You Instead: David Mackenzie's new movie captures T in the Park 'energy'

The latest movie from prolific Scots director David Mackenzie, You Instead, is set at T in the Park, and tells the tale of two musicians who get handcuffed together. At first they have a very antagonistic relationship, but over the course of the weekend they start to fall for each other.

David, who directed Hallam Foe and Young Adam, has spoken to STV about the film, which was filmed during the 2010 festival with a skeleton crew of staff. The film recaptures the spirit of music and by the end you will want to grab your tent and immerse yourself in the experience.

He said: “I’ve been to T in the Park a few times before but I’ve never actually stayed the night. I’ve gone for a day but I haven’t actually experienced the campsite before. I kind of knew a little bit about what to expect as I’ve been to another couple of music festivals, and then when you go there for the length of the festival you’re immersed in the whole thing. We [me and the crew] were there a day early so it was for four and a half days. We were filming pretty much the whole time, it was pretty full-on.

“The idea of creating a movie in a live environment which isn’t a controlled environment is really interesting because you have to go with the flow of things, you have to have a plan and you have to be prepared to adjust the plan to deal with circumstances.”

The film stars Natalia Tena, who played Nymphadora Tonks in the recent Harry Potter movies, and Clash of the Titans actor Luke Treadaway. Both are actors as well as musicians, and that was on of the reasons they were cast. David said:

“All of the actors in the movie had to be completely immersed in their character because we were moving so fast, and they obviously had to trust me and the whole process. They were absolutely amazing, and I think the performances are incredible. They are who they are throughout all of it and they’re great young actors with fantastic energy and super talents. I’m really happy to have worked with them.”

T in the Park attracts 100,000 revellers every year keen to get drunk and have a good time, and David found it to be a challenge to film the movie, albeit an interesting one. He said:

“There’s something incredible about the idea of catching the energy of a live event, particularly something as exciting as T in the Park. That was not only a unique part of taking the film on but once we actually started doing it, it was one of the great pleasures of making the movie because we were just tumbled by everything that was going on. It was fantastic just rolling with the punches and being creative and taking advantage of opportunities.

“Almost all of the interactions of the crowd change the movie in a way because we’d been doing a lot of filming behind the scenes and suddenly finding us in the middle of it was a completely different atmosphere, and your actors are interacting with the world around you. There were a couple of scenes where I jump three stages in the narrative because I saw an opportunity to join one scene to another with the great circumstantial action.

“I think that T in the Park is one of the biggest characters in the movie, and it’s sort of obvious that that’s how it should be. The Festival is the thing that all the action grows from. We were camping in our own little compound and working for most of the night. Four and a half days at T in the Park stone cold sober was quite interesting and of a different mindset. A lot of people wanted to let their hair down and do all of the things they’re doing at a festival, and working there for long hours you’re there but you’re on a different plane to other people, and that’s kind of interesting.”

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