Behind The Drum: A Q+A with The Makers of “Pan! Our Music Odyssey”

September 16, 2014

A scene from Pan! Our Music Odyssey

LU: The soundtrack CD boasts both new and old music. What influenced these choices especially in a 50โ€™s โ€œperiodโ€ film?

JG: With regards to โ€œDifferentology,โ€ while we were shooting, the song would be on radio constantly. It became almost a theme song for the crew and I felt it needed to be included. Jean Michel got on to Bunji and we made it happen. Jamie XX had been using steel pan for a while in his tracks and it was good to also show that the sound is being used now internationally by the new generation of artiste. The old calypsoes we recreated on old pans to give an authentic sound to the movie but my concept, especially as a young director, was to use different songs from different times because the film is also about now and what is happening now. All that energy could not come from just the older music.

LU: Were there any difficulties or interesting things you noticed while shooting?

JG: Difficult? For me the heat mostly [laughs]. Shooting here was so different. Because the economy is small, everything is much more direct. You can find and talk directly to people rather than hiring a company to fill the positions so the team formed is more personal. Also, the culture here is always alive. Belgium has two different cultures and languages living together and the mixing of cultures is not very great. Here, the people live their culture. In Belgium, cultural things are only celebrated at specific times but in this country itโ€™s all over.

BF: Meeting extremely nice, generous and motivated people. Usually you do a film and never see a crew again. Here there is more emotion and sentiment and the people become part of your experience.

LU: So what do you hope or expect that this movie will do for the local film industry?

BF: Every experience of producing a high quality film in Trinidad will raise the bar and encourage other filmmakers to come here to make more films.

LU: Everyone that comes to Trinidad always comments on the wide array of food. Was there any specific food you enjoyed more than the others?

JG: We ate a lot of doubles.

Pan! Our Musical Odyssey premieres tonight and will continue to be shown in various venues during TTFF/14. For screening times and more info on the festival, see here. Watch the trailer here: