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Q&A with Martin and the Stones (Read 746 times)
moy
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Q&A with Martin and the Stones
Apr 21st, 2008 at 3:59pm
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Martin Scorsese and the Rolling Stones unite in "Shine A Light," a look at The Rolling Stones." Scorcese filmed the Stones in autumn 2006. The Rolling Stones gave two concerts at Beacon Theatre in New York. Here, in the 2,800-seater old Broadway theatre that opened in 1928, we encounter living legends Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Charlie Watts. Before an enthusiastic audience that includes Hillary and Bill Clinton, the Stones present their hit songs as well as less known numbers. Guest appea­rances include Christina Aguilera, blues legends Buddy Guy and Jack White.

Question: Mr. Scorsese, could you explain why it was important for you to make this film in a small venue in your native Manhattan? To the members of the band: Mick at one point says "You've been a great audience." I'm sure you've said that before, and I'm sure you'll say it again. Was this audience special? And if so, why?

Martin Scorsese: The importance of making the film on a smaller venue, for me. We discussed doing it at a bigger arena and I looked into that, and actually while I was doing it, I was trying to prepare for that, I began to realize I'd rather… I think I'm better suited to try to capture the group on stage, on a small stage, more for the intimacy then for the group and the way they play together. The way you see the band work together and work each song. I found that to be interesting and more than interesting, it's just a compulsion of mine. I love to be able to see that and be able to cut from one image to the other, movement, that sort of thing, but really about the intimacy of the group and how they work together.

Jagger: I can't remember what you said now (laughter) but the audience was a good audience, because I think they really got into the spirit of the movie as well as enjoying being an audience for the band. They were a great audience for the band but also, they were a great audience for the movie.

Keith Richards: They were all cameramen. (laughter)

Scorsese: They enjoyed it, the cameramen liked it.


Question: Keith, did you see anything special about that night?

Richards: The Beacon Theater is special for some reason anyway. It wraps around…especially if you're going to play there for more than one night and you start to get… the room sort of wraps its arms around you, and every night, it's warmer. It's a great feeling room, and also, this band didn't start off in stadiums (chuckles).


Question: For everyone in the band, we're all impressed with how this movie reminds us of the boundless energy it takes to be on tour. Starting with Mr. Jagger, I'd like to know what vitamins you take and what's your workout like to do this.

Jagger: God! (laughter) You can forget about that.

Richards: (If we tell you) you'll all be on it. (laughter)

Jagger: No gym, no vitamins I think that day. Just do it, just get out there and yeah… you get very pressurized in these situations. The thing I always find is when a movie shoot that you really have to come up to the plate and fortunately, we had two nights. As Keith was saying, it's good to play there more than one night and I agree with him, because the first night we played was more like a rehearsal for us in a way, and by the time the second night came 'round, we got more adjusted to playing in a small theater, because though we played lots of small theaters in the past, we hadn't done it on this tour, so this was quite different to suddenly go into this small theater. By the second night, we knew how to sort of do it, this was going to be the night with all these people there and everything, but I felt really good about that particular night, so you just have to almost come and do it.

Richards: But it was a turn on.

Jagger: Yeah. (laughs)


Question: How much are you guys still having fun, and were there moments of that you tried to capture?

Jagger: It took us two days to shoot the picture, but we've spent four days doing the premieres and promotions. It's taken us twice as long doing that. Shooting this movie was quite nerve-wracking in some ways for us, and in other ways it was fantastically enjoyable. I'm sure that Marty has got a lot of things going on, and he's got to cover it when it happens. It was quite a challenge. Talking about having fun, it was great fun, but it was great challenge for everyone sitting at this platform both on the night and after it. Careerwise, you always see things as great fun, but they're also challenges to do these things that are slightly different from what you do normally.

Scorsese: For me it was literally the moments when you can see the band working together. All the songs, it's like a narrative, a story, and the whole sound of the band is like a character, one character in each song. With the grace of these wonderful cinematographers, headed by Bob Richardson, and people like Bob Elswit and Ellen Kuras and Chivo and John Toll, Andrew Lesnie, who did "Lord of the Rings," Edgar Rollins, they were able to, like poets at times, know exactly when to move that camera to pick up a member of the band. We thought this in 35mm, not video, so we had 10-minute loads, and cameras were going down all the time, running out of film, so another camera would pick up where someone left off. That's why there were so many, to be able to pick up the slack. But the key was to find the moments between the members of the band and how they work together. It's like a machine, its own entity during each song.

Question: Who chose the documentary clips and do you think you'll still perform when you're 70?

Richards: That's only five years away. (laughter)

Scorsese: Who chose the clips? Dave Tedeschi's the editor of the film, and we worked together almost nine to ten months. The music came together rather quickly in the cutting. That was very enjoyable. The hardest part was putting together the clips. I think Dave had over 400 hours of archival footage, and then he chose about 40 hours for me to see, and then we worked from that 40 hours and it was a matter of balancing, saying something but not saying too much and then saying nothing with it. That was the key, and balancing it so it wouldn't unbalance the music in the piece. To do a film of all archival footage I think would be a four or five hour documentary.

Jagger: There were some moments when I thought the archival footage was going too long and I felt we were going off into another movie and not at a concert. Because it was really kind of riveting sometimes, those old movies, but then if it goes on too long you want to come back to the concert stage. Sometimes David left them a little bit on the long side, so in the end we ended up with what we had, which was good.
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« Last Edit: Apr 21st, 2008 at 4:20pm by moy »  
 
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Linda
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Re: Q&A with Martin and the Stones
Reply #1 - Apr 22nd, 2008 at 2:59am
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moy wrote on Apr 21st, 2008 at 3:59pm:
. I think Dave had over 400 hours of archival footage


I would love to see those 400 hours..  Wink

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