On Tuesday, September 10th, Turkuaz will unveil their first-ever feature concert film, None’s A Ton, at a special red carpet premiere event at Nitehawk Cinema in the band’s hometown of Brooklyn, NY.
Filmed at a special performance at Stroudsburg, PA’s Sherman Theater in late 2018, the making of the film has been a long-running labor of love for Dave Brandwein, the band’s guitarist/primary vocalist, and Dani Brandwein, the band’s creative director. The husband-and-wife duo served as co-directors and co-executive producers on the film.
“We filmed it pretty much exactly a year before the screening,” Dave Brandwein explains to Live For Live Music by phone from Los Angeles. “September 7th, last year. So [it’s been] a long time in the making.”
When news of the premiere on September 10th was announced, the tickets sold out almost instantly. Due to popular demand, the band moved the premiere screening to a larger theater to allow more fans to get in on the celebration. With no more Turkuaz shows scheduled in New York City in 2019, the premiere marks local fans’ last chance to party with Turkuaz this year. A limited number of tickets remain here.
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Ahead of the big debut of Turkuaz’s first concert film, we caught up with Dave and Dani Brandwein to talk about the premiere festivities, what goes into making a concert film, being inspired by Stop Making Sense, and how the film ties a bow on this era of the band. You can read what they had to say below.
Live For Live Music: We’re all very excited for None‘s A Ton. Been ready to see this since you filmed it last year. Even the filming itself was a big event for Turkuaz fans. Do I remember a party bus bringing NYC fans to the show?
Dani Brandwein: It was at the Sherman Theater [in Stroudsburg, PA]. … Our fans actually organized the party bus from New York, which is pretty cute. We encouraged fans to dress colorfully so that the audience just was a sea of colorful clothes in addition to the show to kind of make it more fun.
Dave Brandwein: And as much as, obviously, the band is a great majority of the film, the audience is definitely in the film as well. They are a key character in the film, so it worked out really, really well in that sense.
L4LM: And now you get to relive it with that hometown crew again at the premiere!
Dani: Yeah, I mean, we want to celebrate the night and all the hard work. It’s nice to have events like that to sort of feel the accomplishment and be surrounded by your team and fans and loved ones. We’re gonna have fun with it. Everyone’s gonna get dressed up and we’ll have a little modest red carpet and we’ll introduce the film and have the big Q&A after. And the theater at Nitehawk is absolutely gorgeous. It’s this huge theater, stadium seating, giant screen. It’ll be a really enjoyable atmosphere to watch a movie.
Dave: And they serve really good food and drinks during the movie, so that’s cool.
Dani: We have two specialty Turkuaz items, a cocktail called The Rafter, which we named after our fan page. And there are these dope little pretzel dogs that we’re calling Moondogs, in honor of “Percy Thrills (The Moondog)“.
L4LM: Fantastic. In today’s music world, high-quality live performance videos are less of a treat than a necessity for bands. How did the process of making a true “concert film” differ from a regular multi-cam live video shoot?
Dave: Well, planning. Extensive planning. Sometimes when you just multi-cam shoot a show, due to the nature of all the other moving parts of a show, you get the crew in as early as you can, you plan out certain things, and hope they know the music well enough to cover everything. But we took some extra steps on this one and had some rehearsal time which included some filming in order to really figure out the best angles, how to get everyone covered, what certain songs are going to look like, what kind of movement [the cameras] needed. And we had some other equipment, like tracking for cameras and risers for people to shoot from, boom arms… Basically, extra time, extra gear, extra planning is how we approached it.
Dani: And then also, the post-production process. It’s like, having to craft together something that’s going to keep people’s attention. We tried to make it not just like another multi-cam shoot. It looks and feels very much like a film. And the pacing—which in post-production has been no small task—trying to perfect that; which songs ended up making it, having to cut some that we really loved. We were kind of torn with those tough decisions. But when we did the tech check at the theater last week, the projectionist was asking us if it was shot on film and said that it reminded him of Stop Making Sense, which [laughs]… We felt like we were doing our job.
L4LM: Wow! High praise!
Dani: That was the main inspiration.
Dave: I feel a little bit like a broken record because I’ve said it so many times, but it was true that when [Turkuaz bassist] Taylor [Shell] showed me Stop Making Sense, the Talking Heads film, that’s really when we decided to start a band. So all these years, in the back of my mind, they’ve continued to be a huge influence. We worked with [Talking Heads keyboardist/guitarist] Jerry Harrison on a couple tunes the last couple of years. … We always approached our live show in ways that I felt create moments and create an art to the set, create cinematic things using choreography. That’s always been sort of our blueprint, and to finally now capture it on film is really gratifying. Having it finally captured this way, it feels like we’re kind of tying a bow on this whole era of the band.
L4LM: If None’s A Ton is tying a bow, as Dave said, on this era of the band—what it looks like, what it sounds like, what it feels like—what does the next era of Turkuaz look like?
Dave: [laughs] …That’s a very good question, and we’ve been working hard on that. That might have to be a “to be continued” cliffhanger… There is something.
Dani: We’re cooking up something. There’s a lot of cookin’ going on in the Turkuaz hive mind right now [laughs].
Andrew: And when will you clue us in on what’s cookin’ for the future of Turkuaz?
Dave: We’ll have to wait and see… We’re not at liberty to say [laughs].
Andrew: But for now we can celebrate this wonderful era of Turkuaz with this gorgeous concert film, and that’s something we can all be grateful for.
Don’t miss your chance to get dressed up and celebrate the big None’s A Ton premiere with Turkuaz on Tuesday, September 10th at Brooklyn NY’s Nitehawk Cinema (Prospect Park).
Tickets are still available but moving fast. Grab yours here. We’ll see you on the red carpet…
None’s A Ton: A Turkuaz Live Concert Film – Official Trailer