Blue Hippo Media, creators of critically acclaimed music documentary Last Shop Standing, have partnered with Independent Venue Week to create a feature documentary: Long and Winding Road that will celebrate and explore the eclectic, dynamic and magical world of independent music venues. We caught up with the director of the project, Pip Piper, to find out more about this unique project.
Last Shop Standing documented Independent Record Shops in the UK and received critical acclaim from around the world. What significance does the independent music scene have to you, that led you to create Long and Winding Road?
I guess likes lots of people music is a very important element to my life. I listen to lots, mostly on vinyl. Live gigs, seeing either new bands or favourites, is the pinnacle as its all about atmosphere and proximity. Making Last Shop Standing really brought it home to me just how essential the whole indie sector around the music ecosystem is. It's far more than just one part of the commercial aspect, but it is critical as a cultural component for music across the UK.
For all those that aren't familiar with the documentary, how would you describe it?
LSS was a love letter really to indie record shops and the heroes behind them and the importance of them, Long and Winding Road is just the same but all the about the incredible indie music venues and the heroes behind those. This is an indie film from indie people and we need the spirit of independence to help us bring this film home and make it an amazing celebration and clarion call for independent music venues and the heroes who keep them going.
How did the relationship with Independent Venue Week come about, and what influence does that have on the film?
It came about through the film's producer Rob Taylor connecting with Sybil who founded and runs Independent Venue Week. I'm not sure exactly how the story goes but off the back of the success of LSS they were keen to explore creating a film that did the same for the indie venue scene and thus a creative conversation emerged. As filmmakers, one of the really key components in making a documentary is access and credibility. IVW brings both those factors and is absolutely at the core of celebrating and promoting the indie music scene, so working with them has and continues to be critical to how the film has developed and how amazing it will be.
You began recording during Independent Venue Week 2018. How was the rest of 2018 spent and what stage is the movie at now?
Yep, we captured lots of great stuff during IVW18 and then continued to capture imagery and interviews from key people and venues across the UK during 2018. We have tried to gather footage around the whole ecosystem that supports the indie venue scene. Key people and influencers in the music industry too. We are now in the final throws of filming of which core to that is the whole road trip with Philip Selway. The film is in great shape and once filming has finished we will be deep into the editing.
You are going back on the road for IVW19 travelling in a camper van with Philip Selway from Radiohead, for seven days! Please tell us more about this.
Amazingly the original idea for the film was to tour with an up and coming band in a van but for many reasons that didn’t come about so when Philip suggested he would love to do more to help promote and engage with IVW the idea of the road trip came about. His idea! As the director, I jumped at it. No brainer, right? It's going to be awesome, full on but a lot of fun. It will offer the audience a very intimate and unique perspective of being on the road and going from venue to venue much like a band on tour. Philip will bring with him all that experience of touring indie venues but also the journey of incredible success and fame as part of Radiohead. The audience will be drawn into the encounters he has with great people, artists, venue owners and promoters and music crafts people. Come find us at one the gigs.
As well as Philip Selway, you have a host of influential people involved in the film, such as Idles, Nick Mason, Nadine Shah and Steve Lamacq. What tricks did you have up your sleeve to get such a momentous list?
No tricks, honest. People have been super generous to get involved and give their time and support. Some of that is the knowledge and appreciation of our film LSS but to be honest a huge part of it is the enormous success and love for IVW and Sybil and her amazing team. People really do care about the whole indie scene and know how important it is to ensure it thrives.
The project is a fan-funding campaign to raise money for the documentary’s release – what will the PledgeMusic campaign money be used for?
We are an indie film company that have always looked to fans to help make our films possible. I love that element of partnering with hundreds of people as you go on the creative journey. The funds we raise will be used toward the costs of filming with Philip and also the editing and full post-production process. All the money will go on the core needs to make this film possible. The more we raise the better we can ensure it will be and more importantly the more widely distributed it will be too. We really do need people to support.
There’s are a range of wonderfully-named perks available on the campaign, from the entry level ENCORE to the exec-producing THE BIG ONE. Can you take us through some of the goodies on offer, and let us know what you have planned for the evening of the World Premiere Screening?
We think we have put together a great range of perks from £5 to £3000 for an EXEC PRODUCER CREDIT. I hope there is something for everyone, that's cool and at a price point that enables them to support. I think the £35 one that gets your name in the credits plus the HD film is pretty good. As is the £150 one that gets you a ticket to the World Premiere as well as a viewing of the rough cut of the film where you can give creative notes, which is awesome if you are into film. We are still working on the details around the World Premiere but it will be a very special night with lots of people who have contributed and been part of the film in attendance (and a great after party!). More details to follow.