An Interview with Jeremy Gardels: Waltz of the Eternal Symphony

Nov 22, 2011 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy
Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, New Mexico

1)      Jeremy, you have just had a movie publicly shown. What is the movie about?

The film illustrates the lives of two women, one in the past and one in the present, with similar souls and plights. Through a series of happenstance, everything the girl in the past does has a consequence to the girl in the present, and thus, inadvertently, they connect without knowing so.

2)      Who did the narration, and how did you come up with the idea?

Antony Oldknow does the narration of the film. My idea for the story came through my fascination with the interweaving of past and present through pieces of history interacting inadvertently. You go to an antique store and stumble upon an image buried for decades, only to be inspired by that image, and therefore, being inspired by the past. The person in that photograph haunts your thoughts, and you, in turn, wake their memory into living once again.  I also played with the notion of fates. One path leads you to safety and another may lead you to an unfortunate circumstance, and the series of events that occur that lead to that moment take such circuitous paths, that we’re left thinking, “If only I’d not done this” or, “If I’d only gone the other way”, etc. So, I married the two into a narrative story involving the culmination of two souls through these means.

3)      How long is the movie and is there music involved ?

The movie runs 34 minutes, and music is an integral part of the emotion of the piece. Music, to me, is in itself one of the most important characters. The visual mood is enhanced by the musical voice, and vice versa. Music has always been an indispensable value to the harmony of my aesthetics.

4)      You have juxtaposed a waltz and a symphony- is there a musical theme or why this particular pairing?

The themes in the film don’t deal with music, per se, but rather, the eternal dance of life. I chose the title, “Waltz of the Eternal Symphony” as a description of such, being that life is a symphony that we must perpetually waltz to, and when we are gone, the symphony continues eternally without us,

5)      Let’s talk about some of the main characters and the story line- why are these individuals important and what are they doing?

Dandelion Wine and Ophelia Symphony are desperate, lonely, misunderstood individuals who’ve had nothing but neglect and cruelty through their lives, and thus, are reaching out individually for a friendship they’ve never known.

6)      What were some of your biggest challenges in creating this movie?

The biggest challenge was sound. I’d never worked with sound before, and therefore, neglected it. It was because of this that I had to do many overdubs to the dialogue and the ambient noises to correct the inconsistencies. Needless to say, I’ve learned the hard way, and will from now on be paying quite an abundance of attention to sound detail.

7)      The movie is more of a visual modality and music an auditory one- did one modality have preference over another ?

I am a lover of visual aesthetics. I enjoy every shot of my films to be carefully designed to embrace the screen, a sort of ambulatory photograph or painting.  I’m also a huge fan of silent films, and I have been forever enamored with the way they can tell a story without dialogue. I feel that, if I do my job correctly as a visual director, I can achieve competent narrative communication with no sound at all.

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