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British Filmmaking Duo ‘Jones’ talk about their feature debut “Everyone’s Going To Die
June 26, 2015
During my recent chat with British creative duo ‘Jones’ about their debut film, “Everyone’s Going To Die”, in UK cinemas this weekend and which I reviewed here, unfortunately they held steadfast onto the secret behind their mono-syllabic alias but I did get to learn a bit more about the creative process that went into this exquisite piece of cinema.
Where did the idea for Everyone’s Going To Die come from?
Commercially, we wanted something we could make on a low budget but still of high quality. This was our debut film and we wanted to remain as independent as possible to ensure we could make a film that was truly us. Creatively, we wanted to examine that moment when one becomes aware of time, and perhaps not that it is about to suddenly run out but that it is finite. It was about realizing that you are in a rut and the sudden urgency to get out of that space.
When casting for the film how did you come across Rob Knighton?
He was actually scouted to be a model quite later on in life and we saw his stills in a campaign a friend of mine had shot and we got talking about what he was like as a person. We just liked his whole look so my friend arranged a meeting, we had a few test shots and he was in one of our music videos.
What was it like to work with Nora Tschirner?
Amazing, well, brilliant, but most people would say that. Being a small budget film it was always going to be a labour of love and it was imperative that we created an atmosphere of fun. She is super talented but has remained cool and down to earth; she would help out wherever she could. She was lovely both on and off screen and we remain friends to this day.
Was it always your intention to cast a german actress in Melanie’s role?
Actually no, we initially were toying with the idea of a French actress but when we met Tschirer we knew she had to be in our film. She was always going to be from mainland Europe because we wanted someone who was both close enough but equally far enough away from home to make leaving overnight somewhat of a chore but still do-able.
The one-sided coin is an interesting omen, where did you come across this or was it a creation of yours?
This was our own creation. We needed a visual symbol which viewers could easily remember and it also needed to be something so simple that its bigger meaning was profound.
Why did you choose to make use of the cinema verite style?
We just liked it, whilst it was easier on a low-budget we would have made use of it nonetheless. It is more natural and we want the directing to stay out of the way of the performance.
Would you explain the symbolism of Ray’s hallucinations?
This was a symbol of his inner unresolved issues, we wanted it to be simple and not overly distracting but enough to illustrate he is not emotionally stable inside. Once again, like the coin, we needed a visual aid to illustrate his inner battle, one which he himself is not even fully sure of.
Why do you feel, as a viewer, one is almost instantaneously drawn to Tschirner’s character?
That is entirely thanks to Nora’s immense talent. Her character could have easily been one you felt disconnected from because it is seemingly a middle class everyday kind of problem. However, from the outset she allows the viewer to care for her and connect with her. This was ultimately her task as actress, to ensure that you felt inexplicably drawn to her.
What was the inspiration behind the soundtrack?
The first stage of its creation was a mixtape we made called “Everyone’s Going To Listen”, this was given to everyone in the production team on day one. It was a collection of songs we found inspirational during our writing process. These aided in setting the overall tone and some of these were later included in the soundtrack. Secondly we brought our friend Charlie Simpson on board who had been looking into creating a feature film score and then, whilst filming, Rob Knighton penned a piano piece on set and this later went on to be included. The german music included is courtesy of Nora Tschirer’s band PRAG which features her vocals. I told you she was talented!
What advice would you give to young adults facing the same troubles as Melanie, especially when she laments about being given the “do what you love” as if it was the Ark of the Covenant but is rather her Pandora’s Box?
This is a problem we had faced. We think it was mostly due to our parents’ generation that were the first to experience the liberation of choice, they revelled in the liberty afforded them and as such have placed a lot of importance on it thereon. We feel it is unfair the way today’s generation is pressurized into finding work that they love and are made to feel like failures if they can’t. Our advice is simple, don’t worry if you don’t know what is your calling or what it is you love, enjoy life for what it is. As soon as you let go of these hang-ups you will find happiness.
And so our chat came to an end with a few last words uttered about upcoming projects. From Viking warriors to Magicians this duo are set to take the film industry by storm!
Everyone’s Going To Die is released in UK cinemas on June 26th