Joe Pearlman and David Soutar Discuss Their Award-Winning Documentary About Bros

Who the hell are Bros?

After The Screaming Stops
Fantastic Fest / Rick Kern

Cue the music:

“When will I, will I be famous?

I can’t answer, I can’t answer that

When will I see my picture in the paper?

I can’t answer, I can’t answer that”

Are you tapping your foot or scratching your head? If your answer is the latter, then you’re probably an American. If the answer is the former, then you most likely live beyond the USA, and you’re a proud member of the Bros boy band fan club. Twins Matt and Luke Goss (along with bassist Craig Logan) ruled the British billboard charts from 1987-1991. Their story mirrors a lot of rags-to-riches sagas climaxing with a catastrophic breakup. Tabloids tore them to shreds, and Luke found solace in Hollywood while Matt set up shop in Vegas.

When documentarians Joe Pearlman and David Soutar heard that the brothers were attempting a reunion tour for 2017, they knew there was a story to be captured. They sought the permission of Bros, and quickly found themselves integrated into the sixth-month long rehearsal process. The resulting film, After the Screaming Stops, chronicles that arduous journey as well as the tumultuous sibling rivalry at the center.

Bros

On the surface, the film sounds like the makings of one of the more salacious VH1 Behind the Music episodes. The reality is that After the Screaming Stops cleverly ascends ordinary gossip-driven, talking-heads documentaries. Pearlman and Soutar have shaped a riotous ride by latching upon the eccentric siblings, and the brothers create an adventure as absurd and astonishing as anything witnessed in This Is Spinal Tap or Anvil! The Story of Anvil.

Don’t believe me? Believe the Fantastic Fest crowd. After the Screaming Stops was one of the three films to take home the Audience Award. No one left that screening with regret in their heart.

I spoke to Pearlman and Soutar on the last day of the festival. While I was exhausted from the onslaught of movie watching, Pearlman and Soutar appeared like they could have done another eight-day marathon. They were thrilled by the response to their film, and we’re even more excited about the other movies they were consuming. We talked about why they went after Bros and the challenges of sculpting a narrative from an endless stream of footage. What was meant to be a fifteen-minute chat ballooned into a forty minute powwow. The chat was a total blast.

Here is our conversation in full:

Why say yes to the Matt and Luke Goss story?

David: Well we didn’t say yes, we pushed for it. We actually put this forward as a project we wanted to take on ’cause we thought there was a story there we wanted to tell. We didn’t, at that point, know exactly what they were going to be like, but we knew that they had the foundation for an amazing doc. That was the starting point.

What made you so confident there was a story to tell here?

Joe: So we knew they’d sold out the gig in London in seven seconds. So that in itself. You’ve sold out the O2 after 30 years of not playing a single note of music, you sold the O2 out in seven seconds, that in itself is an incredible feat. And then also, you know, you start digging a little bit and seeing Matt and Luke and the relationship, what happened to them over the years, their sister, their Mum, all these things effected them and it’s a really interesting story about two twins that have struggled to reconnect and come back together. That was pretty quickly evident to us, that bringing these two together would cause really interesting friction but also would be, as Luke would say, somewhat cathartic, as an experience, for them. And I think that was a huge part of it.

David: If you’re over 30 in the UK, you know that they were huge, you know that they then split up, and you know that they didn’t speak for a decade, before you even start looking at anything else that they’d done to that point. Two twin brothers that were huge, selling more albums and more singles than Michael Jackson in a couple of years, then they don’t speak, you want to know why. There are a lot of unanswered questions and we feel like, actually, with this, we give them a chance to answer some of those, and also show what was going on between them over that year, because no one really knows. They say, oh, wasn’t Matt doing this, is it music, is he still doing Vegas or somewhere, is he living in Vegas? Luke they know, he’s popped up in some of those films so they know him. But, disappearing. Disappearing.

