August 27, 2013

Watch this Unique Behind the Scenes Doc for 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'

Bill and Turner Ross, the filmmaking team behind Tchoupitoulas and 45365, now turn their cameras to the set of David Lowery's mini-epic Ain't Them Bodies Saintswhich opened in 20 theaters this week. This is one of the most meditative behind the scenes documentaries I've ever seen, and one that welcomely breathes a little life to those in-between moments on set. If you're a filmmaker, you're extremely liable to enjoy this. Hit the jump to learn more.

David Lowery is an independent filmmaker and contributor to various film-related publications including IFP and Hammer To Nail. As a director, Ain't Them Bodies Saints is Lowery's second feature film, after St. Nick. As an editor, he's also been busy, cutting both 2012's Sun Don't Shine and 2013's Upstream Color.

Lowery, a fan of the Ross Brothers' work, commissioned them to make this documentary. To obtain full enjoyment, one must surrender to its slow, nascent pace, which to me really does capture the feeling of being on a set. To hear the emotions of the crew as a shot is completed, that familiar human togetherness. Audibly, the people involved with Ain't Them Bodies Saints were really passionate about making the film, and even though it might not have been created with marketing as its main impetus, it definitely makes me want to see the film more.

Watch the Ross brothers' 13-minute documentary below:

 

On the subject of this unorthodox doc, Kentucker Audley (an actor in the film) had this to say:

"The idea here was to transcend the standard behind-the-scenes doc. (usually created out of obligation & with little creativity) and impart the same artistry & ethos they [the Ross Brothers] bring to their own films. It's about an atmosphere and music and a group of people working on something ambitious."

To find out if the film is playing near you, check out their website, which, by the way, is definitely one of the better looking tumblr blogs for a film I've seen.

What did you think about this doc? Are you looking forward to Ain't Them Bodies Saints? Let's talk about it in the comments below.

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14 Comments

That was excellent.

August 27, 2013 at 4:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Rob Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker Freedom
4503

It was really quite boring-- There was nothing to learn. I''d rather what a behind the scenes doc on someone with a $50,000 budget and how they got it to work.

August 27, 2013 at 4:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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William

Some might argue that most other behind the scenes docs are boring because they're all the exact same thing: a few poorly thought out interviews with the director and lead actors intercut with uninspiring bts footage shot by an intern.

This little film isn't meant to teach you anything about the filmmaking process. It's meant to be a standalone piece of art, as well as a companion piece to the film it documents. As such, it is very successful and really quite beautiful and expressionistic.

August 27, 2013 at 5:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Rob Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker Freedom
4503

I really liked it too. Lot's of very creative shots and very memorable. And it DOES teach you some things about filmmaking - what the pace is like on a real set, and that most of the time, when making movies, you are doing things other than actually shooting.

August 27, 2013 at 6:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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David

I enjoyed it. Especially the part about the floating light that is burning at the same time. Gonna have to look that one up.

August 27, 2013 at 8:49PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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This was a wonderful work. This is the most realistic behind the scenes I have ever watched. From being on set over the last 3 years of the beginnings of my career its refreshing to see the day to day of making a film. Well done!

August 27, 2013 at 10:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Erik

Also, just saw Ain't Them Bodies Saints tonight, and it was absolutely fantastic.

August 28, 2013 at 3:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Rob Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker Freedom
4503

If by "welcomely breathes a little life to those in-between moments on set" you mean that it shows the least exciting parts of filmmaking (the waiting, the tweaking, the marking, the striking) with no commentary or editing, then you are spot on. This seemed more like raw footage from behind the scenes than a properly fleshed-out documentary. On the other hand, Ain't Them Bodies Saints looks like a beautifully told story.

August 28, 2013 at 11:16AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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John V

Tastefully executed. I like.

August 28, 2013 at 12:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Darren Wolff

Loved it! I want more!

August 28, 2013 at 1:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Andrew

i love this shit

August 28, 2013 at 9:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Only filmmakers and people who actually spent time on set will get this! The majority of other people will be bored. It is an unusual way to make BTS, But I enjoyed it :-)

August 29, 2013 at 4:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jean

I didn't enjoy it that much . Agree with the William's precise comment about a BTS $50,000 movie and how to maximise the spend. Looked like alotta new gear out of the box on this one . Dedicated shot bag trolley , who has the cash for one of these ? Tower for massive screen , wow. Makeup trailer , wow . Safety cones everywhere , very impressive . Sort of

September 1, 2013 at 5:38AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Derek Wallace

Does anybody know who the opening track is by? It's the very first song playing when the documentary starts from the perspective of driving in a car.
I gotta know more about that song!
Thanks for any help or leads!

March 18, 2014 at 8:38AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Christine

I just went through a bit of a journey trying to identify that track, which included contacting the Ross brothers to ask if they could help me out. What is heard in the video is an unreleased demo of a song from the "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" soundtrack. Unfortunately, the version used in the behind the scenes documentary is not available, but a different, more polished version is available on the soundtrack. The song is "Been Waiting" by Curtis Heath & John Graney. https://youtu.be/krfYWBlXKM0

September 13, 2015 at 12:28PM

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