"Honestly, I purposely didn’t watch other documentaries during the time we were building ours. I wanted to try to come up with a fresh way to create and make something that was truly ours. But I will say that I really love the Descendents documentary [2013's Filmage]. If there was anything that might have been an influence in part, it would be from that one."
That's Dan Elswick, the first-time director who helmed Holding These Moments, the full-length documentary on seminal hardcore band Bane. While it's already available as an on-demand feature, the film is getting the movie theater treatment in select cities starting this week. Band formed in the mid-'90s and winded down in 2016.
"Being a first time filmmaker, you don’t realize how much money goes into these things, and for me, I’m a camera operator for my career, but through this process, you really find out your strengths and weaknesses in every other aspect of filmmaking," Elswick tells me.
"I learned that I’m pretty good at piecing a story together, Ricky [editor Ricardo Cozzolino] and I are a pretty good team in that sense, but my weaknesses definitely brought on an overwhelming feeling. Thankfully, we have some pretty damn good people in our corner, that helped, even more than I ever expected to, and still are today, even after the release."
The project started in 2016, when Elswick began documenting Bane's final US tour. The film eventually blossomed into a piece that goes beyond hardcore and will be relevant to anyone who has ever struggled to balance their artistic pursuits with a "normal" life.
Oh, there's also a lot of killer live Bane footage:
Holding These Moments will be screened at movie houses in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Prague, Czech Republic, and Santa Ana, California (screening info below).
I ask editor Ricardo Cozzolino how tough it was going through all of the archival Bane footage during the early stages of the project. "It was a huge task! We got hundreds of hours of footage from members of the band, friends and fans, from all over the world. Most of the footage was on VHS, hi-8, and DV tapes, so I had to get machines to view the tapes and hope I could connect them to my computer.
"I was lucky if the footage had already been digitized because half the time I was finagling old tapes just to work. Once I could get the tapes working, I'd sit for hours fast forwarding and rewinding until I saw something interesting, then I'd digitize it.
"After I imported all the footage into the project, I'd watch it again and log all the clips with descriptions and add markers to highlights within the clips, (i.e stage dives, band members talking, etc.). Doing all that allowed me to further commit the shots to memory for quick recall, in case Dan asked for a specific shot or something came up in an interview.
"On top of that, it was mostly show footage so we transcribed a lot of [Bane vocalist Aaron] Bedard's speeches from between songs. I used a handful of those speeches as segueys between sections in the film. People were constantly sending us footage and photos, so I was going through it all at the same time as I was cutting the film."
Earlier this year, Holding These Moments won Best Music Documentary at Film Threat's Award This! ceremony:
As rewarding as seeing Holding These Moments up on the big screen and winning awards, Cozzolino says it definitely wasn't a glamorous road getting there. "There was nothing sexy about it and in hindsight, I should've had an assistant.
"But as frustrating and mind-numbing as it was, glimpsing those brief windows into time, of shows and peoples lives, made us appreciate what we were doing even more."
Upcoming Holding These Moments theatrical screenings:
August 10, 2022 at The Brattle Theater in Cambridge, MA at 7pm
Members of Bane will be in attendance for a Q&A session after the screening. Those members include guitarists Aaron Dalbec and Zach Jordan, vocalist Aaron Bedard, drummers Nick Brannigan and Bobby Mahoney and bassist Pete Chilton. Merchandise will also be sold in the lobby.
August 12, 2022 at Eternia Scimov in Prague, Czech Republic at 6pm
The Czech Republic premiere of the film! Editor Ricardo Cozzolino will be present to introduce the film and answer questions after the screening.
August 17, 2022 at The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana, CA at 7:30pm
Santa Ana is where Bane played their last show in California and The Frida Cinema is where Holding These Moments took home the prize for Best Music Documentary from Film Threat's Award This! Director Dan Elswick and producer Charles Chaussinand will be present to introduce the film.
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