Joe: And also who they are, because they disappeared, they were such huge characters and suddenly went into nothingness, I mean, Luke’s had an amazing career, Matt’s had an amazing career, but it’s very different. I think it was a moment for them, also, just to tell their story and I’m happy we gave them the chance to do that.

The film is not just a simple, behind-the-music documentary, which is what I was expecting going into it. Sure, I want to know about this band, why did it break up, why’s it back together? But it’s more than that.

Joe: I think, ultimately, we’ve had a lot of experience in doc and a big reference for us is American sports docs, they’re huge for us, NFL, those kind of things. Digging behind the story and getting deeper into someone is a huge thing for us.

Creative documentary making and scripting out things. I said in the Q&A, this film took a 100 different forms until it became the one you saw, and that was a huge struggle because, how quickly do you bring them to the UK? How quickly do you tell this part of the story? When do you reveal this? When do you hit the emotional point?

It was a real struggle, in the edit, because how do you tell that story with so many dips and dives, not to be this kind of linear nostalgic tour of them? And I feel like we achieved that, and it feels like a different doc. It’s very different, I think.

David: Yeah, and all the stuff, there’s always that choice of what stays in and goes out. In the Q&As they all ask about the other brother, well what about that? What about the other band member? And they sort of crop up but, you know, you’ve got to make those choices, you’ve got to get through it, you’ve got to make it as clear as possible. Even though there’s so much still left in the film, you’ve just got to get that bit of the story over.

Joe: Yeah, there are so many things that had to be dropped just because they started to muddle, everything muddles, and you’re like, where’s the clarity in this?

I would imagine it would require finesse to convince them to do it in the first place, just based on the personalities that I see in the film.

David: It did, but not a huge amount. I think because they wanted to prove, they’ve still got a lot to prove to the UK. When they’re back onstage and Luke does his piece to the camera, and he says “It’s amazing to be back here and actually this is a ‘fuck you’ to the industry,” he means that. They don’t really say much they don’t mean, as you can see, and they don’t hold back. They had a lot to prove to the UK, this was a chance for them to really sort of show that actually, you know, in their mind they’re going back to say, “We’re credible musicians, we’ve ‘rocked up’ our pop song.” But also it’s just to say, “Give us that moment, let us have that moment, don’t batter us again like you did 30 years ago.”

Joe: We’re incredibly lucky, we’ve worked with a company, Fulwell 73, for loads of years and they do a lot of high profile celebrity documentaries and those kinds of things, so we are inherently trusted. So when you go into the room with that behind you, there is a level of trust that’s just there, and it means that immediately you break this wall, and we’re with you, and we’re going to be with you and we’re embedding with you.

This film was, obviously, there’s lots of production staff, but essentially there were four of us who made this film. That’s the way we like to make docs, because we just embed in these peoples’ lives, become essentially best friends, counselors, their mother, their father, absolutely everything to them and then this, certainly, of all the films we’ve done, this one became that and more, I would say.

Well, the passions, they are very high. When you capture that first argument, in the session, is there a moment when they’re like, let’s not put that in the documentary?

David: Never, never. It’s really interesting. They even used it as a point of sort of playing it against each other going, “Well look, I’m comfortable to have the cameras around when I’m telling you my feelings, even when I’m shouting at you.”

Joe: And if you listen to that scene, Luke rips his mic off and you can hear it, if you’re attuned to what’s going on, Luke rips his mic off and it’s all on Matt’s mic. There’s a bit later on, as well, when you hear Matt talking about his brother and he’s crying, that was a conversation that we had off camera with his mic still on. He was like, I’m giving you everything, this is everything. It was honest. And that was an aiming thing because you don’t get that, and often people feel like they’re being tricked when you do things like that. But the reality was there was a rule on this film, any time Matt and Luke are anywhere they have radio mics and we are recording, because who the fuck knew what was going to happen?

David: The big fight scene in the middle of the film, when they’re going on This Morning, the British TV show.

Which you open the film with.

