The Girl From The song
Eric is a young aspiring musician who lives in a London campus.
One night, while practicing with his guitar, a shoe drops from a tree and he meets Jo, an impulsive, fun, beautiful girl who is sneaking out of his campus.
Opposites attract, inevitably they soon fall for each other. There is something specially intoxicating about this girl and the way she is slowly getting Eric outside of his bubble.
One day, when everything seems to be going well, and Eric is confident about their relationship, Jo suddenly vanishes.
After trying to go on with his life the way it was before Jo, Eric embarks on the journey to find her and decides to travel to the event in the middle of the Nevada desert that she had previously told him about: Burning Man.
THE GIRL FROM THE SONG is a journey into the crazy things we do for love and how sometimes our human flaws get in the way.
This is a story where two worlds collide.
The film starts in the very classic London, the city of Peter Pan, and it ends in a city that only exists seven days a year: Black Rock City.
London was always envisioned to be the exact opposite of Burning Man. If Burning Man was bright colors and fire, we needed to come from somewhere bleak and grey.
London is the starting point of our journey. It is the world of the living in the myth, and it helps us to understand our character’s background and understand the epic effort that Eric will have to make to leave his bubble and go to that otherworldly place in order to get his girl back.
"In the film, we knew we wanted our Underworld to be free of any good or evil categorization. The place was neither Heaven nor Hell, but it could be both, it all depended on the state of mind of the main character."
In 2014, the first time we wrote "Burning Man" into the script, we had no idea what the event was. We just fell in love with the idea of this place that only existed a few days a year, where the rules of everyday life didn't apply... It was the perfect Underworld for our Eric.. The place represents the world of fantasy, where Gods, and nymphs, and magic belong. Because of that, it was very important that every single one of the elements that belonged to The Underworld had some connection to Burning Man, specially Jo. In a way, London was always what Eric represented, and Burning Man was Jo.
The story has always lent itself to a very powerful visual concept. We wanted to push the contrast of these worlds formally, giving them very different treatments (in camera, light, and every other department) and with it define the different stages and the progression of our characters journey.
“Burning Man is probably one of the most extraordinary artistic events in the world and possibly one of the only places on earth that looks and feels like a fantasy world but is so real you can touch it” - Ibai Abad, Director –
“I have never been in a more visually striking environment on all levels: lights, colors, textures, background... During the day I find myself surrounded by a mixture of suffocating heat, dust storms, post- apocalyptical vehicles and music coming out of every corner. And suddenly the sun sets and the place transforms into a playground dominated by neon colors, fire breathing sculptures and a sky bright with stars. “ - Oriol Barcelona, D.O.P -
We found the inspiration for the movie in one of the most tragic love stories in Greek Mythology.
“We always knew we wanted the myth to be present, but it was vital that the audience who didn’t know the story of the myth could enjoy the film either way.”
Our main direction in trying to find the perfect balance between myth/reality was that everything that happened in the movie needed to be credible and authentic.
With that in mind, we meticulously defined with each department the way the myth and it’s elements were going to be represented in the film. Trying for it to always be present, but simply as part of an extra layer, not always visible.
Many great thinkers have given their different interpretations about the reason Orpheus turned around at the final moment, when victory was almost in his reach. They have also debated about what Orpheus learned about the world of the living, through the glimpse he caught of the afterlife.
From the moment we decided to do this modern-day interpretation we started asking ourselves the same question: Why did he turn around? And more importantly: What does “turning around” mean?
We decided that for us, “turning around” was going to mean: lack of trust. It was about not trusting that Eurydice was really coming behind him. It was about him having to check.
It tells the story of Orpheus, a young musician who loses his beloved Eurydice. Devastated by her death, he travels to the Underworld with the help of his lyre to plead to the Gods and try to get her back. Moved by the young musician’s shattering melodies, Hades and Persephone -Gods of the Underworld- decide to grant his wish on one condition: “ “he must travel the journey on his own, without turning back to see if Eurydice is following, until he's arrived to the world of the living …” He must trust that she is following him. Orpheus travels the journey back, going through dangers; wondering whether the gods have played him for a fool... And when he’s about to reach the world of the living, when he can almost savor the reencounter, something within him makes him look back... And Orpheus turns around and sees how Eurydice vanishes in front of his eyes, dragged again to Hades’ Underworld.
Orpheus was the most legendary musician in Greek mythology. That’s why music is at the core of the film.
Daniel Gadd, the composer, tapped perfectly from the beginning into the musical universe we were trying to explore with the film and it became visible very early on that the backbone of this musical venture would be the Myth.
The film starts with Eric’s classic guitar, and as he enteres into a new world, new electronic and tribal sounds appear as he discovers this new place. In this way, the music without a doubt mirrors Eric’s journey throughout the film.
Eric is a young aspiring musician who lives in his music-conservatory-bubble. He has never played in public and he has never written a song. Until Jo. Eric starts the movie in a campus at night practicing on his own a classical piece of Gluck’s “Orpheus ed Eurydice”. He is private with his music.
The first time he’s going to step onto a stage, Eric needed to be slightly pushed out of his bubble, but Eric would always play it safe. That’s why we believed that “Love will tear us apart” by Joy Division had to be the first song he sang in front of an audience. It’s an iconic British crowd-pleaser with which he could feel comfortable. It is also, in a way, premonitory of the fate of their love story.
At Burning Man, the scene where Eric sings to Alex was referencing the moment in the myth were Orpheus pleads with his music and softens the Gods. Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” felt like the perfect fit, the idea came from Lewis Rainer (Eric, in the fiction). It gave it all a sense of spirituality and really went hand in hand with the moment it portrayed.
And at last the song for the girl. Finally he’s going to be willing to share his emotions through music. “Ode to Eurydice” is the love song that Eric writes for Jo allowing himself to be vulnerable with his music. It was written by Lewis who searched within him until he found the perfect window into Eric’s insecurities.
The score is now available for download in this link and scrolling below.