Questions & Answers.
Q: How long did you film for?
A: Our team shot Elephants in just under two weeks, 12 days of filming in total. We worked non-stop, morning, day and night to make things happen, with production meetings at the start and end of every day to ensure the team was ready for what came next. It was a beautiful and inspiring process, for everyone involved had an equal stake in the project. There was a true element of passion, from the boom operator to the script supervisor to the gaffer and so forth, almost as if an electric feeling ruled every room we were in.
Q: Where did your musical influences stem from?
A: On a whim, we decided to take a trip to New Orleans to help flesh out our original idea for what would eventually become Elephants. Once there, we happened to sit in on a performance by an amazing jazz band, The Roamin' Jasmine, and we pretty much fell in love from the get go. The band's music inspired us to finish the script and in the midst of pre-production, we reached out to ask if we could use their music within the film, given the influence their songs had on the final product. Fast forward 6 months and their songs now comprise the majority of our soundtrack. Even more fitting, The Roamin' Jasmine album that we pulled from happened to be recorded while members of the band were going through a breakup, so it mimics much of the film's storyline. It’s art on top of art.
Q: What’s next for The Chameleon Effect?
A: We're thrilled to announce that our recent TV pilot, Served, has just won the award for "Best Cinematography"at this year's ITV Fest, in addition to being nominated for "Best Pilot" at both ITV Fest and Long Beach Indie Film Festival. Alongside continuing Served's festival run, we are also developing a number of script ideas for our second feature film and completing post production on an upcoming web series, Leading Lady on top of shepherding Elephants toward distribution.
Q: What do you hope audiences take away from the film?
A: At the end of the day, we sought out to ask questions more than anything else, and all we can hope is that audiences will reflect on their own lives after watching the film and ask those same questions. We left the ending ambiguous for a reason, so people can see their own relationship within the movie, connect with the characters and ultimately, draw their own conclusions.
Q: What inspired the story of Kate and Lee?
A: Luca and I (Alex) had finished production on our TV pilot, Served, and after bouncing ideas back and forth about what project to pursue next, we ultimately settled on a feature film that would have Luca in a lead role and me serving as writer/director. As for the subject matter, both of us were at crossroads in our respective romantic lives and had noticed a trend amongst our peers. People seemed to be staying in relationships that stunt their growth as individuals, rather than those that allow them to flourish and as such, we wanted to create a story that begs the question: how do you if someone is right for you, or rather, if it's time to move on? We all sacrifice to make a relationship work, however the real question is whether or not the person you're with is helping you become the best version of yourself or hindering you from reaching that potential. Is it because of fear, nostalgia or genuine love? The story of Kate and Lee explores these themes and many more.
Q: What movies would you compare this Elephants?
A: Since Elephants is a relationship film at the core, there's quite a bit of drama wrapped up in the story. Yet, I'd like to think we ride the comedy-drama line and blend the genres wherever we can because that's life, that's authenticity and that's a relationship. Highs and lows, gray instead of black and white. Our goal was to humanize a tumultuous relationship while still having as much fun as possible. In the end, we'd compare Elephants to a mix of Blue Valentine, Before Sunset, 500 Days of Summer and Like Crazy.
Q: What is the significance of the film's title?
A: The title Elephants came together quite organically. Whilst developing the script, we decided to give Kate's character a favorite animal which would then allow us to include relevant artwork throughout the film. After doing our research, we learned that elephants have a strong sense of self - allowing them to be empathetic and thus relatable - in addition to having great memories. In the movie, Lee's character reminds Kate that he also "remembers everything" about their past, making it difficult for the pair to either grow together or party ways. On top of this, the concept of there being metaphorical "elephants" in the room is often relevant in the story, for the subtext of much of the dialogue is often as, or more important than what is actually being said.