Directed by award-winning Mairtin DeBarra and created by Emmy-nominated Nuno Bernardo, this production will be unleashed on an eager world via book, game, web series and of course as a movie release.
This coming of age tale of a young girl, who finds herself trying to balance a potential classical music career against one in the world of electronic dance music.
The cast are a talented bunch of actors and this movie is very high on Fame’s must-see list. You can catch it in the UK from early May, but in the meantime here is an interview we did with transmedia writer-producer Nuno Bernardo.
Hi Nuno. May we kick things off by asking you to tell us a bit about the story of Beat Girl?
‘Beat Girl’, a coming of age story of a young girl as she is torn between her late mother’s dreams of becoming a world class pianist and the pulsating world of EDM (Electronic Dance Music).
For Heather music is everything. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Heather has always dreamed about getting into Julliard and becoming a classical pianist.
But all her dreams get shattered the day her mum dies, and her life suddenly falls into silence. Although she attempts to pursue the course she and her mother had always known, she gets carried away by the enticing underground world of DJ-ing, and her heart starts to beat again to the rhythm of a new life – and a new love, Toby.
Eventually she finds herself torn between two worlds of music. With her Julliard audition fast approaching, Heather is forced to chose between what she has always known and this new world of excitement she so desires.Where did the idea come from?
In my teen years and early twenties I was a DJ performing in parties and small clubs. But even after retiring as a DJ, I always followed this culture and saw the growth of the Electronic Dance Music phenomenon.
I had the idea for a DJ based movie in my head for years, but only when I met Susana Tavares, the co-writer of Beat Girl, I was able to transform some ideas into a story. Then Melanie Martinez was attached to the project and the script became a reality. People do love these coming of age type of movies. Is it hard to bring something new to the table that we have not seen before with such a story?
One of the strong elements of ‘Beat Girl’ is the soundtrack, the parties and all the behind the scenes of the Electronic Dance Music scene. As of yet there hasn’t been too many stories about DJs, their struggles and what is needed to be a top DJ.
On the other hand the visual and the musical contrast between electronic and classical music gives a nice tonality to the story.
The film will be launched via many media formats. This has never been done before we believe. Whose decision was it to do that and do the cast and crew embrace this approach?
‘Beat Girl’ follows the traditional beActive’s development process where we create new stories with the audience and for the audience, allowing them to build and interact with the characters as soon as possible. In the last 10 years, the majority of our TV Series and Films started as on-line experiences and blogs.
With the initial success with real audiences and fans we then cross to new platforms and transform them in full entertainment brands. The plan for ‘Beat Girl’ always included a feature film at the end of this development journey.
We started as a profile on Pinterest, but ‘Beat Girl’ gradually extended to different platforms and formats, from Books to mobile games.
We were lucky to find a cast and crew that followed our vision and went the extra mile to help produce all the pieces of content necessary to make ‘Beat Girl’ a true Multiplatform project.
Has the finished film met expectations. We only ask because sometimes we meet people involved in a production and they seem disappointed with the final product?
If you ask this question to every single creative person in the world, whether it be a photographer, an actor, a writer or a director, they will say that they always wanted to do it better.
Actors never like to see themselves on the screen and as a producer you always think we could have done this scene in a different way.
But overall, now that some time passed since we finished the movie and after seeing it a few times with an audience in the cinema, I’m very happy with the final result, both in terms of story, but also the directing and actors performances. It’s a nice, small, coming of age film with a kick-ass soundtrack.
With such a talented director and writer/producer on board this must have been a project that many people wanted to get involved with. How tough was it to choose the right team to work with?
Although the story was in works for a few years, the project started to come together by the end of 2011 when we shot a few scenes from the original script to create a teaser promo that helped us to finance the project.
The girl that was picked for this promo was Louise and we liked her performance so much that she then becomes the obvious choice for the character of Heather. Then, crew and cast came together; creating this amazing team I had the pleasure to work with during the last two years.
The movie is launched in the UK in a few short weeks. Are the cast and crew excited about what viewers will think of it?
Everybody that has worked for so long on a project like this, from actors, to directors and crew, it’s always exciting when you see the final piece on the big screen. During the production you can always see the result of the work you are doing but never the full picture.
Then seeing it on the screen with an audience totally changes the perception of your work. We have already done a few press-screenings and the cast members that already saw the final movie were really excited with the final result.
Have you any media/personal appearances lined up to coincide with the movie launch?
We have a very comprehensive list of events lined up to promote the movie on both sides of the Atlantic. As the movie will also be distributed in the US (on HULU), the cast are also doing interviews and appearances in Los Angeles.
What is next for you. Have you many projects in the works?
At the moment we have two other movies in post production: ‘Collider’, a sci-fi adventure movie based on the comic book series with the same name and ‘Road to Revolution’, a documentary about the consequences of the Arab Spring. Both movies will open in Europe next fall.
We have a teen comedy currently in the development stages, ‘Girl Heart Boy’, based on the hit book series published by Penguin Books and ‘Made With Love’, a rom-com based on our own eBook that was published last Valentine’s Day and is already reaching 2 million readers.
The films cinema release date for the UK and Ireland is 10th May, Portugal is 9th May and video on demand available on Virgin, 4od, itunes, Talk Talk, EE and FilmFlex 10th May.
In the US the film is available on Hulu on 29th May.