The film centers around an astronaut who is sent to a one-man operated space station and shortly after looses contact with Earth. The astronaut begins to become claustrophobic and eventually starts hallucinating after finding the journal of a Civil War captain. The story jumps back-and-forth between the present and the Civil War era of 1864. Love looks at the personal-psychological effects of isolation and loneliness, and emphasizes the importance of human connection and love. I recently had a chance to speak with Will Eubank about his new film Love. The director discussed with me the origins of the project; it’s theme of isolation, building the sets himself, the music, collaborating with DeLonge, comparisons to Duncan Jones’ Moon, and the upcoming live event. Here is what he had to say:
To begin with, can you talk about the genesis of the project and how it all came together?
Will Eubank: Basically it was a massive collaboration over a very long period of time. Tom DeLonge from Angels & Airwaves and I met organically. I wasn’t really a director but I was making my own spec spots. But they wanted to do ten music videos and they dug my stuff so we got together. But I decided that would probably be the most boring thing you could ever watch back-to-back. So we ended up scratching the project and turning it into a big film. After a year of working on it we thought it was terrible so we started over and I wrote a script. Rather than making visuals for their music we decided to come up with a story and in the end scored it. It was kind of a big crazy process.
Is it true that you built most of the sets for the film in your parent’s backyard?
Eubank: Yeah well with a low budget like on this movie you don’t feel like you have a lot of support so for a long time it was a crazy project just building sets with my brothers helping me. Everything you see in the film we built. My parents have a ranch up north. Basically when we first started making the music videos we rented a little piece of a space station and it cost us like fifty thousand for five days so what we did was spend all our money right from the start. It was a nightmare. So I decided that the only way we could do it was if we had a lot of time in a big space. So I went back to Tom and said, I think I’m going to build a life size spaceship. I told him that my parents have a lot of space and it wouldn’t cost anything to live there and do this for that time. So a year and a half later we finally had it done. It was tons of Home Depot visits. If you carefully watch the film everything you see you can buy. Even the Civil War stuff was six months of building so everything you see my brothers and I built.
Can you talk about how the film deals with themes like isolation and loneliness?
Eubank: The main themes are isolation, human connection, love being the ultimate form of connection and war and hate being the ultimate communication if you will. People always ask why the Civil War? Honestly I just love the Civil War and as a filmmaker you always want to play with things that you love so you can really create a world. So I think that a lot of the themes that are in the film were things that I wanted to explore and thought that I would have fun doing for that amount of time.
The film has had gotten a lot of comparisons to director Duncan Jones’ Moon, which was released while you were making your movie. Are you concerned at all about the comparisons or do you feel confident that your film will be able to stand on its own and find an audience?
Eubank: My manager actually sent it to me and I was like, oh shit. Then it opens up on that treadmill shot and we have a treadmill shot too but as soon as I watched it I knew it was totally different. I think our film is a little more esoteric then Moon. They might both explore the ideas of isolation together but I think the way they do it is infinitely different. So as soon as I watched the film I wasn’t really worried about it. Then on top of that if anyone does compare it to Moon, to be in any realm of cerebral sci-fi is an honor for my first film and humbling that people would even say that. In many respects it’s not good or bad but I’m not worried about being compared to it because they’re completely different.
Can you talk about working with Tom DeLonge as an executive producer and the music that Angels & Airwaves wrote for the film?
Eubank: It was crazy because originally we were trying to make it to the music of the first album, which was called I-Empire and it was like making music videos. You can actually see those now as they are being released prior to the screening that we are having. So those are leftovers of what we were originally trying to do. What I think we all decided was that it was time to take the traditional route and make music for the film. It was exciting because I think it was what Angels & Airwaves always wanted to do. I know their themes and music were all very thematic driven. I think when they finally sat down and started making music for the film and going about it that way there were just a lot of conversations and they felt at home. There were all sorts of grand ideas of what people were going to do and not do, but I think when they all finally sat down and started composing music, they finally saw a value in what we were doing. I think that’s why it’s different than a lot of other films out there like Pink Floyd’s The Wall. I think a lot of people think that is what this is going to be and its not. They are not in the film, it’s not a commercial for Angels & Airwaves, and actually it’s the furthest thing from it. You know nobody’s singing in it. I mean it was made in my backyard.
Finally, what can you tell me about the live event next week for the premiere of the film and how you think technology is changing the way films become available to audiences?
Eubank: First off it’s been a very long road so having an opportunity to finally show it off to a big audience is a sigh of relief for me. But I feel like there’s crazy stuff happening now with digital distribution. On a movie of this size, any kind of theatrical thing you do is more or less just marketing for the ancillaries. There were plenty of distributors who wanted the film just to get it out to Netflix but at that point I didn’t see the gain of going with somebody just so they can do exactly what we can do. So I think this is the perfect thing to do where we’re finding our own way to get it into theaters through personal relationships with AMC and others. It’s totally changing the independent thing, like what Kevin Smith did touring with his film (Red State). I just think its cool to be a filmmaker now where you have all these options and you can find your own way to distribution. I feel like the art is not just the art piece. A painting lying in a forest is absolutely useless. I think half of the process is presentation. There are so many new ways to get your medium out there. Film is such a massive piece so to find new ways to get people to see your film and get it out there is epic. We’re really lucky in the sense that the only reason I was able to build a space station in my parents backyard and not have a job for a year and a half is because Angels & Airwaves already had fans. Those fans would continually ask, are you still making on the film? It felt weird to be making the film for a small fan base but now it finally feels great to have it out there for those kids who really wanted it to come out.
Angels & Airwaves Presents: Love Live will take place on August 10th at 8PM EST.