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An exclusive interview with Blinkumentary director Haven Lamoureux

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Blinkumentary director Haven Lamoureux


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Since the conclusion of blink-182’s reunion tour, band-members have taken a time-out from the popular resurgence to focus on other things. Travis is once again delivering a drum-based stage show with new partner DJ A-Track; Tom’s Angels and Airwaves have released their third LP, Love; and Mark is producing eclectic tracks for both indie-rock bands and seasoned artists.

With so many side-projects preoccupying our favorite So-Cal hipsters, the die-hard blink-fan is forced to wonder: is the band really committed to making a sixth studio album?

Haven Lamoureux, director of the upcoming Blinkumentary, is seeking the answer to that very question by taking on the task of chronicling one of America's most intriguing bands.

In an interview with Examiner.com, the auteur on the rise discusses his hopes for the upcoming film and shares stories of his adventures with blink-182.

Describe how you approached Mark, Tom and Travis about the idea for a blink-themed documentary and what their reaction was.

HND$M*RND$M put together the idea for the film and I approached the band when they were starting their rehearsals for the summer tour. I pitched the idea to the band as a group as well as individually. All were interested in it, but it wasn't green-lit until Matt Edwards cut together a teaser of footage that we had shot.

I brought it to one of the rehearsals and showed it to the band. Once they saw our style, and how we planned to tell this story, they approved the film.

Initially, I thought The Blinkumentary would simply be a tour documentary, but now that seems to be a small part of a much more complex idea (especially since you're filming the group's recording process.) What are your goals for this film? What type of story do you want to tell?

The Blinkumentary has had many incarnations. We are still discussing what the film will finally consist of.

At this stage of the production, the film will be released in two parts: First, the band reuniting, becoming blink-182 again, and the tour that followed. We have shot hundreds of hours of footage for just that. We want to give and tell the story without having to cut it too short.

The second part will cover the band returning to the studio to record the new album. We want each story be told in its entirety.

As a filmmaker, have you been forced to keep yourself at a professional distance from Tom, Travis and Mark in an attempt to present an objective and truthful narrative? Or have you developed a genuine friendship with each member of the band? What type of impact, if any, has your relationship with the band had on the filmmaking process?

I have been friends with Travis and Mark for a while now, and I developed a friendship with Tom during the production process. My relationship with the members of the band has definitely helped with the filming.

When shooting a documentary, you have to have a trust with whom you are shooting. In this circumstance, if I didn't have the relationship with the band, and that level of trust, I'm not sure if this film would be where it is.

As far as an objective narrative, that has been my goal with this film. Our level of professionalism exists, and we respect when to shoot and when to put the camera down, but we have a hell of good time doing it. 

You obviously have to spend a great deal of time filming and interviewing these guys. How many hours a week do you devote to filming the trio? What about them has surprised you? How are they different from other bands you've known and filmed?

The hours [of filming depends] on the amount of time everyone has.  We're all very busy with multiple jobs and projects, so that has no real answer.

As far as what has surprised me about the members, is Tom's ability to speak about space and history. He is a very well read man.

Travis's pre-show warm up is ridiculous. He will go through his routine before every show in every city in his dressing room. Spot on.

Mark is nearly "un-stumpable" when it comes to movie quotes and humor. All are very different and they bring very different things to the table to create their music. 

Over the years, all members of blink have progressed as musicians, fathers and people. Will The Blinkumentary touch on any of those aspects (i.e., Travis's solo career; +44; Mark's production projects and Tom's role as the frontman for AVA)? If so, how will you go about it? If not, why leave it out?

Yes, we have touched on some of that.  For this film we mostly wanted to show them reuniting as a band, and as friends, and touring. 

Describe some of the challenges you've faced during this project.

Producing this film has been great for us at HND$M*RNDSM. It's exactly the kind of project we were looking to create.  There have been struggles, and long, long hours, but nothing super challenging really comes to mind.  It’s been beyond great.

When can fans expect The Blinkumentary to hit screens?

We have been working with the band and their management people to have an exact release date.  So far, it’s looks like fans will see the first installation by mid-summer.

How did you go about becoming a director/producer?

I got a Hi-8 video camera as a youngster and started filming skating and snowboarding. I was also was into photography pretty heavy. I didn't have any resources for editing in the small New England town where I grew up, so I went to stay with my grandparents because they had a public access channel in their town. I was able to learn to edit when there.

At the public access channel, there were so many creeps that had shows, but it was a great opportunity to learn. I then got my degree in Filmmaking, shot more professional skate videos, moved to LA and learned more about the craft.

I like the idea of creating something of substance from start to finish.  Producing allows you to do that while directing allows you to get very creative with actually building the product. It’s the right balance for me.

What other projects are you and your film company currently focused on?

The Blinkumentary has taken up the majority of our time. We have done videos for a few other artists. Most recently, we shot a day in the life video with rapper Asher Roth for his new mix-tape release. We have been very focused on seeing this film through till it is finished.

We also have a few TV shows in development.

As a director, what are your future goals? In other words, do you see yourself shooting other documentaries based on popular bands, or would you like to shift to other areas of film, such as drama or comedy?

My future goals are to continue to shoot documentary films with musicians as well as music videos. I want to continue to develop the TV show ideas we have [and eventually] direct narrative films. I am currently writing a comedy script. Keep your eyes out for that.

Describe to Examiner readers your craziest story from the reunion tour.
I cannot explain how many stories there are, but there is one that just popped into my mind. During the tour I bunked on Mark Hoppus's bus for the majority of the time. Our post-show routine usually consisted of food, drinks and movies.

One night we were watching one of our favorites, the cult classic Wet Hot American Summer.  If you're familiar with the film, you will remember the scene in the wood shed that involved two men, "acting passionately towards each other," shot VERY graphically.

During this scene, our bus driver walked onto the bus so quickly that there was no way to change the channel or provide explanation for the scene plastered on several TVs throughout the bus. He gave the three of us (me, Mark Hoppus and Chris Holmes) a pretty interesting look, then just walked to the front of the bus without saying a word. 

Let’s just say, it was pretty uncomfortable making eye contact with him the next day.

Favorite movie of 2009 would be:

 Anvil! The Story of Anvil

Favorite movie of all time:

Tough one. Raging Bull or Miller's Crossing.

Favorite Blink song to hear during the reunion tour:

Stockholm Syndrome”.

Best band that we're not listening to:  

Mine

Best movie that we haven't seen:

Wet Hot American Summer or Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.

To learn more about Haven, and the HND$M*RND$M family, check out the links below:

http://twitter.com/havenlamoureux

http://www.handsomerandsome.com

http://twitter.com/mattrandsome

http://twitter.com/hndsmrndsm 

http://twitter.com/blinkumentary


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To read other music articles, film reviews and interviews by Matt Thomas, visit his blog & check out his homepage.

Comments

  • este guey 4 years ago

    "and we respect when to shoot and when to put the camera down, but we have a hell of good time doing it. "

    That's how you know it's not going to be great. You best be shootin' everything, no?

  • duder 4 years ago

    Agreed. You're not supposed to befriend the people you're filming. It sounds like the group had a direct say over content. Anything that's even slightly controversial will be removed from the film. It will be like 2 hr. blink promo ad.

  • mau 4 years ago

    awesome! My birthday is in mid-summer =)