13 Nov 2007
The making of Joy Division 
Paul Morley facilitated a masterclass devoted to the making of the Grant Gee film Joy Division on the last day of the Sheffield DocFest, Sunday 11 Nov, in the Hallam University Pennine Theatre.

Featuring director Grant Gee, producers Tom Astor and Jacqui Edenbrow, and editor Jerry Chater (no Atencio, no Hook, no Savage) the masterclass took the form of informal chat, Q&A session and the showing of three clips from the film itself.

Although there were a great many insights into the thought processes that drove the creation of the documentary (some of which will be contained in a later cerysmatic review of the film), only the cheap and cheerful potential headline-grabbers are presented here:

The film was privately financed by Toms Atencio and Astor, with a budget of just GBP 300k. Many backers were sought, including the BBC, none supplied.

Nearly all the interviews contained therein were conducted by John Savage, thus enabling director Grant Gee to "keep away from the firing line".

Bernard and Hooky's interviews were shot in the same place, on the same day, with a suitable space in between!

Peter Saville used Ian Curtis as the embodiment of 'Manchester: Original, Modern' in his pitch to Manchester City Council.

AHW was more interested in a film about the rebirth of Manchester than a documentary about 'that bloody band'.

Paul Morley doesn't want to give away the ending, "but the singer dies".

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Peter Saville colour wheel
A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

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