David: Yeah, and come back to. So if you watch that as well, the night after that big argument Matt, you can see it in his face, when you’re waiting for that lift, he’s exhausted, you can see it in his face, he’s battered, he doesn’t want to be doing this, he wants to get into the rehearsal studios and get on with putting together the show. But even then, you know he’s still doing the whole set up chat of right, so here we are, we’re in This Morning, we’re going into this chat.

We’ve done docs with One Direction, sports stars, all around the world, all sorts of different people, and there’s never been someone we’ve filmed with, even those amazing people that we’re still friends with and that trust us completely, where they haven’t said, “Just not today. Just do me a favor, not today.”

They never said to us, not once, even after that morning, after that fight, where he hasn’t slept, he’s exhausted, he’s worried about the show, he’s angry at his brother. He’s still there, and I go, what’s going on today? And he still delivers the set up, boring line, the essential level one stuff where he would go, we’re on This Morning, it’s a show we’ve done loads of times, and we’ll see how it goes. He still delivers that, and everyone else would have said to us, “Come on boys, not today, do me a favor.” Do you know what I mean? That shows how much they were in on this thing.

The movie is also extremely funny in the sense that Matt – and Luke, too – but Matt in particular, he has the -isms, the metaphors –

Joe: We call them Matt-isms.

Matt-isms, okay, yeah. So, how do you judge how to use those, or when to use those?

David: Carefully.

Joe: So that was an ongoing conversation, even during production but definitely in the edit. You can take the piss out of these people, to use the English term, and that’s what the world did and there is a very different film that could have been made without the trust of them –

David: Or betraying the trust.

Joe: Yeah, betraying the trust of them, which wouldn’t have been funny, because that’s not what it’s about. You’re not laughing at these people. You’re with Matt with these sayings because you know what he’s trying to say like it’s endearing, you know the point he’s trying to get across, he’s super earnest, he believes what he’s saying. That’s the point. This is a character, we’re dealing with a full person here and this is what he does on a day-to-day purpose.

I think, in the end, the judging on those comedic moments was Matt was always going to punctuate the moments with these quotes, when they applied – or sometimes when they didn’t apply – but things like the Stevie Wonder line, to build a section about their musical childhood with their Mum, to then be able to drop that line, we were super conscious of that, and that was an early note on the board.

David: It really was. And like I say, revisiting and going into it because we wanted to have all of those in there, you couldn’t not have those in there, it wouldn’t be anywhere near the film if you didn’t have those Matt-isms in there, but we really didn’t want people to just think that we were laying into him or ripping for them.

So when I got out of the movie, and for every movie, I’m doing a little review tweet, like, this is what I think of the film. I sent my tweet out, and it’s the one tweet that I sent out this week, I don’t have a lot of followers, but this one tweet gets picked up by some Bros fan group and gets retweeted like 30 or 40 times. And I thought, damn, what are they going to think about this film?

Joe: This is a question we’re asking ourselves now.

David: And we’re looking forward to finding out.

Joe: Right, I don’t feel like we necessarily have thought about that, as much, until we got here. But I think ultimately they know these boys, they know them deep down, they’ve been with them for 30 years, so they know about Matt’s lines, they know about all those things and I think there’s a perception difference, a viewing and perception difference, between an audience who have no idea what they’re coming into to and an audience of fans who are celebrating these boys and who they are.

It’s not just about the music to them. You know you watch the boy band film, it’s not just about the music, it’s about them, it’s about their lives, it’s about everything. So telling the Mum’s story, telling the sister’s story, those kinds of things, these people are going to relive that, through our film. That was definitely something we were conscious of.

David: I think they’re going to love it, I genuinely think they’re going to love it because, you know, these boys – we still call them boys, they’re nearly 50! – they’re from the era of newspapers and fan pages and magazine books. You know, they’re on this, they’re embracing Instagram and all that sort of stuff but they’re not of the One Direction generation. There are bits out there, of them, but there’s nothing like this actually, where you’re really seeing them, no holds barred, true character, essentially them stood naked going, “This is who I am, this is who I’m worried about.”

