As a fan of documentary genre in film and TV, I got persuaded by Richard (my tutor) to see the recent documentary film Beyond Clueless at The Cube cinema in Bristol. This is Charlie Lyne's directorial debut and he currently work as a journalist (see his website and Twitter). The film had been show in several festivals including Sheffield Doc Fest and SXSW Festival last year.
When I booked a ticket, I was stunned that there were 20 tickets left and I could tell the film gained popularlity from my generation aka The Millennial Generation (birth years from early 1980s to early 2000s). This was because teen movies were the products of our time.
When I arrived to the Cube, I noticed two girls dressed as school girls in uniforms. I saw a sign (photo on left) saying 'Tonight's Screening is completely sold out' on the front door. At the bar, there were red plastic cups and 'To-make' flower corsages, commonly used for American proms. These were the iconography of a teen film genre, which we would recognise immediately while watching a teen movie. I did managed to make one however after putting it on my wrist, the flower had chopped off itself.
Anyway, I managed to get a good seat where I took a photo of Beyond Clueless title on screen. There were two people, possibly working for the film, wore high school jackets with Beyond Clueless on the back.
During the screening, there were interesting parts in the film especially a contemporary documentary film/TV genre, the film essay. I would talk about this in detail in the next post.
After the screening, we had a Q&A with Charlie Lyne and he looked young in my first impression. I wrote down everything on my notepad as much as possible; the interviewer was the first person to ask the questions. I was prepared to ask Charlie the question about the copyright clearance in his film. However one of the audience asked this first, there were information related to Charlie's answer to the copyright clearance. One was in the Kickstarter page and another that Sarah (my step mum who was there for the screening) told me about. She said that giving a locked down version of the film - the timing of clips to the copyright owners e.g. using 6 mins 34 seconds of the footage from one film - the copyright owners would depict the fee for example; $12,000 or $500 per 3 minutes. Another thing she said that using lesser known films and music like Summer Camp for Beyond Clueless are cheaper.
Anyway, Charlie answered the first question "Why did he make a film about teen films?". His answer was that it was interested to watch teen movies back and also embrace them, and the Millennial Generation including myself would remember them too. He states that he used all of over 200 DVDs with a small number of people working and watching for hours at his home. During the process of research and pre-production, they wrote notes down for example; a swimming pool scenes from films such as Swimfan and Wild Things, and they also used a pin-board to scatter ideas for the film.
Charlie talked about his mate or someone told him that he/she has seen Godzilla (2014) and asked him "Have you seen it?" Charlie answered "Well, no, I have seen Cruel Intentions 2 twice" and the audience found this hilarious. I agreed with his point of what he just said, made himself an outsider but it doesn't matter to me.
Hiring Fairuza Balk (who starred in The Craft) as the film's narrator is a funny story to tell. They spent months trying to contact her, three months to contact her agent but it backfired. Luckily, they noticed Fairuza selling her Vestacha International candle line online and they send an email to the website. At the end, she replied back and accepted her part. Charlie said that it was interested to have her voice for the film.
The best teen film Charlie had seen is Eurotrip because "it's f****** fantastic" and "brilliant comedy", and he loved "the greatest satire" since he was young. When one of the audience asked him "Why he didn't put The Butterfly Effect?", he answered it was because it was a "pointlessly made film". Later, he did mention Juno as one of the films he couldn't used, and I was disappointed about it. There were other teen films I had watched, that didn't appear in the film - Superbad and She's The Man.
His answer to another film-related question "Which one of the teen films that he wanted to include in the film but didn't" was one of his favourite films - It's a Boy Girl Thing, one of the teen films I didn't see as well. This was because it had a British director, British producers, Canadian cast with Sharon Osbourne and it was filmed in Canada. Another reason for this was the weirdness of the body-swap narrative, so this led to the use of the body-swap scene at the end of Freaky Friday instead because it depicts the change of Lindsay Lohan's character. Another question was "Which of the characters from teen films he identify with?" and he states he identified with Laney Boggs (played by Rachael Leigh Cook) from She's All That.
There was an interesting statement, which Charlie said that the 1980s teen films influenced the modern teen films in the 1990s and 2000s. As the question about the copyright clearance already been used, I managed to ask the final question of the Q&A, which was "As you (Charlie) are the editor of the film, which editing software did he use for editing the film?" His answer was "Final Cut Pro X", which fulfilled my expectation and he talked about his routine - "Get up, get dressed, open [his] Apple Mac". Suddenly he got interrupted by a guy asking "What did you [Charlie] have for breakfast/Did you have breakfast?" After that, Charlie talked about doing a talk at the Apple store in Regent Street on 8th March. My question brought to a positive, funny finale of the Q&A.