The Making of III – Episode 3: The Films

The Making of III – Episode 3: The Films


We gave our baby,
albumIII,to the perfect director
and his filter. I think that’s what was cool
about this project. And these videos were,
I think, a great medium, and I like this idea
that once you watch it, you can’t not see that
when you listen to it. [music playing] [Jeremiah] We wanna show people
that this album, our third album calledIII,
is different. How do we actually
show people it’s different?
It seemed like, wow! You weren’t trying to like
handcuff me. And that was great,
because I felt, “Well, I’m just
gonna go for it and hopefully,
you know, they dig.” That’s pretty much…
On “Action,” he’s getting backed
out. That’s the idea. [“Gloria” playing] -So, this one’s “Gloria.”
-Now this was
the first video we saw. -Yeah. Mmm-hmm.
-Correct? I loved how
this really confronted
the subject matter. Whether you liked it
or not, you have
to stare this in the eye. You know, like,
if you’re gonna
watch the video. [Jeremiah] Mmm-hmm.
Even the way
the ambulance peels out, and me and Wes,
we have a little
pop up video VH1. -There we are in the gurney.
-There we are. -The actor, Josh Close.
-[Kevin] Yup. Me and Wes were there
for probably two hours
just in that one gurney scene. -[Kevin] Josh is incredible.
-[Jeremiah]
Like, there’s a scene that you don’t even
really see it like… Right there. Josh… They were like,
“You have to leave, sir.” -And he’s like,
“All right. All right.”
-[Kevin] Yeah. -[nurse] Oh, sir,
you can’t be here.
-[man] No, no, no. -Okay.
-[man] Come on. Come on. -I’m right here.
-Come on, come on, come on. -You can’t be here.
-Okay. [Jeremiah] And that’s when
I feel like I got a little taste of like, “Wow. We’re in…” This is a film, this is not some
music video or just some thing. -Everybody’s into it.
-No, he’s very serious actor. -Extremely sensitive.
-The whole thing was serious. It just was so infectious
to be around that. We were able to
surround ourselves with
an incredible cast and crew that totally
dedicated themselves
to the project. Set and action. And filmmaking ultimately
is a collaborative effort, you know, as much as music is. And in that sense those two
are kind of analogous. [“Donna” playing] This is “Donna”
from Chapter I. [Jeremiah]
I remember getting goosebumps,
me and Wes, for like this opening shot
that’s so good. [Kevin]
There is a keen idea to explore the absurdity
of family photos
at like a Kmart– The Sears photo, I remember
you called me
with that idea. My head kind of exploded.
It was like, wow! What I love about this video,
too, is it’s almost like
the pilot of the film. You’ve revealed so much
about the intricacies
and the complexities of the characters
and the dynamics between
the whole entire cast. [man] And action. “It Wasn’t Easy
To Be Happy For You.” [“It Wasn’t Easy To Be
Happy For You” playing] I love this video, too,
because it’s like you said,
“The reset.” It’s the first track
of Chapter II
introducing Junior. Kind of gives you the illusion
that his life is sick. Making out with a girl,
smoking a doob on a truck. Later we find out
his life might not be
that sick. No, exactly.
I wanted this to be light
and have fun with it. I like this whole moment
that was happening, especially watching it being filmed
because there was
so little daylight left. There’s a bit of danger
in shooting it because everybody knew
there wasn’t another take,
necessarily. Like if she drops that jacket
or that shirt’s gonna
get all muddy, we can’t keep doing that,
it’s not gonna look right. [Kevin] I mean,
this whole shoot
was supposed to be like, in an incredible
sunset vista. Right? And then of course
it was Portland. And it was just
miserably cold and raining. And, we were in this field
filled with like sheep shit
and mud. [Wesley] And then this part, he did this a couple
times but he got it,
I think the first try. [Kevin] Adamant professional,