The fans who have stayed in contact with them, seen them perform again, traveled to Vegas to see Matt and get a photo, that’s one thing. They have amazing interactions and connection with their fans, they always have, you see it in there, they’re kissing and hugging them. You almost think, ergh, they’re kissing fans, that’s a bit much, right?

Is that performing for the documentary?

David: Absolutely not. And you see it in the archive, they’re doing the same thing then, they just always had that. This will be one thing that they really get to see a different side than you do if you look at him performing, all of that.

Joe: Just as a point on that, there was a review that someone said they maybe thought that Matt and Luke were playing up to the camera a little bit. That could not be less of the case. Honestly, they are those people, genuinely. Just back to your point before about judging the comedy, we showed sections of the film constantly to different people to make sure it was still landing. You know, you’re making a film, you’re in it for 12 weeks, you don’t have a fucking clue what’s going on outside of the world, and all you have is this.

David: Are they private jokes?

Joe: Right, you get too deep and you’re not sure what’s playing and what’s landing, so you bring someone in and you’re like, can I just play you this one line? And it’d be like the Stevie Wonder thing and they’d laugh. And I’d be like, okay leave. And then you’d be like okay, we’re back, and then you’d be into it. And that was kind of part of the process.

David: It was also brilliant when we showed it to everyone that we work with. So the production company is growing and growing and growing, it’s going to amazing places, but it’s still relatively small for the stuff that we do and we had a little viewing with 15 people that we work with and these are production managers, line managers, producers, accountants, all sorts. But it’s such a brilliant place there that they’ve all got something to offer, so we’ll go and ask the accountant if we’re doing an entertainment show, “What do you think about this game we might be doing?” Anyway, we put all these people in a room, we showed it to them, and that was again, such an amazing reaction from all these people.

Joe: Of course when we’re laughing our arses off in an edit suite for 12 weeks, with everyone walking past, making sure no one comes in, they want to see the film, you know?

David: I remember one, Lou Fox, she’s an amazing line editor, she does like the Olympics and all these amazing line edits, she came out and she was like, [amazed sounds] “Is it this, is it that,” and she literally was just completely flabbergasted by it and just went, “Okay, we need to talk.” And most times when we show stuff like that everyone goes, “Oh, that’s so cool, that’s wicked, well-done guys, that’s wicked.” Then goes back to their work. This one, everyone stayed in the room, everyone was sort of coming up to us, like, “What was this?” And suddenly Joe, Gina, the producer of the film, myself, were suddenly all in different areas of the room answering all these questions from all these people that we work with every day, and that’s sort of just shown us that we’re onto something. We’ve got the comedy and all that sort of stuff right, the palate is right.

But what about the brothers? Have they watched it yet?

Joe:  So me and my brother screened the film to their brothers, which was obviously a move, the brothers and the brothers, my brother’s a producer of the film as well. It went down really well, they were really proud of it, they are to this day really proud of it. There were moments, obviously, like the sister was difficult for them to watch and the Mum was difficult for them to watch, but they loved it and appreciated it and I think it might be a different conversation if they saw it with an audience, maybe.

How does Matt feel about his Matt-isms?

Joe: But it’s him, this is the thing. It’s difficult to say.

David: The other thing about it is, like you said earlier, it comes from a place of him wanting to say his piece but also he is, like, that sense of fun, he’s very much up for that who drives a lot of the fun of it, he wants to have a laugh when he’s around people, most of the time. When he changes it’s different. But he’s up for that, it would be strange if he didn’t, because he embraces fun most of the time, especially when he’s out and about and with people, if he then didn’t embrace the fun of this, the elements of this where he’s, you know –

Joe: After the screening, Matt came up to me and said, “Well, I didn’t realize how eccentric I was.” That was what he said to me. And Luke said “I think you’ve made me out to look like the bad guy.”

