An Edinburgh filmmaker, who worked on a documentary about Wheatus, the American band best known for their hit single Teenage Dirtbag, has opened up about his touring experience with the band and the awkward moment he was mistaken for a member by a fan excited.
IV Jones produced and co-directed the film, Wheatus: You could die, which took years to prepare. He said, “In a nutshell, the documentary follows the Wheatus band, but it focuses primarily on leader and founder Brendan B. Brown and his external struggle to keep his band going. He also addresses his internal struggles with himself while confronting his past. The film tackles dark themes where Brendan makes himself really transparent on camera, making it a raw and sometimes difficult film to watch. It’s not just a typical rock-doc. It’s a journey of someone’s life and how they made it while facing their inner demons.
IV studied television at Edinburgh College and then at Napier University where he learned “all aspects of narrative and non-fiction filmmaking”. “I was mostly making shorts with friends and like-minded creatives in Edinburgh and Scotland since 2005,” he said. “I caught the bug of making documentary films by following a wrestling organization that was having an event up north. I enjoyed working on all the logistics, doing research and conducting interviews. I never knew what type of scenarios I would capture on film that was exhilarating.
He was a guest on the Wheatus project halfway through its completion, taking an overnight trip to London on the Megabus to talk to director and creator Antony D. Lane. Anthony had promoted his film Invasion of the Not Quite Dead when he started making plans for this project.
He explained that he sees the film as “the story of one man’s struggle to keep his dream alive, his band alive and, to some extent, himself alive through the creative art of making music on its own terms. He said: “As with any project, especially if self-funded, it can take years of blood, sweat and tears.”
make the movie
The making of the film had an impact on its creators and the band, as they traveled together across Europe and the United States, capturing everything on film.
“These kinds of documentaries take a long time to make, especially without benefactors or adequate funding in place,” IV said. “It’s actually the hardest thing I’ve ever done and it’s also very taxing on my mental health. Brendan was honest with us and didn’t censor what we were allowed to capture. He didn’t really say no. There’s a great scene where the band is in the green room during the tour and there’s a disagreement with vocalist Brendan and bassist and best friend Matthew Milligan. It really shows you the dynamic of their relationship. Brendan’s anger and frustration comes through, and Matthew was able to defuse that, while raising the morale of the band. It’s a great scene that shows everyone’s place and personally on the tour.
However, there were also lighter moments. Director Anthony said: “I remember I filmed the whole thing, and I didn’t realize that after following Brendan for a few minutes, I had accidentally followed him to the restroom on the tour bus. , he lifts the lid of the toilet bowl, it’s obvious he pulls out his instrument to pee and looks at me and says something like “hell no! and close the door. We both burst out with a huge life on tour can be stressful for the band, especially the early years when Brendan was tour manager, so it was truly amazing to capture the lighter moments and see Brendan with a smile on his face. fun, but awkward moment.
IV, a bit guilty, added: “During one of the last tours we filmed, Anthony, myself and our sound engineer Danny Allen were chatting with Wheatus bassist Matthew in the Green Room after a gig in Plymouth As it was getting late, we all got up and walked towards the main hallway of the university building, two security guys in white shirts, black ties and ear muffs came up to us excitedly and shouted. “It’s Wheatus.”
“Without hesitation, he pulled out his phone and handed it to his co-worker to take our picture. I remember holding all that movie material watching Matthew and waiting for him to explain to that guy that it wasn’t the band but the filmmakers. making a movie about Wheatus. But pretty soon it became apparent that Matthew was ready to play along. With the security guard with his arm around us all with a big smile, the picture was taken. There’s a guy somewhere who thinks he got a picture with the Wheatus band. Sorry, ha ha.
Wheatus lead singer Brendan B. Brown and bassist Matthew Milligan spoke exclusively to the Edinburgh Evening News about their experience with the filmmakers, what it was like to be constantly in front of the camera and what they hope people will see in the documentary.
Brendan explained, “It’s about what it’s been like to make this band work, I think maybe the struggle of knowing what our lives have become, as a result of the song and our attempt at everything. manage ourselves, and document it. Perhaps understanding how dangerous it can be to rely solely on a passionate goal to overcome trauma…an admission that professional help is needed.
He added that the hardest part of the process was: “watching your old self make mistakes in an indelible image of something you struggled not to be and at the same time feeling grateful for having succeeded and worked for it. to be something healthier.”
“There were days when I woke up and got out of my bunk and the very first thing I saw was a camera pointed at me,” Matthew said. “I’m not bothered by how I look on camera, but even still it makes you feel like you need to be ‘turned on’ every moment of the day. Which can definitely be exhausting. I think watching the documentary made me realize how difficult that particular time was for the band. At the time, I was just focused on working hard and doing everything in my power to make the shows great, the engaged and growing fan base, and interpersonal relationships as calm and healthy as possible. Watching the film, many of the most dramatic and remarkable moments were reproduced exactly as I remembered them, but this is not is that in replay that I realized how difficult certain scenarios were in reality.
When asked what he hoped people would take away from the documentary, Matthew replied, “There’s always more to someone than initially appears. Humans are beautiful and imperfect and do their best. The power of music cannot be underestimated.
Brendan and Matthew have played in Edinburgh before, with Brendan saying: “We have the fondest memories of Edinburgh. We have played there several times. It’s a magical place with a castle, and somehow we never seem to care about the rain, which comes up from the ground. That’s the reason to go back again and again and find a cozy place for a roast.”
Matthew added: “We love Edinburgh. We don’t play there as often as in Glasgow, but I’m always happy to see him on our tours. We always have great shows in Scotland and Edinburgh is no exception. Oddly, the first memory of Edinburgh that comes to mind right now is that we were there many years ago on our drummer Kevin Garcia’s birthday. Her favorite drink is tequila so we wanted to give her a bottle as a gift. We walked all over town and couldn’t find a single store selling tequila. He ended up with a bottle of scotch but as the old saying goes, when in Rome!
IV had hoped the film would screen at Capital’s Filmhouse when it was released next year and said he was devastated by the news of its closure. “”This is a troubling time for independent cinemas in Edinburgh,” he said.
Associate producer Mark Christopher Covino also said he knows all too well the issues facing independent films — now more than ever. He said, “I could write a Bible on that one subject.” But to put it simply, raising funds to make these films has become extremely difficult over the years. We now have a massive influx of people creating “content”. This includes documentaries, stories, series, TikToks, etc. The market is completely saturated and because of this, it is increasingly difficult to obtain financing and to be seen.