this kid, and like, he kinda just, at this point
he knew his character. I think this was
his last day of filming,
and you just let him go. -True talent,
pure talent.
-Absolutely. [Jeremiah] This song’s called
“Leader of the Landslide”
off Chapter II. [Kevin] This song,
really kind of lifted off
for me immediately. [“Leader of the Landslide”
playing] This moment right here,
is one of the more potentmoments in the song.I like this idea of,Junior and his mom
over-looking him.
He had this memory
of this woman,
that we as an audience
don’t know yet.
But we can kinda start to put the pieces together. [Wesley] Yeah, we’re about to come onto the scene
in our pickup trucks. This was our other cameo. I was wearing
a shirt that said, ”Your mamma’s so fat.” -And baggy camo pants.
-[Kevin] Uh-huh. -[Wesley] I was
living the dream.
-[Kevin] You looked great.♪ Drove me insane ♪♪ Drank the whole bottle… ♪[Jeremiah] I love this scene
’cause it’s almost like he,
in his mind, in his drug state, Jimmy’s almost like,
”I’m a good dad.” [Kevin] He’s trying
to relate to his son
how he can. He’s trying to connect. There’s love there,
there’s dimensionality. But he’s also completely
unhinged.♪ She left, she left ♪[Wesley] That kung fu thing
is the best.♪ The writing’s on the wall ♪♪ Please believe me ♪-[Wesley] I just took
two to the chin.
-[Kevin] Yeah, you did. -[woman laughs]
-That’s a mouthful. -How much do you take?
-[woman] Just a little sip. Yeah, just kind of rub it
around, perfect. Yeah. That looks handsome. [mock sobbing] Why? You can cheat over
a little bit. -[man 1] I see.
-Can you like,
even see the punches? From there? -[man 2] Like are they
in the frame?
-Yeah. Okay. Just come there. -Okay.
-Kinda cool. -Cross his face a little bit.
-Yeah, just a little bit. Standing over there though.
I gotta sit here
and cheat it a bit. Okay. Man, I wish, I’m sorry
we didn’t… Wanted
another angle on that. You wanted
blood spurting. I wanted blood exploding
out of your face. I really did. [all laughing] [“Left For Denver” playing] This is “Left For Denver.” It’s a call-back to “Donna.” This is a relic of history
for this character,
I think for this house. He’s a character that
grew up in this house. Never knew his grandma, Gloria. Um, but, it’s like
this piano acts as this… How do you call it, touchstone. It carries itself
through the generations. [Wesley] When I watch it,
it feels like… How do you break the cycle? One way you could say
is to cut all your ties
or to like try to forget about
these people
that have hurt you. That you love, you know so… In a way, I felt like
him lighting it on fire
is just, he’s desperately trying to not get sucked
into this vortex. That he’s seeing his dad
and his… What he heard about
his grandma go through. [Kevin] We’re at
a breaking point
with this character here, I think he’s already determined by way of just
lighting the shit on fire,
to like kind of get out, or do something.
Make some sort of brash move. He’s a kid ultimately. He doesn’t have
the best role models and we’re just kind of leaving
with the impression that probably can’t be good. -What he’s going to do, but–
-[Wesley] But he’s trying. [Kevin] But he’s
trying something, he’s taking
some semblance of action.♪ Jimmy Sparks went into bars
and opened up his mouth ♪
[Jeremiah]
This is “Jimmy Sparks”
off Chapter III.
[“Jimmy Sparks”
continues playing] [Wesley]I was really moved by
him trying
to light his cigarette.
When I watched this, I…Like actually think
he can’t light it,
like he is that injured.
You know it’s very incredible
acting ’cause…
It’s so close and he’s shaking.Nick Stahl like, I mean
just unbelievable. Like you just kind of
put the camera on, and have a few words
and just let him go. [man] Action. -[Kevin] Save that,
that’s great.
-[man 2] Okay, that’s it. [woman] All right, moving on
to something new. Awesome. [Kevin]This shot wasn’t
originally gonna last
as long as it did.
But…-[Wesley]He did
such a good job of it.