David: But that was always going to happen.

Joe: Of course, you know the film, how are they not going to come out and say that?

David: And the whole way through they were talking to us, saying, “Don’t make me out to be this, Don’t make me out to be that.” I was saying, “Look, we can’t say yes or no to whatever at this point. Let’s just carry on with what we’re doing, we know where we’re taking it, we know where we’re going.” But they were very aware of, a) the fact that people were going to see it, because of what’s happened before and b) you can cut these in a million different ways. Especially Luke, who’s done films. They were very conscious of it. And Luke chipped in, he had his ideas of how he wanted to do things, but we stuck to our guns and the way that we wanted to see it and, ultimately, they appreciate it.

What we were saying earlier and stuff like that, they always said they were very humble and honored to have us tell their story, to work with our company and for us to tell their story, which is amazing. I think because they stayed true to that by letting us do what we wanted to do with it, and actually just throwing in suggestions was also just a sign that they were thinking about the show and how it would be and how they were going to come across. Actually, he wanted to see the backstage stuff in black and white or you know, whatever he was throwing forward.

Joe: Also you’re telling someone’s life story so you don’t want to be the filmmaker who doesn’t work again, ultimately. So you have to balance that, and it’s a huge balance because you have to think about your audience, obviously, it’s got to be consumed, but what damage am I doing to the person who I’m doing this to or with? That’s a huge part of the process for us. Being documentary filmmakers you are a psychiatrist, you’re a psychologist, you’re all these things.

I would imagine it’s also very stressful, because of that.

Joe: Oh my god. Oh yeah.

You were there for …

Joe: Six months, basically. Six months from inception.

David: From inception.

Oh, that’s actually not as long as I thought.

Joe: Oh, interesting.

David: Well, yeah, a month of that was just the discussions, the boring stuff, and then 12 weeks, and then 10-week edit.

When the film starts you’re introducing the audience to who these guys are, you get Ron Perlman talking about Luke through Hellboy and Blade, but then the film stops with outside voices. Suddenly, it’s just the brothers talking. Why not include more conversations with others throughout? Why just focus on those two?…I think I know the answer.

Joe: I mean, yeah, this is the story of two brothers, this is the story of twins, and as I say, in a lot docs we do talking heads and it’s a great way of elaborating, padding, bringing a point home, all those kind of things. But when it comes to those boys, they can tell their story pretty eloquently, they’re amazing characters, and it’s just about them, it wasn’t about anything else and the question about Craig always comes up, and we thank him so much for doing the interview for us and it’s on the DVD, but all that stuff, it’s just not relevant to the story that we wanted to tell. It wasn’t the story of Bros, it’s the story of the Goss brothers, and the twins, and what’s happened to them over the years.

David: The framework, as doc makers, you dream in actuality of not having to tell your film in talking heads. You need to just sit there with one person, with two people, and just really get into it. You dream of being able to tell a doc in the moment. And we were following them, we were using the 100 days to count to the gig as the framework of the film, and that’s a blessing. We end up doing a lot of docs retrospectively, and you’re taking someone back to a place where something happened, you’re getting them to talk about something that happened 10, 15 years ago. This, we wanted to live it in the moment with these boys. You’re seeing their interactions, what they really care about, what they’re going through, while they’re preparing for the biggest gig of their lives.

Joe: You have these 2 timelines running alongside each other, the current of what they’re doing and then also the past, but weirdly they’re converging constantly when we’re making this film. Luke’s issues, Matt’s issues, it’s all the same stuff, nothing’s changed, and it just made for that kind of, we could interweave and play with it.

David: Also, they were using it, they were using it to do deal with the things from the past, they were using to build their relationship, to look forward but also to sort out a lot of that stuff from the past. So that was, “Let’s play it out, let’s see it.” The idea, it’s a million times more powerful if you’re in that room, watching them argue and lash out at each other and voicing their opinions on it rather than someone sitting down and going, oh, yesterday we had a big fight and he said this and I said that. And then you’re back into the realms of being on the outside and not having that access and not having that trust to be able to tell it. We’ve had some of those situations before where they don’t let you in and then, there’s that thing with these boys just being completely open with us, and that’s one of the reasons why this film is what it is.

