @ Facebook.