This is a documentary being produced to show the world the most beautiful concert venue "The Gorge", so without further ado here is my interview with the director of the film Nic Davis and the films sole producer Tim Williams. These guys are hard at work every day hoping to show the world the true beauty that artists such as Dave Matthews Band, Above & Beyond, Skrillex, and Hall & Oates have said is one of their favorite places to play at.
Here it is!
How long have you known that you wanted to be a director and what inspired you to direct a documentary?
Nic: I've always been fascinated with film. I was actually challenged to follow my dream of creating a documentary film at the Hatch Film Festival in 2010. A mentor there said he would produce it, and that, in many ways, really kickstarted this adventure. Documentary film allows people to explore the world - stories, people, and places - in so many new ways. I can’t wait to take our viewers inside The Gorge. It’s incredible history and sense of community in particular will blow people away.
What is it about The Gorge specifically that made you want to be a part of telling the story of this venue?
Nic: Every step of the way, I've been inspired and just awe struck by the community this place has created. People call it a family, and it really is. From the staff, to the festivals, to the artists backstage, something happens at this place that brings people together. That’s the story and experience I can’t wait to show with this film.
Tim: For me, it was the instinctual attraction I had when watching live concert recordings that led me to dig in. I just knew I wanted to go there and work on something, but without a clue of the magnitude of the story I would later uncover. I came to learn more about the venue’s history and through some discovery, it has become my mission to tell the incredible stories of those involved in it’s creation.
Have you ever been to a concert at The Gorge? And if so then what is your Gorge Story?
Nic: I will never forget one particular show at Sasquatch 2014. After a long day of shooting, Tim, Jeff (our cinematographer), and I went to a late night EDM show. An incredible array of backstage dancing ensued. Jeff Hammerton is a human dancing machine. That’s all I’m at liberty to say.
Tim: The first concert I ever saw was Dave Matthews Band from my TV at home. The show moved and inspired me to the point of actually contacting Live Nation to see if there was an opportunity to shoot a video about The Gorge. I wanted to be there and film there. Uncovering the story of The Gorge is my Gorge Story. My first concert was actually the first filming dates we scheduled for this movie, Sasquatch! 2014.
I feel like I have to ask this question. What is your favorite kind of music and why?
Nic: Music has always been a huge part of my life. My dad raised me on American folk (Utah Phillips, John Prine, Gordon Lightfoot) and delta blues (Lightnin’ Hopkins, Leadbelly). And since then I've explored and adventured many, many genres. I have this massive playlist on Spotify I’m constantly adding to. There’s tracks with everyone from Claude Debussy to GRiZ, Shakey Graves, and Muddy Waters on there. We have such incredible access to so many styles of music these days, it’s hard not to find something in just about every genre I like. I started writing music when I was about 12 and have continued writing and playing ever since.
Tim: I've listened to death metal, acoustic singer/songwriter, and rap in the past 48 hours. My favorite kind of music is always changing because I’m always open to being inspired by new and different artists. Currently listening to: St. Paul & The Broken Bones
If you could direct any comic book movie what would it be?
Nic: I would love to direct a film about a lesser-known comic book character. Someone who most viewers aren't familiar with. That really opens up peoples mind to unique story lines and character arcs. To me, Jonah Hex is really interesting character. I love the old west, and have always wanted to explore it in a unique way. There was a film in 2010 about this comic book, but if I were to make it, I think the film would be less explosive and visually dramatic, and more about his search for purpose and identity amidst devastating personal losses.
Who is your favorite director? And what is your favorite genre?
Nic: I’m inspired by the work of so many people: directors, cinematographers, YouTube creators, painters, technologists,..the list goes on and on. Sean and Andrea Fine (a husband/wife film making team) have broken and rebuilt my heart again several times over. If you haven’t seen their documentaries “War Dance” and “Innocent” they’re both must watches. As far as narrative film goes, I’m a huge Star Wars nerd. If you get me started on Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, and what Lucas did with the original films, you’ll have another article to write.
So you guys will be following people at festivals this year correct? Any chance we will get to see in the documentary people meeting some of their favorite artists?
Nic: We have some really beautiful, complex story lines that are developing, and I’m excited to see how they play out in the film. The thing with documentary film making is that, as much as you plan, some of the most important and powerful interactions and moments happen spontaneously. If we’re prepared, and are there at the right moments, we have the opportunity to capture them and share them with the world.
Is there anything else you would like the fans of The Gorge to know about your film?
Nic: The support and stories we've gotten from fans so far has been nothing less than incredible. This place means so much to so many people. This place has become a setting where people from all over the world can come and be a part of something collective, and powerful, and real. Many call it a family. And it really is.
Tim: It’s a miracle The Gorge exists. The unlikely people, remote location, and circumstances that came together to make this happen are out of this world. From the great floods that cut The Columbia River Gorge to the great minds who created it as a music venue, our film will tell the whole story.
One last question. What was your first movie memory?
Tim: I think The Little Rascals.
Nic: I remember watching James and the Giant Peach on repeat. I've probably seen that film over 150 times. Also, my dad took me to the Matrix in theaters when I was 10. That film blew my mind. It still does. From an early age my parents gave me tremendous independence, and showed me films, places, and experiences that opened me up to the world and showed me infinite possibility. I’ll always be thankful for that.
Well folks here is your chance to show your love of music, family, and indie filmmakers as the people behind Enormous are launching a Kickstarter campaign next week to help get the film finished at festivals this summer! So head on over to their Facebook page here or their twitter here and start giving your suggestions on what you think would be great incentives to people who donate and feel free to stay up to date on their progress through either their Facebook page or my articles.
Here is the Trailer again if you have yet to watch it (Dave Matthews Narrates)