Just got back from London town where I met up with director Ross Cairns and editor Julian Eguiguren to work on the beast that is Lives Of The Artists. Ross has put his heart into visualising this thing from the word go and it shows, with epic moody visuals and a heavy vibed look into the lives of the lads involved.
The scenic footage from Greenland alone makes this film worth watching, but Xavier de la Rue comes across as a deeply focussed, interesting cat - who draws the craziest high speed lines down critical Mountain cracks you'll ever see. He talks about almost dying in an avalanche, the footage backs it up and it is fucking heavy.
Gallows are real believers in suffering for their art, they lose the plot in a frenzy of energy onstage, whip themselves up to the point of insanity, and do it night after night. This takes it's toll and their reflective questioning insights into what their music means to them is a real interesting contrast to the intensity of their performances on the warped tour in America. I went from not really feeling their music before I watched the film, to really getting where they're coming from and being seriously moved by what they're about during the space of the film. I can be a proper moanin music snob at times so that says alot to me.
Our part in the film is real different from Powers of three. There's no 6ml wettys for a start and we look awkward as all hell in boardies to be honest. Tahiti looks as beautiful as it is in real life, but not in a cheesy holiday kind of way, and dark blue thick perfect 8-10ft chopes looks sooo good at 100fps. Small or big sessions, the waves compliment Tom and Fergs surfing perfectly, with both of them drawing some insane fluid lines as well as taking some nasty beatdowns. The Highlight of this for me is Lowey freefalling into a mega bomb, sticking it and getting spat out, all at 75fps, rad. This clip alone will silence any doubters left about these lads ability for good - it's full on next level paddle gear, and as legit a statement as anyone can make.
Personally I was most stoked with the tracking gear I shot for this thing with a big ol' Arriflex out there, and Alan 'Willy' Wilson has done a really great job nailing everything at water level to.
The film leaves you with a pretty intense heavy feeling inside, you're not really sure where your at by the end of it all, spun out in a good way. It's an honest artistic impression of some of the real scenarios each crew faces whilst striving to get to wherever it is they want to go, and that in itself is pretty inspiring. There's no glossing shit over or hyping shit up here, it's a piece with integrity, and Ross and Julian have done a great job with the intense task of linking up these three completely different ways of life into 90 minutes of interesting documentary film. By the end you can sense the subtle underlying similarities between each completely different set of individuals.
I went in, watched and then put in my tuppence worth at this stage of the edit, and now I'm already looking forward to seeing how the finished piece eventually warps and turns out. Ross wants it to be a visual poem of sorts, and I really hope it ends up just the way he pictured it.
Lives of the Artists is due for general release in November 09.
Here's the trailer again on vimeo...
Lives of the Artists Trailer from mickey smith on Vimeo.