Joe: Did it feel necessary? Did you feel like you needed to hear more from other people?

I didn’t notice it until a friend told me, she was like, “Oh it’s weird how it’s just them?” And I was like, “Huh, yeah, I guess that’s true.”

Joe: But that’s kind of the beauty of telling a story like that, surely? I don’t want to hear from like some outsider, you don’t need to hear from these people. Yes, there are definitely interviews in the can that probably could have gone in, but you just don’t need to.

David: And also, that part, where it’s the start of it like here we are, we’re on a sports doc, we’re telling you the information of these first little bits and then [finger click] it does change. It goes down this different route. You want that. Just like in any ebb and flow, in film, you know that the rug’s going to be ripped from under you at some point. You want to change it.

But when you’re filming all this stuff, because you’re just recording the event, you don’t know if you’re going to get the narrative. You guys are pros, you’ve done a lot of these things, and you know you’re going to get something –

Joe: We knew what the linear story would be but ultimately we know what we can do in an edit, and I think that that is our weapon. That ultimately, we’ve got Will [Gilbey] who’s one of the best doc editors in the world, when we get into that edit we know that we’re going to deliver something completely different. And that’s a beautiful place to be because we script the shit out of this thing, there’s post-it notes all over walls, all that kind of stuff, and it becomes something very different as a result.

And that script evolves.

Joe: Yes, constantly. Constantly.

David: Even when we’re shooting. You write a treatment up. For this pitch, we wrote a treatment up and we sent it to them, that’s how we started those conversations, but the best thing you can do is veer off that, rip it up, change it. If you delivered that, that’s the basics, that would be a doc where you sit down and everyone explains what happened to them years ago. Standard, paint-by-numbers doc. That’s not what we want to do, we always want to change it, do things differently. But you’ve got to use that as your starting point. You’ve got to get in there and work it out and stuff but then you hope it changes, it drifts.

Joe: You can make cinematic docs a real thing, we’re incredibly lucky that we get to make docs on this kind of scale and they get screened on big things. You can elevate these things and make them cinematic.

It does feel as though it belongs next to This is Spinal Tap, which is maybe hyperbole on my part, but maybe not. I was dying, watching this movie, I was really floored by the comedy of it and the character of it. How could you have possibly known that you were going to elevate it to this –

David: We knew. As soon as you meet them and as soon as you know what you want to do with it, you can see where you hope it goes. You know you’re going to have bumps in the road, we definitely had those, we had challenges, but you know.

Joe: I think also you just disregard the linear timeline. You write it up, you write up the series of events, this is where it probably would work. Then you rip it up so quickly because that’s just, now, where can I move things? It’s a big puzzle. That’s the beautiful thing about docs. You cut the scene, what does that mean in terms of everything and then, “Holy shit, we can move that there and move that there and this slots in and you’ve got a film.” It’s a long process and I said before this, this film wasn’t this film until 9 weeks into the edit, 10 weeks into the edit, it was lots of different films and that’s just part of the process. And you’ve just got to get happy with what you’re trying to deliver.

David: I suppose the other thing about it is we film like we’ve elevated the film from a standard doc, something that people don’t necessarily think they’re going to see. But also what we want from that…is now we want people to see it. What we mean by elevating the film is not just their fans seeing it. You know, we want people that like films, people that like docs, people that like comedy, people that like relationships.

I’m super impressed by your confidence and your execution, there was never any oh dear god moment, making the film?

