words Aurelien Levitan
On September 15, Film director Blaine Fuller and Rock n Roll band Tokyo Lucky Hole will release Mr. McQueen. The music video debut of the rock n roll band with spaghetti western licks, satirical lyrics, and schizophrenic compositions from Huntington Beach, CA.
Blaine Fuller wrote, directed and co-produced the film with Production Designer Will O’ Donnell.
Inspired by British fashion designer Alexander McQueen and American actor Steve McQueen. Blaine’s idea for the film was “to reward bad behavior”.
Mr. McQueen was shot April 2018 by cinematographer VIIISION on a Sony PMW-F55 using Vintage 1970’s KowA lenses.
The beautiful landscapes were shot in the city of Barstow, Randsburg, and Soggy Dry Lake CA and the indoor scenes were shot at Ye Rustic Inn, the landmark dive bar in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, CA.
To celebrate the release of their full LP & music video debut, Tokyo Lucky Hole, Blaine Fuller and friends are throwing an event at the Bam Bam Cabaret, 1304 S Hooper Ave Los Angeles, CA 90021.
For more information and tickets: EVENT BRITE
Tokyo Lucky Hole @_tokyoluckyhole_
Clay Fuller @clayfuller
Ben Bridgford @ben_bridgford
Ricky Carmody @rickyracer
Vanna Vicious @vannavicious
Tony Berrow @tony_Berrow
Vivienne Vita @viviennevita_dvil
Vicky Jean Mochi @vickyjeanmochi
Jeffrey Vincent Parise @jeffparise
Blaine Fuller @blainefuller
Ryan Fuller @ryfuller
Alaska Lynch @alaskalynch
Production Designer/Producer: William J O'Donnell @w.j.odonnell
Director of Photography: VIIISION @tunnelviiision
Camera/Grip: Donnie Hobbie @dongorhob01
Editor/Post-Production Supervisor: Dimitri Alexander
Kyriakos Colorist: Alex Iseri @alex_iseri
Production Assistant: Adam Wagner @rengaw32
Production Assistant: Ronald Nguyen @ronaldthenguyen
Best Boy: Angel
Special Effects: Rene Diamante @today_at_the_office Safety:
Brandon Fuller @brandonfuller.art
POST-SHOOT CONVERSATION BETWEEN FILM DIRECTOR BLAINE FULLER AND AURELIEN LEVITAN
Aurelien Levitan: How much of your original creative concept for Mr. McQueen’s was inspired by Tokyo Lucky Hole’s Sound and Lyrics?
Blaine Fuller: The song is very cinematic on its own. It plays out in four parts and when I heard it, I knew I wanted to make a film around the song.
Aurelien: Your inspirations for the film Alexander McQueen and Steve McQueen were both rebels who broke all the rules and by doing so, they forever changed their industries and became leaders. Do you see this as bad behavior?
Blaine: The lyrics were written by me and they were inspired by those gentlemen. The film is not inspired by either of them, however. They were notorious bad boys in their industry. Steve McQueen always played the hero with a slant. He drove cars too fast and would take girlfriends from other men. Alexander was known to press boundaries in fashion with disregard for the norm. It was so perplexing at the time that a guy who was known for gowns made of trashbags to then be the creative director of Givenchy. He tried to conform in his own way, but was still seen as an outcast in the fashion world. After his initial Givenchy show, considered a failure to some, he embraced his eccentricities and made some of the most groundbreaking fashion shows of all time, encorporating robotics, performance art and other 'no-nos' in the industry to cement his name in history.
Aurelien: Alexander McQueen embraced the artist he truly was, at that moment of his life, I appreciate that. About Steve McQueen, racing was the guys passion, he quasi directed “Le Mans”, the 1971 Lee H. Katzin feature film Le Mans. As far as “taking girlfriends from other men”, nobody owns anyone, so I don’t believe that you can take something that doesn’t belong to you. Also, if a girl leaves you for some other guy then she probably wasn’t happy in the first place. I’ve been there, it sucks, it’s probably the worse pain you can feel but there is a great life lesson to learn from heartbreaks. Learn from your past mistakes and failures and try not to fuck it up next time around. The greatest lessons that I’ve learn come from my biggest failures. The thing is to acknowledge and accept the past, learn and keep at it doing the best you can. I probably make mistakes on a daily basis. Let’s keep on learning. What’s the biggest failure that you have learned from?
Blaine: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking another guy’s girlfriend as long as he’s not one of my boys.
Aurelien: Agreed, as long as he’s not one of your mates. What does take risks mean to you?
Blaine: Believing in yourself.
Aurelien: This is one of my favorite quotes from Jim Morrison: “Each generation wants new symbols, new people, new names. They want to divorce themselves from their predecessors.” At this very moment in history and in this political climate, what do you think that we need in order to better lead the next generations of leading voices to better future?
Blaine: Better future in general like marching toward utopia or better future for the arts? I can't speak to politics. I have never made any political works.
