Tag Archives: melody nife

Interview with Artist Dave Asher at Chicago Filmmakers

Dave Asher as Melody Nife in SCI FI SOL

Dave Asher as Melody Nife in SCI FI SOL

Friday Night VOLUME at Chicago Filmmakers kicked off it’s 2014 run with a January jam-packed with ray guns, video game car chases, super hero dance battles, and an album of music the Chicago Journal called, “a brilliant slice of bedroom pop, infectiously catchy and rough around all of the right edges”.  All of this, courtesy of featured attraction SCI FI SOL, the music video fantasy adventure.

The final screening packed an especially rare whollup, as it was announced that the original album of music that inspired and scored the movie would, in fact, not be heard.  Instead,  the movie was played alongside the upcoming new album by Sci Fi Sol creator Melody Nife.

Joseph R. Lewis interviews Dave Asher, AKA Melody Nife, AKA musical director of legendary Chicago comedy theatre iO and artist behind the music of Sci Fi Sol, the music video fantasy adventure.
Recorded live on January 31st, MMXIV as part of Friday Night VOLUME, a series programmed by Jake Weisman at Chicago Filmmakers.

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How to Make an Epic Movie on a Shoestring

BACKGROUND~
SCI FI SOL is adapted from the album of the same name produced in 2003 in Amsterdam by indie electro-pop wunderkind MELODY NIFE.

Originally conceiveLuv Ur Shade TRAX ICONd as a soundtrack for an imaginary science fiction epic, SCI FI SOL (The Movie) was a dream nearly abandoned before MELODY NIFE met underground moviemaker JOSEPH R LEWIS while they were both touring the United States performing educational theatre for schoolchildren.

JRL & MN began a close friendship and occupied idle times by discussing what a possible SCI FI SOL movie adaptation may look like.  After many years of daydreaming, they agreed to undertake the mission of creating “the most epic no-budget science fiction fantasy of all time.”

SCI FI SOL was shot as a silent movie and uses the original album of music, played from beginning to end, as the entirety of the movie’s soundscape.  It is being released online for free as a music video adventure series and you can watch it RIGHT HERE wheneva U  want.  Trailer below:

NOTES FROM JRL~
“Getting Loaded” is my fave song on the album.  I think it’s one of Melody Nife’s very best tunes, and out of a catalog of hundreds – that’s something.  I’d always thought it had an eerie anthemic quality, like good Pink Floyd.  When we went into production, I reserved it a special place in my heart and my mind.

QUEEN B XOXWriting sessions usually consisted of Nife talking, me listening, and then me saying back to him what I heard.  He often disagreed with what I had to say.  In this way we were able to quickly discern our disparate ways of thinking and conceptualizing material.  I would take the ideas we dished about and write out sections of the screenplay and send them to him and we would argue and then I’d rewrite and then we’d argue less and eventually we weren’t arguing anymore.  Time-wise the writing process went pretty quick, maybe 5 months from start finish- But we went through more drafts than any script I had ever written before.

For instance:
Nife kept talking about these images for “Getting Loaded”:  students rising from their desks and walking out of class, empty offices like deserted ruins,  throngs of people spilling out into the streets and heading toward the beach.

Since the goal was to make an epic sci-fi movie without money, I would mull over the images Nife suggested and distill them down to their emotional content.  And then I’d just wait until I thought of something that would 1) express the same emotion 2) fit in the world 3) be possible.Emily Tunnel

For me, the song was about needing to separate from the world that is, and pursuing a world that could be.  Freedom, I guess.  Since we couldn’t do big crowd stuff or expansive exteriors due to our resources,  I thought it would be a good idea to magnify our focus and show scenes of individuals experiencing this captivity.  This was how I usually side-stepped the “problem” of not having much to work with:  Instead of shrinking the idea down I would magnify the focus and give my performers the responsibility  of creating the feeling of bigness and epic-itude that I needed.

Babydoll TRAX ICONI didn’t storyboard SCI FI SOL as I did with SCUMBABIES.  Each movie existed in a fantasy world, but instead of a single location SCI FI SOL took place throughout a whole CITY!   I knew that the bigness we wanted to pull off would require a completely different kind of shooting style, where my eyes would need to be WIDE open on set and always hunting for found material and the right kind of in-the-moment image that would hopefully make the movie feel like bigger than it really was.

For this reason “Getting Loaded” was particularly fun to shoot.  We shot the entire video in a single day in a single huge room.  The scenes and the images built themselves up piece by piece, and I never had any idea what it was going to look like until the cameras were rolling.

XOXJRL

THE RAYGUN SISTERS XOX

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See The Raygun Sisters in SCI FI SOL on the BIG SCREEN at the Logan Square Theatre as part of WEDNESDAY REWIND  presented by DAME KATIE RIFE.

A new Music Video Adventure each week before the feature!  Follow the adventure on Facebook for FREE TRAX! WILD TXT! SUPERHERO PIX!  & COOL VIDZ!

Wednesdays at 10:30pm thru May, 2013
LOGAN SQUARE THEATRE
2646 N Milwaukee Ave  Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 342-5555

JOIN THE FANTASY BELOW…

SCI FI SOL at the LOGAN SQUARE THEATER

Babydoll TRAX ICON

Catch SCI FI SOL on the BIG SCREEN at the Logan Square Theatre as part of WEDNESDAY REWIND  presented by DAME KATIE RIFE.

A new Music Video Adventure each week before the feature!

