The path of creation along which many artists have to venture can be a long and arduous journey. Hearing the sounds in your mind is one thing. Writing, practicing, rehearsing, and developing these seeds takes the process several steps forward.
Up until that point those sounds remain intensely personal. They own them, they are private, and they remain very much a part of themselves.
The next step, however, is where it ultimately stands or falls. This is when you arrive in the studio. It's here that the suffering for art really begins. The whole, often painful, process can be laborious, torturous, tedious, and even traumatic. If all of these potential pitfalls can be avoided then the experience can hopefully develop into a wonderfully rewarding experience.
This Is An Experiment (Uptone Pictures) is the perfectly titled film study of the making of a US indie band’s debut album. Film maker Zack Cookman’s expertly lets his camera do the talking. It observes without influencing, and captures a band in the studio, painfully piecing together a project that, up until that point, only existed within the band itself.
Mar is a US based band who traveled to far away Reykjavic in Iceland to record their first album, The Silence. However, as soon as their plane touches down, they walk headfirst into one of the industry’s never ending realities. Money, or in this case a lack of it, threatens to derail their dream before it even starts.
Zack Cookman’s camera records the fall out from the revelation. The impact of this is that there is hole in their finances which means that their time in the studio will be cut short unless further funds can be found.
The film shows how each member of the band, leader Kyle J. Reidy, Patrick Atkinson, Nate Reed, and Claire Long face up to this painful revelation. The tension is clear, however the band reacts strongly and immerse themselves in the process of getting their music recorded.
What makes this even more interesting is that this was their first real studio experience. Also, they had traveled thousands of miles to fulfill their dream. However, within those first few moments on Icelandic soil the very fabric of that dream comes under pressure.
From the first reel that underlying tension is there. Will the band solve the cash shortfall and will they be able to utilize the time they do have to produce their album? In letting the story unfold as a mere observer Zack Cookman has created a valuable film that all new bands should see before venturing into the studio environment.