Joe: Of course, making the film, during production and in post, hundreds. But again, we’re lucky that we can bounce off those things and we have the support, ultimately we have the support, our execs are incredible, have made some of the biggest docs in the world and we know that we can come to them with a problem. Ben and Gabe Turner, they helped us so much in the edit and so much with story and we’ve been able to watch them make those films. That’s a huge part of this is that we’ve learned from them. They made Class of 92 and all those big sports docs. We were able to watch that process and see what comes out the other side and be like, okay, now we know what we can do and how can we make this ours. It’s film school after film school.

David: Yeah, and also, they do all that and more. And one of the elements of the more is that they trust us to make these things, you know, they’re running a production company, it’s their reputation, and because they’ve seen us do other projects with the movie around them. Just as human beings, they’re very generous in terms of what they do and who they trust, they’re very much a sink or swim, they run that sort of policy and they give people the chance to prove themselves. If you do well then they’ll trust you and let you do it again. When we talk about them being the execs of this film or the owners of this company that we’re making this film for, they let us do our own thing and they would give us advice if we asked for it. They wouldn’t be knocking on the door and saying what are you doing here? They’d let us do our own thing.

Joe: They let us run our project and take pride in being able to do that, and deliver it in the time. We can do that, so we are trusted.

David: And they’ve lived it, they’ve done it as well, so they let us do what we want to do.

You’re showing it in London when?

David: October 17th.

Joe: 17th, 19th and 20th.

I’ll be paying close attention to that screening and wish you guys the best of luck.

David: Did we say this about the BFI stuff with the London? The UK premiere, we’re showing it, the boys are going to be there, there’s a big after-party, it’s great, we’re really looking forward to that. That’s on the 17th.

Joe: At NFT1, BFI.

David: We found out just before we came out to here, through one of the producers, that all the fans had been signing up for membership of the BFI to get tickets to the event, to the festival, and then specifically for the viewing of that. As you said, you’ve experienced a bit of it with your tweet, we’ve experienced it with that where they’ve said, “Well, how are we going to see this? They didn’t realize that it wasn’t just being pumped out in cinemas, theaters, all over the place, to start with. And so they went and found this way of doing it, that’s the sort of level –

Joe: They crashed BFI website! The first day of member ticketing, they crashed the BFI website, the Bros fans. It’s utterly insane.

David: It’s madness, they’re doing that now.

Joe: Yeah, 40-year-olds.

Why did Bros not hit the zeitgeist in America?

Joe: New Kids on the Block. They were on the same record label and they don’t get promoted over here. They played here, they did Madison Square Garden, they did a tour. But yes, New Kids.

I think for you it’s a gift because it’s an amazing watch for an American audience. It feels like an alien experience. I felt like I was observing from on high and just marveling at this story.

David: Well that’s also what you come back to about, if it was a talking head doc, I don’t think it would feel like that. But because you’re with them you feel like you’re there the whole time. And also, you talk about an American audience, we just watched Deadly Games, brilliant right? And hearing him [René Manzor] talk afterward, he’s a French filmmaker, he wants to make his films in France but they just didn’t get it. And so he put it elsewhere. We could all tell, we were in that room, we were pissing ourselves, and it was brilliant. It’s so good for us to bring this film here and to see an American audience love it because you never know how it’s going to translate for different companies.

Joe: We absolutely made this for the fans because we knew that they’d want to watch it, but ultimately it’s got to transcend that and that’s the whole thing about elevating things. We did a film about Mo Farah, he’s the 5000, 10,000-meter Olympic gold champion, he won 4 times, and the whole thing about that was how did we get non-athletics fans into this? How can we elevate this? What can we do with score? Can we do this? And it came out very different, it’s not a straight follow doc, it’s much more than that. I think that’s the thing we’re very conscious of, always, it’s just what are the other audiences that are accessible to this? And that’s not always something that producers and things really care about. But as filmmakers who aren’t so invested in the finances of it all, all we care about is people seeing it. I just want people to see it like maybe people wouldn’t have seen it if it hadn’t come to Fantastic Fest and that’s the amazing thing.

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Trekkie, Not Trekker. Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects, co-host of the In The Mouth of Dorkness Podcast.