So what does the live music scene in Sydney look like today, where do artists go to perform, or is the Sydney scene dead? We take a look at Sydney’s sound then and now.
Interview with Director/Producer Samantha Holder and Director Nathan Richman
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
It all started back in 2016, when the band we had booked to play at our company Xmas party got shut down by the venue at 10pm! Now that was obviously annoying for us and our guests, but what was really eye opening was the band's reaction, which was to shrug their shoulders and say ‘Oh well that’s just Sydney’. It was heartbreaking to hear some of the country’s best musos sound so defeated. We all knew that the situation in Sydney was looking a bit bleak but the fact that everyone was just accepting it was the reason why we decided to make this film.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
If you love music then you should definitely watch this film. Hopefully there’s a bit of nostalgia for everyone watching, but also even though we are mostly talking about Sydney, it should really serve as a cautionary tale for everyone as this is a problem happening in many cities around the world. Music is so important to our culture and we want everyone to be inspired to go out and see a gig, and support live music wherever they live.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
The universal theme in our film is definitely how music is so important to people, and in particular to the culture of a city. Everyone around the world should be able to relate to that.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
The film developed and evolved quite a lot throughout production. We must admit, the doco was conceived with an air of frustration and anger, but the more people we spoke to, the more we discovered what was actually happening in the live music scene in Sydney. What started out as a very bleak outlook took a more positive upturn which we were really pleased about.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Well our MDFF screening is actually going to be the world premiere of our film, so there are only a few select people that have seen it so far! The feedback we’ve had has been really positive though which we are so pleased about. We are really looking forward to sharing this film with everyone at MDFF and can’t wait to hear what people think after the screening.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
What has surprised us so far is the overwhelming support that we received from everyone involved. This project was very much a passion project for us, so it was really great to see just how supportive everyone in the music community has been.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
We want to break the narrative that Sydney is a dead town. We want to get more people talking about the film, MDFF, and of course the cause. The more noise we can make about it, and the more people we can get supporting live music and going to gigs, the better.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
We’re really keen to get the film out there, so we are currently looking for distribution. We’d also love to get more people talking about this, so that we can rally some community support for the live music scene, and maybe get some politicians to take notice as well!
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
As a couple of Sydney residents that love live music we really want this film to inspire people to get out there, go to a gig and support live music in whatever city they live in, but most especially in Sydney. Sydney has changed a lot over the last few years, and we may never be the city that we once were, but we do hope that this film inspires people to not just sit by and shrug their shoulders saying ‘oh well that’s just Sydney’ but to take action and support music & culture in Sydney because it’s so important.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Is live music in Sydney dead? Or, how important is music to the culture of a city? Both really important questions that we look at in the film.
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
This has been a fantastic experience for our team so we are keen to do something else. We’re only just starting to think about what the next project might be, so stay tuned!
Interview: June 2018
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Turn It Up, Finding Sydney’s Sound
Exploring the evolution of live music in Sydney.
Who is being interviewed for this article? Samantha Holder & Nathan Richman
Directors: Samantha Holder & Nathan Richman
Producer: Samantha Holder
About the writer, director and producer:
Samantha & Nathan are Sydney based filmmakers from Elastic Studios, a leading image creation company that works across Film, TV & Advertising.
Key cast: Calvin Welch, Alex Smith, Dave Novak, Flight Facilities, Hannah Crofts, Lindsay McDougall, Jess Finlayson + many more
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): Distributors
Social media handles:
Hashtags you use: #turnitupsydney
Made in association with: Elastic Studios www.elasticstudios.com.au