Today: February 24, 2024

Made Of Stone – Director & Producer Speak

An exclusive charity auction was launched at London’s Century Club yesterday in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust and to celebrate the release of The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone documentary on Blu-ray and DVD.

Twenty iconic, autographed images captured during the filming of this documentary, which chronicles the life of one of the most revered and influential bands in British music history, were unveiled during this special event before they were are put up for auction on eBay (http://bit.ly/aXCGO0).

BAFTA award-winning director Shane Meadows (This is England) and producer Mark Herbert (Four Lions) commented:

“We have always been aware of the Teenage Cancer Trust’s work and we have always wanted to work with them, as they are a great charity who do great things.  The charity auction to run alongside the release of the DVD, seemed the perfect chance to collaborate and raise some money in the process.”

FilmJuice’s Christa Ktorides was at the auction and spoke to Shane and Mark about the making of the film and the riotous Manchester premiere.

Can you tell us a little about the premier?
Shane: We kind of realised that we could’ve filled that space so many times over. [Also] … we realised the sort of  … limit to what you can do with a screening really in terms of the speakers. So first of all we thought shall we take over a multiplex and have 10-15 screens but then we thought that’s not really very involving if everyone in Manchester is split in different rooms and it’s got a hierarchy. So we thought we’d have it all in one room and build a cinema in a space … for everyone else around the country let them have access to that.
Mark: It was beamed into 200 screens.

Did the scale of it surprise you?
Mark: It’s quite mind-blowing. I saw someone last night who went to the Hackney screening. It’s quite mind-blowing that probably they were all dancing.
Shane: When I got there on the day the sound was awful and then at the screening it was hundred times better than what I first walked in on it … I was dying for most of the screening but [then I] realised that people were just in the moment and the event was magic. I can’t wait to sit in with my own DVD one night, I want to watch the extras!

As a fan of the band did you have any trepidation in making the film? They say you should never meet your heroes let alone work with them …
Mark: It was a tricky one because it’s better to regret something you do rather than regret what you don’t do … but we did have that fear. If you go in professionally and try and do the best job that you can then you have to seperate the emotion.

Could you seperate it?
Shane: It’s not like you get cynical on purpose but there’s only so many do’s you can go to and get smoked salmon and champagne and feel excited. The first time you do it you’re like, “Salmon? For free?!” Then about six weeks later you’re like, “Jesus not salmon again. I want a pie.” So you have this thing where you think, “Am I going to go in and become cynical? Am I going to get used to seeing them?” Mark and I had a conversation quite early on when we said even if they hate us or hate having cameras around and realise they don’t want to do it, if we just get to go to one rehearsal, it’ll be worth it.

What was the most profound moment of filming for you?
Shane: Walking out onstage at Warrington was emotionally the maddest thing about the experience. [But] walking out at Heaton Park for me – just as a human being – there was something so tribal about walking on to the stage with four people, with a camera about two foot behind and hearing about 150 thousand people. It was meant to be about 70 thousand but people were breaking over the fences. To hear that roar! The Warrington one went in there [indicates his heart] but Heaton Park was like, “Jesus!” …The Stone Roses never got those moments first time around. They never played those stadiums. There were about 30 thousand at Spike Island, so you’re talking about two or three times as many over three nights. It was insane.

Did you panic in Amsterdam when Reni stormed off stage? Was there a fear you’d have no ending to the film?
Mark: All the way through there were moments where you’re thinking, “Have we got a film?” Shane and I had our first fall out in about ten years that same day. It was more a numbness [when Reni walked out] than anything else. They played the Barcelona gig the day before then they’re weren’t on stage until the next night, whereas we had to get up in the morning and plan. We were burning the candle at both ends so that day in Amsterdam I felt more numb than anything.
Shane: The wheels came off for us a bit, like Mark said, and the night when it went wrong backstage, I was trying to keep everyone out of the way. You just can’t put your finger on why everyone fell out. The next day I’d been in the bar and Mark and some of the team went off to a gay brothel and I went to sort it out, ever the professional [laughs]. All jokes aside, no gay brothel! I was in the hotel bar and I could tell it was serious because I could see the manager. You can gage it by how the top brass were on the phone looking white as a sheet. If they’d all been going, “Oh we’ve seen this a hundred times before,” I’d have just thought it was fine. But when you could see no one knew [what was happening]. It was scary. I knew when I woke up I’d have to go and do an interview because I thought this can’t be the ending.

So you made a conscious decision not to intrude?
Mark: Weirdly enough it unlocked a lot in the film. We came home and three days later the band went to do a few festivals and they asked me and Shane … back over …Then all the photo’s from the families and Super 8 footage started to come out.
Shane: It wasn’t cynical either. We didn’t do it cynically. We did it as decent human beings and fans of the band first. At the end of the day, I’m not that kind of filmmaker. I love the band I don’t want to try and sneak a camera over the door and then have someone from security rip me head off [laughs] or the band think I’m an arsehole! It just didn’t feel right so I didn’t do it. Like Mark said, it changed a lot of things because I think they realised that we were there for the right reasons.

What can people expect from the Blu-ray and DVD extras?
Mark: Ten minutes of footage from Spike Island! A security guard snuck a camera in because his brother wasn’t there. We found it [the footage] and we put ten minutes in.
Shane: There’s two hours of stuff – a whole disc dedicated to the extras.

The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone is OUT NOW on Blu-ray and DVD & Steelbook.

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