“I felt as if I was about to abandon my project altogether until Heidi Gluck from The Pieces sent me an e-mail last weekend OKing the use of their song ‘Fireworks (With Report)’ in FITA, a song I have envisioned in the film since the initial rewrite over a year ago,” Diaz said. “All of a sudden a new energy has come over me. This was one stride forward amongst a hundred setbacks that put me back on track and on schedule. It’s this kind of relationship between artists — musicians and filmmakers — that benefit the whole community in achieving their dreams.”
Diaz’s story is only one example of the growing partnership between two active artistic scenes in the city: music and film. In person, through word of mouth and with sites such as IndianapolisMusic.Net, IndianapolisFilm.Net and TheFilmCommune.com, local musicians and filmmakers have networked to boost each other’s work.
The most recent example of this teamwork is the 10th IMN Showcase CD, which will feature songs from local bands and trailers for local films. The launch party Oct. 11 at Birdy’s will screen local film trailers in between performances. The project goes back to ideas kicked around for IMN 9, but the producers decided to wait until the most recent album to bring it all together.
“The idea behind it was that it being the 10th one, we wanted to highlight it and make it special,” said IFN Webmaster and media director Joshua Lingenfelter. “We’ve been looking at other cities and we haven’t seen anything like this.”
Film and music are highly collaborative mediums that have made a natural fit since the days when live piano players accompanied silent films. Local filmmakers direct music videos; local musicians provide soundtracks for films; everyone’s work and profile gets a push; and both sides learn something about the other’s art.
“Although sometimes tedious, it is really fun filming,” said Daniel Carr of Medicated Becky, who has appeared in productions and music videos produced by Bunk Films. “The guys that were working with us were really professional and it was kind of shocking to think, ‘Wow, I am going to be in a film, or a music video. It’s kind of surreal.’”
IMN mastermind Matt Fecher, for example, is a frequent sight at screenings, and music from his occasional band No*Star has been featured in local films. The producers of Pengin Productions, Jeff Cook and Ray Masterson, are both members of the band Beyond Rekognition. Cook has used a great deal of local music in films like Hearts It Is, including work from Ann McWilliams, Elektrolab, Jennie Devoe and Wonderdrug.
Singer and songwriter Mari Koslowski found herself rising quickly through the ranks when she produced and performed the soundtrack to Death of a Barefoot Tour Guide, which also featured members of local band Blaq Lily in various roles. “The reasons were economy and making do with what we have, which are the hallmarks of independent film,” Kozlowski said. “I started out doing the makeup and music, and ended up becoming the producer by picking up the slack that [director Garrett Crowe] couldn’t because he had so much going on.”
Bunk Films producer Tino Marquez Jr., a member of several local bands over the last few years, has been a strong supporter of using local music in film. “The Indy film scene is blessed to be surrounded already by what I would consider an established music scene,” Marquez said. “There is enough good music in this town alone to supply the soundtracks for the many films that will be coming out.”
Like Diaz, Marquez found inspiration from local music to complete a difficult scene in his film Reconciliation. “There was a powerful scene in the film that I was having a hard time finding the right song for,” Marquez said. “[Actor] Arrin Stoner gave me a CD from an up-and-coming band that had [“Ashamed” by Extra Blue Kind] on it. When I first heard it, I realized it was the missing piece to complete this scene and give it the emotional push it deserved.”
Fecher and Lingenfelter said that the IMN showcase is only the beginning of more organized projects between the two scenes.
“We seek out local musicians and try to hook them up with filmmakers who are looking for music,” Lingenfelter said. “The two mediums are fueled by collaboration.” “Musicians and filmmakers want to work together and we want to help bridge that gap,” Fecher said. “Both mediums are about emotion."