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Michael Krivicka talks about his documentary Subway Melodies – Page 4

Subway Melodies Volumes two and three...

READERSVOICE.COM: Your website said Volume One of Subway Melodies had around 30 minutes running time. Will the film be a series of short episodes and if so, why?
MICHAEL KRIVICKA: Yes. It was intended to be a feature film, but even though I have enough materials to make two feature films, I decided to make it more compact and create a “slap-you-in-your-face” 30 minutes version.
Also there were time issues involved. The decision happened recently, and I decided to create a series of episodes.
It also depends on how well this first one will be received, or better: how well it works.
The next episode would deal with the same concept but everything else would be different, such as shooting and editing style, approach of the story and so on. Each episode would be unique in its own way.
RV: Your site also said the film dealt with the relationship between mechanical and human sounds, and how the subway was a complex instrument that never stopped playing. I was wondering if you were into electronica music at all, and whether your film used this sort of music?
MK: I know the music style, but it is not in the film. I was looking for something in that direction but most of the performances and instruments used down there are very traditional.
There is one Russian singer, who is “the most modern” of all, playing an electric guitar and singing…Her music is original and simply VERY good. I’m glad she ended up in the film.

RV: What’s the latest with Subway Melodies?
MK: The film was finished at the end of August to make the Sundance Film Festival deadline.
Since then it has been sent out to several other festivals in the States and Europe, so for now it’s: waiting-time.
One reason why I planned to finish the film by end of August besides making a particular deadline was to have it done on time for the 100 Year celebration of the New York City subway.
On October 27, 1904 the first subway opened in New York City and a fairly big celebration is planned by the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) on the same date this year, which is only a few weeks away from now.
When I found out about the subway centennial in summer last year, I started filming SUBWAY MELODIES, Volume One in October the same year to have it finished by the big event the following year. I figured it would add that much more importance and excitement to the film once it was finished.
I do not plan to capitalize on it at all, I honestly wish that I’ll do well in the festival circuit so I can gather some serious festival credentials and that way have a solid case for applying for funding next year for the second and third volume of SUBWAY MELODIES.
I am planning three volumes to reach an approximate 90 minute total running time of the series.
Every volume will be completely different from the other two, in terms of style, editing, cinematography, techniques, mediums used, and most important of all: structure. Volume One has a strong video-observation look.

It feels like a collage of videos taken by different passengers on the train, and it gives a great sense of a “wild ride” through the NYC subway system by witnessing a variety of musical performances.
The film also has an experimental touch and takes some sequences to a different level, but the feeling of “reality” is strongly maintained.
There is no slow motion used, no effects that would somehow manipulate the feeling of reality. Besides only a couple of selected creative transitions, the simplicity and power of a “cut” as the editing style is very enforced, and the engine of the film is music.
Music sets the pace, mood, and atmosphere of every segment of the film and in that way it is highlighted as an important but taken-for-granted element of the subway system.
I do not want to give away the themes and looks of the following volumes, only this much: they won’t be shot on video.
RV: Did the experience of making Subway Melodies change you at all?
MK: I think it did, but I’m not sure in what way. I certainly isolated myself more, but that could have happened with any project that one dedicates himself to. I met a lot of interesting people on the way, so that has been one interesting part of this journey, and I also got to know the subway system from many new perspectives.
As far as my personality is concerned, I just got a little “tougher” in terms of approaching people. It’s the whole NY attitude I guess, haha.

– by Simon Sandall.

-Check out Michael Krivicka’s website at www.subwaymelodies.com