Filmmaker Q&A with Edward Lovelace and James Hall of THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS
In 2005, gifted Scottish musician Edwyn Collins suffered two devastating cerebral hemorrhages that left him with large gaps in his memory and trouble with the most basic language. This inventive film artfully puts the viewer inside Collins’ experience as he fights back from the brink of death. His remarkable story and the film itself are astonishing and help to create a meaningful and sensory way to describe his challenging road to recovery.
(click HERE to view the trailer)
1. Introduce yourself.
We are Edward Lovelace and James Hall, the directors of THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS. Collectively known as Daryl, we started making feature Docs after working in commercials and music promos for many years. Our previous feature projects include WEREWOLVES ACROSS AMERICAand KATY PERRY: PART OF ME.
2. What inspired this film? How did you find your subjects?
Edwyn released an album after his stroke and there was something in the lyrics that felt almost otherworldly. His song writing approach was more direct as a result of him having to learn language again, but the songs felt profound because of this simplicity.
Immediately after hearing this record we wanted to know more about his recovery – less so his physical recovery but the rebuilding of his identity that was devastated by the brain haemorrhage and his journey back to language, lyrics and understanding.
3. What were some of the biggest challenges/surprises?
The funding process was a challenge but we were also encouraged at the willingness that people showed to get the project off the ground. Recreating an experience of a stroke through memories and abstract images isn’t the easiest sell, but Edwyn’s story is such an inspirational one that people wanted to give it a chance. We were actually extremely lucky to find support early on from those who believed in the idea and wanted to be apart of it.
4. What is your proudest professional moment?
The fact that Edwyn agreed to write an original score for the film was one of the biggest honours we could imagine. When he first played us what he had produced – a 10 minute epic soundscape – we were completely blown away. We sat in the control room of his studio speechless, in awe of his ability to write something so perfectly in sync with the film and in a style not usually attributed to him. His talent genuinely knows no bounds.
5. Why did you become a filmmaker?
Ed was sacked from more than 10 jobs over the course of one summer so realised quickly that his skill set lay outside of the regular workplace. Tesco in Cambridge decline to acknowledge his tenure as it lasted under 4 hours. As for James, after being refused by his mother to let him paint his bedroom black, he watched BLADE RUNNER on repeat and realised that cinema could be the cure to his teenage angst.
6. What was the first film you saw in a movie theater?
The first film we saw in the cinema together was WEDDING CRASHERS and we stand by a lot of its philosophies on life to this day. Both of us have a massive man crush on Vince Vaughn so hours are shared watching reruns of FOUR CHRISTMASES or crying on airplanes to THE BREAK UP. Damn… that guy has straight up charisma.
7. Who is the most memorable documentary character?
Billy from Jennifer Venditti’s BILLY THE KID is one of the greatest characters on film – so genuine and relatable. The whole film is a testament to how important the relationship is between subject and filmmaker and what difference that can make to how a character comes across on screen. Or: How can you watch AMERICAN MOVIE and not fall in love with Mike Shank? He doesn’t party anymore…but if he did, we would be first in line.
8. Which documentary do you consider the most cinematic?
One of our main references whilst making THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESSwas Gideon Koppel’s SLEEP FURIOUSLY. Its artistic language and delicate handling of subject creates an intimacy that thrives in the sensory cocoon of the cinema – its nuances become more pronounced and evocative. It’s a piece of work that we constantly went back to as an example of a film with pace and feeling that stays true to that of its subject.
9. What documentary do you find the most original and imaginative in its construction?
A film that has stood out recently is BEYOND CLUELESS, a film essay on teen movies by Charlie Lyne. Through its analysis of the teen genre it becomes a hybrid teen movie itself and makes you question the movie tropes we have come to accept as commonplace. The film is one hell of a ride and at the forefront of a handful of documentaries coming out of the UK this year that push the documentary form. Others include 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH and THE BIG MELT.
10. Which documentary has had the most profound impact on society?
Watching and reading about PARADISE LOST was the first time we realised the power that documentary can have in the world. The films compelled you to find out more, to go online, to spread the word, to kick off at something or someone. It highlighted to us that documentary can actually change people’s lives, which is something easy to be sceptical about.
11. If there were one documentary moment in history that you could experience as a filmmaker, what would it be?
John Lennon’s ‘lost weekend’ has always fascinated us. This 18 month long meltdown by the most famous man on the planet trumps Britney’s head shaving moment by a country mile, as well as 30 years.
12. What has been the most unexpected thing to happen since taking the film on the festival circuit?
Our overdrafts have hit their limits.
13. What song do you love this summer?
“Carry On, Carry On” from Edwyn Collins’ latest record is an ode to the Great British Street Party and is the perfect summer anthem.
Thursday, June 19, 9:15 p.m.
(click HERE to buy tickets)
Friday, June 20, 2:15 p.m.
(click HERE to buy tickets)