Aurelien: You can, and you are involved in politics. When you write and direct a film like Mr. McQueen, you are aware that your film is going to be seen by millions of viewers around the world. I love the film, I appreciated your directing skills, VIIISION’s visuals, the pace and the story line. I appreciated the satirical humor and sarcasm and anyone from our generation and younger generations would pick up on the sarcasm. There are guns involved in the film, the behind the scenes photos don’t pick up on the satirical humor featured in the film and this could easily be mis constructed. Right there, by choosing to have guns involved, as an artist, you are involved in a huge debate and concerns about gun control.
I idolize the films that were made by The New Hollywood in the late 1960s and 1970s and the music created then, I get inspired by most of them and I steal from the artwork created then. I spent the last three years of my life figuring out a new and innovative way to create a two-dimensional interactive global platform for artists to unite through creativity. I study The Scientific Method but, in the end, it is about creating a similar movement then the one our parents were involved in, a new movement, for a new generation born in a digital era.
Blaine: The decision to have guns in the film shouldn’t be a reflection on whether guns should be legal or illegal. Guns are more metaphorical in films than literal.
Aurelien: My favorite films are gangster movies, I’ve already watched Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas 4 times this year. Every time Scorsese is asked why there is so much violence in his films, his has the same response: “he grew up in this environment. Another example is Eminem getting grilled in some media for using derogatory terms in some of his lyrics when talking about woman or the gay community: “he grew up in that environment.” At the end of the day, Eminem is best friends with Elton John who helped him recover from many damages.
I’m a hybrid. My country of birth is France, my country of adoption is The United States of America. I grew up surrounded by American culture and I’ve lived in the US for 15 years. I still don’t understand, nor do I agree with the right to keep and bear arms in the United States is a fundamental right protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, and by the constitutions of most U.S. states. However, you said it yourself, “guns represent danger, a threat to life and death”. Gun violence is increasing every year in the United States.
I firmly believe in freedom of speech and I strongly respect everyone’s right to express themselves and voice their opinions without censorship or restraints.
It all comes down to education, however, do we want our kids and future generations to be brought up in an environment bought out by NRA and tobacco lobbyists?
Are we spending billions of dollars every year on a bulshit war on drugs when we could be spending it in education? Is the LAPD here To “Protect and to Serve" are are they more concerned about feeling their quotas. Should future generations of leading voices all be brought up in a safe environment. It all comes down to education and given equal opportunity and receive a good affordable education, whatever district, race and or religion?
The reason why I am raising these points is about our responsibility and our duty as individuals to make the carefully thought through decisions when it comes down to the messages that we are trying to convey through our respective art mediums and artistic expression. From the writing to the directing and final editing of Mr. McQueen, what was the most exciting part of the creative process?
Blaine: The most exciting part is being on set. It's like robbing a bank or going on a suicide mission with some of your friends. You bond, you take the loot, you run, you celebrate. The energy level is very high on my sets. I've been told it's hard to tell who is in front of the camera and who is behind it on my sets because we are all dressed funny and all jumping up and down, holding weapons, and yelling.
Aurelien: What originally led you to pursue a career as a film director?
Blaine: I wanted to make things as a child and very early on asked for a video camera. I like all art and the only art form that I have discovered that has allowed me to express and produce in every medium of interest to me--from fashion, design, music, and photography--is film.
Aurelien: I loved GI Joes growing up. What message are you trying to convey through your creative artwork?
Blaine: I am not trying to convey a message. I am trying to escape this nightmare we live in by creating fictional universes that are more exciting or interesting to me.
Aurelien: Your creative work, directly or indirectly, is inspired by our environment, what nightmare are you referring to?
Blaine: The nightmare is not living the fantasy painted for you in story books.
Aurelien: I grew up smoking weed, reading Victor Hugo, Sartes, Simone de Beauvoir, Brett Easton Ellis, Jay McInerney, Tenesse Williams, biography’s screenplays and… I forget what else I was smoking too much weed. What did you grow up reading?
Blaine: Books were forbidden in my house growing up. My father would beat me if he found out I was reading.
Aurelien: How does music inspire your creative work and what are you listening to at the moment?
Blaine: Music is the bass line to my creative process. I am currently listening toPino D'angio. My friend and colleague, Weston Razooli, showed him to me a month back.
Aurelien: Can you please give me your feedback on the first treatment of REGENEREATED: “THE MAKING OF DAMAGED”?
Blaine: I think it's a really spectacular idea. It shouldn't be hard to execute, and I think it would be a great way to promote Damaged Magazine. You can touch people with this story and you can hook them with the hot models in the magazine.
Aurelien: Thank you for your kind words I appreciate it. The original creative concept for REGENERATED came to me organically. It is about the last three years of my life creating Damaged / Goods. How I overcame a near death experience that left me paralyzed and isolated for over a year and half. How I learned to communicate with the world and live again using my own magazine and digital tools. It is about my own personal journey of self-empowerment and it is an extension of the constant learning journey of our lives. And if my story can elevate and encourage the audience, then I believe that it is worth making REGENERATED.
What's your damage?
Blaine: There are videos of me as a kid acting like I just escaped the insane asylum. I was just born like this.