Do you remember when we asked you to send us your questions to the Favela production team responsible for the latest Roxette documentary and concert? So here’s the outcome…
Most of the fans haven’t heard about you until you started working with Roxette, however, Favela was founded in 2008. We know you have done a live broadcast from Kent’s release party in New York. Have you done any productions for other artists before? If yes, which ones?
We are a relatively small production company which works very widely but has a passion for music. Except the Kent production that you mentioned, music wise we have produced/directed for Sissel Kyrkjebö: Live at Dalhalla, Hellacopters: Live at Debaser, Glasvegas – “Shine like Stars”, Madrugada: Live at Spektrum Oslo. We have as well done live productions at Way Out West and Where the action is with Swedish artists such as The Hives and Mando Diao as well as international acts as Foo Fighters, Queens of Stoneage, Dirty Pretty Things and many more.
About working together with Roxette:
How did your cooperation with Roxette start? We know you were also responsible for two Roxette videos: “Way out” and “Speak to me”. Is this correct?
It all began with Mattias Holmer, now producer at Favela. He filmed Per Gessle’s Party Crasher Tour at Cirkus in Stockholm 2009. The idea started in his head the day Marie walked on stage. We started to talk about the project in the beginning of 2010. After that we have done the videos for “Way out” (partly shot during sound-check in South Africa) and “Speak to me” and two electronical press kits – for the Charm School and Travelling albums.
What were your personal impressions and highlights while you were on the road with Roxette?
The highlight was to be able to work with this warm and professional family of musicians. They really are a wonderful bunch of friends and we felt that they had a special harmony in the group. It was a proud experience to see Roxette’s greatness in the world. Of course, we knew that Roxette was big, but it became more obvious when we met the fans. At first, when we went on the road, we didn’t know exactly what film to make but it became very clear to us after meeting the fans.
About the project in general:
Could you tell us a bit more about the main idea of the project?
Both the documentary and the concert came from an idea from us, but surely Marie and Per had the same thoughts. The basic idea was to create an on tour documentary about the trip, the creative process and the fans. Originally, Marie’s illness was supposed to be a smaller part than what it ended up to be. It became a natural bigger part when we understood how it affected Marie, Per and the band today, and even the fans. It felt natural not to focus on the horrible that happened but rather to put focus on the amazing fact that she is back.
The production method of using few cameras to make it look like we have filmed at more locations has been a challenge. Per drove that idea and we think that the result became very good.
What was behind this concept?
We wouldn´t call it a concept. It was more a feeling we were looking after. How this feeling later took form was a work in progress. We did not want to limit ourselves to one form too early in the production.
Was it clear from the beginning that shootings are for a DVD (documentary and live recording)?
Yes, the idea was to make a number of productions while we were on the road.
Would you call the project a “low-budget” production, by using only hand cameras or wouldn’t that be the correct wording?
The decision to shoot on DSLR cameras was decided based on the picture quality they deliver combined with the desire to make both live concerts and documentary up-close and personal in a club feeling kind of way. Additionally there was a close-up camera placed at the mixing table on four of the concert locations.
How did the approval process go? Whom did you show the first cut and how many times did you have to change it until it was approved? Was it approved by Per & Marie and / or someone else?
In the documentary we all had an understanding about what story we wanted to tell. The concert included 20 edited songs that we showed Roxette and the record company. We also wrote a wish-list with 10-11 songs we wanted in the concert (which by the way was a difficult, but at the same time grateful, task). Roxette then did a selection of songs they wanted, which matched quite well with ours. We thought that was a good selection. This is of course a close collaboration with the band. We got a lot of feedback and made alterations in several steps. Most of the time you agree, but sometimes taste differs.
About the DVD:
Does it depend on you if the DVD is out in March? Are you still doing some cuts, changing scenes or all is closed now?
We are in the middle of producing the DVD, but the release date is decided by EMI.
Will there be any bonus materials on the DVD? E.g. were there any funny outtakes from what you filmed backstage / at rehearsals / in studio that ever see light as bonus material? Can you at least tell us your most funny incident during shooting?
Yes, there will be bonus material, but the content is not yet decided.
A fun anecdote is that when producing the “Way out” video we told the band that we were going to shoot the movie in close-up so we needed them to be stage-dressed from waist up. When they entered the stage for the shoot nobody had any pants on.
The most terrible experience was that Magnus, the director, fell from a three-meter high stage in South Africa. It ended up in the hospital, but luckily he recovered quickly.
You were filming also on Friends Arena’s opening ceremony. Will those 2 songs appear anyhow in the docu / live part, or were you filming there just for getting more cuts (e.g. backstage)?
We only filmed some reality material backstage on Friends Arena, so we have no material of that concert.
About the docu itself:
Were the questions given to you – what to ask from Per & Marie & the band & the crew or was it your own idea what to talk about or was it a mix?
Mattias and Mikael who did the interviews decided what to talk about. It was our questions, but their answers. The interviews were 1-2 hours long each and some of them were done in a dialog form, with the interviewee cut out. We decided to categorize every interview around a topic like creativity, inspiration, the fans, the tour etc.
About the live part:
Have you read the first “reviews” of fans after the docu and live show have been broadcast on SVT1? If yes, what do you think about them? (Most of the comments besides the positive ones were regarding the constant cuts, the saturation of colours and mixing the crowds e.g. Per saying “Come on, Santiago!”, when the film says “Neuquen, Argentina” before Joyride starts.)
We have read a lot of reviews. It’s fun and interesting reading. The cutting pace increased with every re-edit. Over all we are happy with the result.
“Come on Santiago” was a mistake that no one had time to correct, this was sadly out of our control. We assume this will be adjusted for the DVD.
Who had the idea of making the concert mixing footage from different places? Why did you choose to use a mix of different audiences for each song, while stage scenes and sound are from the same concert?
Above all we wanted to create a beautiful, joyful and energetic concert. Since we also filmed a lot of audience from different locations other than those we mentioned above we also chose to include these to get a big a variation as possible. The alternative would have been to make a 2-4 camera production with less footage of the audience. For the television broadcast on SVT, the channels target audience were regular Swedes, which got to experience as much Roxette as possible from every point of view.
Is it relevant to have the text (city names) between the songs, since crowd scenes are a mix of audiences?
Regarding the text above the relevancy has not been determent. But for the DVD we are working on a new solution.
Did you have the opportunity to use the live screen recordings from the concerts at different venues? Did you use them in any way?
We did not use this.
We could see in the credits that the guitar cam idea was coming from Mikael Nogueira Svensson. That is a very interesting camera angle. How many times did you try to capture those scenes to get this fab result?
Yes, we are very grateful for the work Mikael put in to this. The original idea was to give Mikael a camera so he could place it in different positions during the tour. He used it quite extensively and found new ways to work with it on every concert. There was a lot of fantastic material.
In the docu it was understandable why you showed scenes from Pretty Woman or rather from the video clip. But what was the idea behind using those cuts in the live part?
No big idea, we just liked a momentary flashback to throw you back in history for a moment.
Chris did a fabulous work with the sound mix. How did the process of putting together the sound and video go? Was the sound mixed or were the video scenes chosen first?
We had a wonderful cooperation with Christoffer and we worked together to create a good result. We did not need to compromise, at least not what we are aware of.
Will there be more shows/crowds of other countries on the DVD besides the 11 we’ve already seen in the TV cut?
We are in editing at the moment and everything is not decided yet, so it might be some more places involved.