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A new feature documentary; Something Left Behind tells the story of The Wedding Present's much-heralded 1987 debut album, George Best.
Produced and directed by myself, Andrew Jezard, this documentary explores the 30-year lifespan of a record that has come to define youth in the minds of so many for whom those days are long since past.
The album itself with its everyday, extremely relatable lyrics about the breakdown of a relationship make it almost impossible to listen to without allowing feelings of loss, regret or nostalgia to creep in.
Including interviews with all four original band members and key players in the record’s history, the film also follows the album’s life story through the eyes of the fans who have grown old alongside it.
The documentary also features a special appearance by the very inspiration behind these most personal of lyrics; providing a fascinating alternate view of the story behind the album.
The journey concludes with the band’s homecoming gig in Leeds this December. The City’s O2 Academy will witness the final ever performance of George Best and the closing of a hugely significant and personal chapter for David Gedge and The Wedding Present.
Much more than just a “making of”, this documentary is crafted as a love affair, played out over 30 years, whilst tracing the enduring legacy of a band's debut LP. Telling the stories both inside and outside of that world.
This film has existed (in my mind at least) for about eleven years now. In fact I’ve just gone back to the exact spot where it really all began, to film the crowd-funding video. It was on the away terrace at Yeovil Town Football Club on a cold Tuesday night that I found out that Shaun Charman was in fact the drummer for The Wedding Present in those early days. Until then he’d just been an acquaintance through our mutual support of the same football team.
The football was so bad that we spent the entire second half chatting about music. Later we went on to exchange mix CDs, with Shaun educating me about the alternative ’80s scene and me supplying the latest demos of up and coming contemporary bands of that time.
I light and film stuff for a living and had additionally made a few shorts and music promos but was looking for something to do personally on a bigger scale. I was aware of The Wedding Present and, after Shaun’s revelation, began to research potential angles for a documentary.
A year later we both attended the University of London Union date of the George Best twentieth anniversary tour, and on that night I decided that this album was definitely the story to tell...
I was amazed by the fan-base who very clearly had been there the first time round in 1987 – and, seemingly for one night only, were transported back to their youth.
With the passing of time it seems to serve as a direct link to a part of people that has maybe gone but certainly not been forgotten during the intervening years and I now include myself amongst those compelled by it in this way.
If you would like to help fund this film please take a look through the rest of this campaign page. Any help you can offer will be hugely appreciated. Whilst many of the interviews have already been filmed over the course of this year there are many fascinating stories still to be captured...
Amongst the interviews still lined up are George Best backing vocalist and Talulah Gosh front-woman, Amelia Fletcher, George Best 20th anniversary tour (and GB30 CD) drummer, Graeme Ramsay, John Robb (The Membranes), Martin Noble (British Sea Power) and Shaun Keaveny (BBC 6Music).
The ongoing and hefty costs of travel, kit and, in some cases, associated labour costs all need to be accounted for and once production is complete the edit process can begin in earnest where experts in colour grading and sound design will be required to tell this story in the way it deserves to be seen and heard.
Then comes the biggie... Securing the music rights. Obviously this is integral to a music documentary but, unfortunately, with David not holding the full rights to an album made 30 years ago this is a very expensive process.
Whilst he has been very generous with more recent recordings (that he owns in full) I have just paid for licensing parts of the music for use in the film trailer and hopefully this will get you excited for what is to come. Music and the sound of this particular album are so integral to this story. However the music rights costs spiral once the film becomes a feature and is distributed around the world. This will be THE major expense going forward.
The film has been entirely self-funded up until this point at great personal cost. I am fortunate that I film things for a living so could provide a lot of the required kit and my time for free. However it has meant a year struggling to fit in paid jobs around the demands of the documentary. It has been both financially and physically draining! However, after all the hard work, long-distance travel and late nights I’m still incredibly excited about the film and look forward to sharing it with everyone early next year
I have assembled the rewards on this site with the genuine hope that they will appeal to fans of the band and this album, but of course, if you just wish to donate to help finish the film, that will also be more than welcome.
There are a number of interesting and unique incentives on the site so please take a look and any donations will be very much appreciated and put to excellent use in order to finish the story of George Best and close a chapter in the band's and many of our lives...
The story of The Wedding Present begins with four lads from Leeds who quickly became known in the music press as “Smiths fans’ second favourite group”. Self-described as “the hardest working band in showbiz” and “semi-legendary”; they once released an EP called All The Songs Sound The Same, belying the changing nature of their sound that has kept indie fans entranced over the course of 30 years.
George Best is a perfect snapshot of a group starting out, finding their feet and delivering a great debut LP. But there’s a lot more to the story of The Wedding Present. Less than twelve months later, they had released two EPs of brand new songs, and a compilation album of early singles and sessions. Snapped up by RCA, their first major label release would be a collection of Ukrainian folk songs, an indication that they weren’t going to be compromised.
In 2007, The Wedding Present took George Best on the road as a complete album for the first time to mark its 20th anniversary, after which they re-recorded the album with Steve Albini, as a live session after completing 2008’s El Rey album. It would take another 10 years, and a new mix of the album by Grammy Award winning producer Andrew Scheps, before this recording was released as George Best 30 in 2017.
Proving that they are more than a vehicle for the Indie nostalgia circuit, the most recent album is Going, Going, released in 2016. It is a double album of songs inspired by, and telling a story of, a road trip across the USA, which came accompanied by a DVD of “moving pictures” for each song, and several performances of the complete album in theatres. The most recent of these was at famous classical venue Cadogan Hall, for which they brought along an orchestra and choir.
The album George Best was a fast, thrilling ride through 12 powerful songs, that caught people’s attention with a combination of rapidly-strummed guitars and down-to-earth lyrics, delivered in a northern English growl. It was named after the legendary soccer player from Northern Ireland who played for David Gedge’s hometown team, Manchester United.
Best was brought in for a photoshoot prior to the release of the album. As David recalls, “In my nervousness I offered him a can of beer, completely forgetting that he was a recovering alcoholic”.
John Peel, the iconic, influential British DJ, had already brought The Wedding Present in for their first Peel Session, a studio recording session that would go on to feature early versions of some of their best known songs. Every year, Peel would get his listeners to vote for their favourite tracks of the year, to be compiled into a Festive Fifty. In 1987, The Wedding Present had five entries in that chart, four of which were in the Top Ten.
DIRECTOR INTERVIEW FEATURED IN "THE LINE OF BEST FIT"
DIRECTOR INTERVIEW - FEATURED IN "THE MOUTH" MAGAZINE
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* No offensive photos or words will be considered in the film credits or related rewards.
Risks and challenges
I have wanted to make this film for ten years now. Whilst I am crowdfunding to ensure the film is as close to perfect as it can be, after filming it for a year so far I am determined to finish and release this film no matter what.
Throughout that time I have done everything humanly possible to ensure the film stays on track. Often working right through the night or lugging twice my bodyweight from one filming location to the next.
David Gedge and the rest of the band members past and present have been so accommodating throughout this whole process and I have been able to call upon the help of talented friends when an extra pair of hands were required.
The funding target is the absolute minimum to finish the film to the standards that I desire, but there is already a great story in the footage I have shot so far.
I am planning to take the film on the festival circuit. So far there has been interest from within the UK, North America and Australia. It will then get a physical release on both DVD and Blu-ray.
Filming is scheduled to wrap at the end of the year. An intense 12 week period of post-production will then follow. I really need your help now for this final push so that we can complete the film to the highest standards and in a manner that the story so richly deserves.
Thank you so very much for taking the time to consider this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)