Updated September 12th
Fathers of Football is a forthcoming film, officially described by director Bradley Beesley as a “documentary that follows the triumphs and struggles of life in a small town, where football is not only the brightest stage but also the best ticket out.” Through September 14th Beesley is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund completion of editing the film, color correction, licensing and mixing the sound, other legal fees and the creation of its original soundtrack. Not just any soundtrack. Beesley writes on the Kickstarter page that The Flaming Lips will “be key collaborators, creating a uniquely Oklahoma soundtrack for the film,” adding to a score by Marcus Thorne Bagala – an accomplished TV/film composer and This American Life contributor (see his credits on his website and IMBD).
Beesley explained to The Future Heart what the Lips and Bagala will add to the film:
“I was talking to Wayne Coyne recently and I asked if he wanted to contribute to the film and he said that he’d love to so there’s a couple of scenes that I’m saving for the Lips. Marcus is going to do the more atmospheric arrangements and the Lips will be working on the more bombastic scenes.”
If you’re thinking, “but I could care less about football…” keep in mind this is a film by Brad Beasley, he who has mastered bringing oddball Americana to life on the screen. Safe to presume, premise aside, it will not be a “football movie.” Which is to say it will be a “football movie,” but also much more than just that. Plus – new Lips music! Note that Kickstarter pledges of $15 or $50 include a download of the Lips and Marcus’ music for the film.
The Flaming Lips involvement is no surprise given their long history working with Bradley. Most of the Lips classic music videos from 1992’s “Frogs” through 2006’s “Mr. Ambulance Driver” were directed by Bradley (or co-directed, with Wayne), including all the Transmissions from the Satellite Heart and Soft Bulletin videos, “Christmas at the Zoo,” “Bad Days,” “When You Smile,” “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” “Fight Test” and others. Beesley (and Coyne) also co-directed The Flaming Lips’ sci-fi-holiday full-length flick Christmas on Mars and the Lips’ concert film UFOs at the Zoo. Likewise The Flaming Lips provided the soundtrack for quintessential Beesley documentaries Okie Noodling (about fishermen that catch catfish with their bare hands) and Summercamp! (about children at a Wisconsin nature camp). Most recently the Lips appeared in Calls to Okies: The Park Grubbs Story (about early ’80s prank callers that gained infamy in Oklahoma), and Lips musical mastermind Steven Drozd scored it with Chainsaw Kittens frontman Tyson Meade.
Perhaps most famous of all, Beesley directed Flaming Lips biopic The Fearless Freaks – its title a reference to the amateur football Wayne Coyne and his brothers played as kids.
“It’s only fitting to be working with Wayne and the band again,” Bradley says of collaborating on Fathers of Football, “considering their well-documented backyard football brawls as the Fearless Freaks!
Finally, because any excuse to share fun photos is The Future Heart way, below are two photos that are not related to film (but do involve both football and The Flaming Lips). The first shows Mark Coyne. About a year after this photo was taken Mark and his brothers began playing music together. These sessions developed into a trio (with Mark singing, brother Wayne on guitar and their friend Dave Kostka on drums) that after the addition of Michael Ivins (on bass) in 1982 morphed into The Flaming Lips (with Mark as their initial frontman). In the second photo (by photographer Josh Welch) Wayne and Steven play football circa 2012 with coaching legend Barry Switzer and then Thunder star Desmond Mason. (Sidenote – in an unforeseen twist, Josh has recently become a reality TV star on Bravo’s Sweet Home Oklahoma).
So there we have it. Help fund Fathers of Football’s Kickstarter campaign and get fab gifts like the music from the film (or Okie Noodling), a movie poster, deleted scenes, an autographed Beesley DVD box set, tickets to games and more.
In related news, the 3rd annual Austin Music Video Festival will host video screenings, live concerts, workshops, panels, after-parties, and an interactive video lounge at a variety of Austin venues on September 12th through 17th. Bradley’s Flaming Lips music videos will be screened at the Alamo Ritz on September 13th as one of six featured video showcases at this year’s festival (the others being: Legendary Director Spike Jonze, CHRISTEENE with intimate performance and Q&A, Walker Lukens with karaoke and performance, Holodeck Records world premiere and after-party, and Golden Dawn Arkestra “Space Baptism” world premiere). Presented by KUTX, The Flaming Lips Video Freak Out will be preceded by a “Keepin’ It Weird” video showcase (read the full list of “Keepin it Weird” videos here) and followed by a Q&A with Bradley Beesley and a virtual Wayne Coyne. According to the festival’s’ website “this is your chance to freak out to the Lips’ insane video collection on the big screen, including a costume contest, sing-a-long, and convo with Wayne Coyne (virtual) and longtime Lips director Bradley Beesley (in the house).” Fever Dream Interactive and Weird Destiny Productions are teaming up to provide lasers, a coloring area, and other freaky surprises. The two best-dressed attendees as chosen by Coyne will win tickets to the Lips sold out show October 1st at ACL Live – where they’ll get to meet the band!
Visit the screening’s eventbrite page for more information and check out its official poster below: