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South By Southwest 2014 Interview – TAKE ME TO THE RIVER director Martin Shore

Take Me To The River - At SxSW 2014
by Jason Whyte

“Take Me to the River is an inspired adventure to where your music came from. What inspired and influenced the world's popular music. It all came from one place. A place of origin. Memphis and the Mississippi delta. Where the spirit of American music was born and still lives. Come find out why you should be proud to be an American and how we gave the world one of it's most precious cultural gems, popular music.” Director Martin Shore on TAKE ME TO THE RIVER which screens at this year's South By Southwest Film Festival.

Is this your first SxSW/Austin experience and are you going to attend your screenings?

No and yes.

Your favorite barbecue/food in the city?

TexMex of course!

What do you love the most about showing movies in Austin and Austin in general?

It's a music centric, young, hip, intelligent community. Austin is a world community.

Tell me a bit about your background and how you became a filmmaker. Also what have you worked on in the past?

Musician, making music for films, producing musicians, then producing soundtracks, but it all comes back to catching the bug when I was PA at 14 on a documentary called “Punking Out”.

How did this whole project come together from your perspective?

It was a call to action when Isaac Hayes, Willie Mitchell, Alex Chilton and Jim Dickinson all died within a 12 month period. We knew we had to do the project.

What was the biggest challenge, or challenges, in making the film?

Getting the sessions together, but probably just going through 3500 hours of film to make the final product.

If you had to pick a single favourite moment out of the entire production, what would it be?

I would say that STAX music academy kids learning a song they didn't know on the floor and recording it all in 30 minutes was a pretty special moment.

What keeps you going while making a movie? What drives you? How much coffee?

The vision and the passion keeps me going. The spirit of accomplishing what you set out to do. I don't drink coffee, but have been known to have an energy drink now and then!

I would love to know about the technical side of the film, your relationship to the director of photography, what the movie was shot on and why it was decided to be filmed this way.

It was shot digitally, and wouldn't have been possible to shoot on film. We needed as many cameras as possible to capture the live recordings of the music in studio.

What are you looking forward to the most about showing your movie at SxSW?

The audience reaction. The reaction of my peers and fellow filmmakers. And the next stop is Nashville International Film Festival.

Alamo Drafthouse and Paramount theaters in Austin aside, if you could show this movie in any cinema in the world, which one would you choose and why?

I think we already did, at the Skywalker Ranch. Maybe Lincoln center.

What would you say or do to someone who is talking or texting during a screening of your film?

I haven't seen that happen yet. But obviously it's impolite.

There are a lot of up and coming filmmakers both at SxSW and reading our site. What would you want to tell them if they are aspiring to become a filmmaker?

To make sure they seek their vision and to be clear of what they are tying to accomplish.

And finally, what is the single, greatest movie that you have seen at a film festival?

“Hustle and Flow” at Sundance. 

This is one of the many films screening at the 2014 SXSW in Austin, Texas between March 7-15. For more information on the film’s screening, point your browser to

Jason Whyte,
Twitter: @jasonwhyte / Facebook: jasonwhyte / Instagram: jasonrcwhyte

link directly to this feature at
originally posted: 03/11/14 01:43:49
last updated: 03/11/14 01:44:20
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