Despite never making a documentary, Todd Haynes did not hesitate when Universal Music Group’s David Blackman came to him in 2018 to create a non-fiction feature about the highly influential rock band The Velvet Underground, first directed by Andy Warhol and Career. Lou Reed, John Cal and Nico.
The Oscar-nominated director ফর known for descriptive features including “From Heaven,” “Carol,” “Dark Waters,” and Bob Dylan’s Meditation, “I’m Not,” weren’t worried about taking on a non-fiction project because “in the end, all the films are narrative experiences.” And the dramatic experience. To reach the audience, documentaries have to work in the same way as fiction.
Haynes has spent three years researching, interviewing the subject, and hours of archive footage with editor Adam Carnitz. The result is “The Velvet Underground”, which made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. To enliven the band’s history, Haynes relied on 1960s underground experimental films, photographs, footage of a group of Warhol collaborators, and contemporary and archival interviews with band members and the people around them.
“Unlike other rock ‘n’ roll documentary subjects, the band lacked the traditional theatrical material surrounding it, and it instantly led the process into the world of experimental films that not only embellished the story, but literally brought the band together,” Haynes explained. “We really got the avant-garde culture, especially in New York, as the raw material for how this story could be imagined and what it was doing.”
The lack of full concert footage from the band’s peak era prompted Haynes and his longtime production partner, Kristin Wachan of Killer Films, to license the archive material, which the director said was “a big challenge for the film in terms of budget.”
Haynes and Vachan teamed up with Julie Goldman, a documentary producer at Moto Pictures, to direct their documentation, editing and production.
Apple TV Plus expects that “The Velvet Underground”, which will debut on the stream on October 15 and in select theaters, will be recognized by the Academy in March. But Haynes understands that entering the non-fiction side of AMPAS can be a challenge.
“Documentary is a branch of the academy that I respect a lot and sometimes protect its own artists and I get it.” “It’s not my ambition to jump in there, but I’m proud of the movie. I want to see it, hopefully in theaters – that’s what I’m really focusing on. ”