-[Kevin]Yeah, this is great.This is exactly
what it should be.
We have so little time
to tell a long story, but it makes you really
understand him quickly and like him, I think. I just, I’m not
doing it right, I think, ’cause when I’m landing,
my neck’s going like this.
It’s like… [man] Three, two, one, action. [man] Cut. You realize that
he’s a flawed person
but there’s a lot to like. [“Salt And The Sea” playing] [Jeremiah]This is
“Salt And Sea”
and it’s the final video.
This just kind of brings
everything full circle, right? You start the whole project off
with the family portrait and so, there’s a desire to kind of bookend it, with something similar. And, now we’re seeing the, the family entire. As we’ve seen them
over the course
of the whole narrative. Brought together
in this otherwise
like surreal kind of… Almost like dreamscape. [indistinct chatter] And for me, it’s a… It’s very much kind of Jimmy’s internal kind of
construction here. This impossible group photo. That kind of just like
spans generations. I love this, too,
because I mean for a film contextualization…
This is a short film, I mean, -what does it run at,
the whole thing?
-Forty-two minutes. By the time
you get to that scene, you see all the family members,
you have flashbacks of like, if it’s been
a full-feature film,
which obviously it wasn’t, but it made it
feel like that somehow,
which was so interesting. [Kevin] Yeah, you know I think Jimmy takes
the common sense he has and he’s just like
this is a chance for Junior to like just actually go,
like he was planning on. He’s not gonna try to like
hold him down anymore. [Wesley] Felt like you know,
unlike giving him the beer in that scene,
this is his chance
to actually help his son. -[Kevin] Totally.
-[Wesley] And he tries
to step up in his own… warped way,
but it’s really sweet. [Kevin] That scene
is one of my favorites. -[Jeremiah] Yeah.
-[Kevin] That’s a call back
to Gloria as well. When Gloria is running away
from everything. Running away from
responsibility. I mean the whole intent
I think here is that,
you know there is no… There is no answer.
You know, I think
that’s the whole intention. These are like stories about
the human condition. The level of nuance and detail
that you kind of hone in on
in your songs, I mean it’s wonderful.
Because it at once
can be like very literal. And at other times,
be like very figurative. And you can take it
where you want to take it. And so I think that’s why people respond to this so well,
to this album. Because you know you kind of got
something there
for anyone if they want it.

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  1. I’m literally stunned with this entire album and this entire film. An absolute beautiful job from everyone involved. I’m so proud to be one of your fans.

  2. This album and the short movie are perfect. Thank you guys for all the effort. Can't wait to see you in Berlin on Thursday ♥️

  3. Literalmente Lloré. Este álbum me abre tantos recuerdos y mi historia familiar no es la mejor pero tiene muchas encrucijadas, realmente me conmueve, me identifico de alguna forma con las historias, mi mamá, mi hermana, mi padre, recordar cómo fue que se desbordó hasta el punto de estar atrapado con la soledad. Se siente horrible y hermoso esto de ser humano. Y duele, duele mucho. Gracias por este trabajo y por la pasión. Los admiro. ( ´◡‿ゝ◡`)

  4. Honestly who even does this? Any of this? Pure artwork and then you take the time to make this behind the scenes series too? You guys are too good to us.

  5. Does anyone know if there’s gonna be anyway to see the film? I haven’t been able to go to any of the showings and I really wanna see this

  6. Didn't expect the making of III was coming. This made my day as much as the album did before. Heaps of love Lumineers!!

  7. Congratulations on an amazing journey to tell a story about the human condition and how we struggle in our own ways to overcome. Ultimately some succeed but some don't. I can say with certainty although the story does not translate to my experience I have seen others go through something like this and it captures the emotional sense of helplessness. Cried several times throughout the series at the level of sincerity the videos and music conveyed.

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