Crimes of the Future

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Ronald Mlodzik; Tania Zolty; Jon Lidolt; Jack Messinger; Paul Mulholland; William Haslam; Stefen Czernecki.

The first one was Stereo and we shot it in black and white. The second one was Crimes of the Future, shot in color but with no synch sound. It was all voiceover that was added later. It was a dreamlike narrative spoken by various characters in the piece.

The soundtrack of Stereo was incredibly simple. It was really only one track with narration. In Crimes of the Future, I actually expanded to two tracks. There was total silence in between the narrative. I didn't realize that I had stumbled onto one of the most powerful and maybe unknown taboos in filmmaking—silence. Everybody thinks somethings gone wrong with the projector if it's suddenly silent.

There were screening rooms in Toronto called the Backstage I and II. I remember screening Stereo for the man who was programming those theaters. The opening shot of Stereo was actually kind of elaborate. It involved a helicopter that descends from the sky and brings the main character down to a mysterious set of buildings, which, in fact, was Scarborough College. It had just been built and was very modernistic at the time. It was a visually spectacular shot for an underground film that cost about $3,000. The guy asked me where the sound was. I told him it was coming, and he got up and walked out, and that was it. That was my screening. It was the first of many disasters in my films. I realized that the world of underground filmmaking was one thing, but the real world of films was another. When you actually charge money for someone to come and see the movie, well, that was a whole other thing. So that's why I had two soundtracks on Crimes of the Future. A narrative track and a music-and-effects track on the other.

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