Wednesdays at 10:30pm thru May, 2013
LOGAN SQUARE THEATRE
2646 N Milwaukee Ave  Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 342-5555

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And keep up with all our superhero video game comic book shenanigans by following us on TUMBLR and FACEBOOK.  FREE TRAX!  WILD TXT!  CRAZY PIX!  COOL VIDZ!


XOX

NIKKI KNOWS BO

Emily NikkiNIKKI PIERCE stars as Emily, the lonely video game designer at the center of SCI FI SOL, the music video adventure series currently blasting from The Underground Multiplex.  She is an actress and improviser that has performed at such esteemed venues as The Annoyance Theatre and iO(formerly ImprovOlympic).  She has worked as a choreographer for Second City and her band, “Brunettes With Bangs” is too cool for you.  She also enjoyed a long run as producer and performer in the Reader-Recommended show “The Davenports”, an improvised soap opera about “Lincoln, Nebraska’s billionaire first family of dance”.   Her hero is Bo Jackson and she has a beautiful daughter that knows karate. Her blog, “Naked Lunches” is funny and strange, as are her tweets, which you can read @nikkinikkip

Emily Tunnel
How has living in Chicago shaped your career as an actress and comedienne?

After a class with Mark Sutton, I knew I wanted to move to Chicago to study at the Annoyance. I felt my sense of humor and his style of teaching really clicked, and I learned so much about myself and what I wanted to do. I also used to be horrendously uptight and lacked any sort of non-linear thinking. I wouldn’t say I’ve beat those weaknesses by any means, but I’ve learned to use them to my advantage rather than having them hinder my work.

What is Brunettes with Bangs?

Brunettes With Bangs is an electronic girl band consisting of four brunettes with bangs. Unfortunately, one of our members is modeling and acting successfully in LA, so we’re on hiatus right now. The other two members are pretty worthless, but our manager told us that four is the magic number when creating teen craze, so we went with it.

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How would you describe Sci Fi Sol?

It’s like jumping into a fantasy world, but with less dragons and fairies, and more megapixels.

How was your experience playing the character of Emily?

The food was amazing. The cast and crew are still some of the most professional I’ve worked with to date. I’m a rambler, so when someone approaches me and says, “We’re going to need you to do this role without saying a word”, I thought, “Like, all day, or just while we’re shooting?” It was a fun challenge and an amazing skill to learn.  I found in process that you really have to bring your own personality and self through to the character. It wasn’t about creating an Emily. I was cast because someone saw Emily in me. I just had to feel the feelings and do work, son. Thank you, Big Black Boykin.

I did have a neurotic fear that someone would notice that my hair was getting longer, or was different from shot to shot. I spent usually an hour in the mirror looking at a picture of myself and making sure the two matched. They never did, and I’m sure no one is sitting anywhere thinking, ‘Man, check out that chick’s hair – what a big disappointment that this obviously wasn’t shot on the same day!”

What’s the most exciting news you’ve received recently?

I was really excited to hear that my main squeeze was getting promoted. My only squeeze, really…I don’t know why I said that. My daughter’s kicking ass in school and karate, and is just really shaping up to be an awesome little lady. I guess everything is going really well right now. I may also just be more open to realizing the good things that are happening, and not focusing or fretting on what may or may not be ahead.
Beach

What do you write about on your blog?

I hear random conversations between two people, log it mentally or sometimes jot it down, then write a character monologue based off of one of those people.  I am fascinated by other people and how they talk to each other. I find conversations particularly fascinating because I am pretty socially anxious. I grew up in the South and I was very shy, and was always afraid that anything I said was going to be taken the wrong way, or laughed at, or might hurt someone’s feelings.  So I usually stayed quiet. I know that sounds contradictory, as I said previously that I’m a rambler, but I ramble because I’m anxious. I end up thinking, “You’re being particularly boring or confusing, Pierce. Fix this.”  So I keep on talking, and then I’ve circled myself into a place where people probably think I’m really strange.

I try to enjoy it all and keep moving forward.

We understand that you suffer from Eurotarachnophobia*. How has this affliction affected your life?

I’m positive one day it will happen, and I will have to scream my way to the ED and explain to someone that it has happened, and have them laugh in my face while I cry and pray none of the inevitable 300 teeny spiders have set up home and need to be forcefully or chemically evicted. I mean, that has to be the worst possible thing that could happen to anyone ever.

See Nikki Pierce in a new episode of SCI FI SOL each week here at TUGM or ON THE BIG SCREEN as part of Wendesday Rewind at The Logan Theatre, Spring 2013.

*Fear of spiders coming out of your vagina
Nikki as Bo

POP! NEON! SCI FI SOL!

Melody Nife & The Underground Multiplex are proud to announce the launch of SCI FI SOL – The Music Video Adventure Series!

Today’s premiere presentation is the music video “Babydoll” featuring SEXY DANCERS,  EMILY THE LONELY DESIGNER, THE EVIL BRAIN, and even cameo appearances from your favorite bumbling buffoons MATCH & STONE!

If you like music and fantasy, comic books and video games, then this will be right up your dark neon alley!

Follow along here at the Plex for original SCI FI SOL vidz, pix, txt, and trax!

SCI FI SOL COMIC XOX

The Mystery of iO Comedy Club’s DAVE ASHER

Mystery of DAVE ASHER XOX

CLICK HERE to listen to a Multiplex X-Clusive track by iO Comedy Club Musical Director DAVE ASHER!