BLURRED LINES, 12min,. UK, Recreation
Directed by Corry Raymond
As musician Robin Thicke reaches fame and critical acclaim for his hit record Blurred lines, he is sued by the Marvin Gaye family estate who claim he stole the song.
In 2019 I was inspired to write a short film about something I have been passionate about my entire life- music. Having parents who were both music educators, I grew up listening to stories about the music industry; tragedies of how innocent artists had their fortunes stolen by ruthless businessmen.
That’s why in 2014, when Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were being accused of stealing the Marvin Gaye song “Got To Give It Up” in their hit song “Blurred Lines”, I watched with a keen interest. As the trial continued over the years, with it’s many twists and turns, I set out to tell this story as a narrative piece; Blurred Lines, the title of the song and the film, both ironically describe the blurred lines between inspiration and copying.
This is a film about artists. It’s themes discuss what it is to be musically gifted. Blurred Lines, being one of the biggest and most infamous hits of all time, had the Midas touch of someone musically gifted… but who? Was it Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, or was it Marvin Gaye?
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I was inspired by my dad's lecturers that I would observe growing up. My dad ran a music course and would lecture on the music industry and famous song plagiarism scandals, so when the Blurred Lines trial happened, I watched with a keen interest. As more stories came out during the trial, it felt uniquely suited to me as a storyteller as it combined my love of music and legal dramas.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
I had a first draft in 2018 and came close to getting it made several times, before finally shooting in the end of 2021. Over two years, it went through many drafts, and the casting took roughly a year. Simon Connolly, who plays the Gaye estate's lawyer, Richard Busch, was the first to be cast roughly a year before filming. All of this for just two days of filming, but it was worth the wait!
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The biggest obstacle from the very beginning was casting. I knew I had to find a cast that could convincingly portray the real life people - and it wasn't just Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, but the legal team and the cast of the music video as well. A few people said to me it wouldn't be possible, but in the end, I found the perfect cast of people. Perfect not only in terms of their acting skills, but as collaborators as well.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
Since submitting to festivals, I've become addicted to checking my emails in the morning to see if there's any news. I checked my phone in the early hours of the morning, waking up early for a shoot, and was so thrilled to see the feedback video. They picked up on the key themes and even some hidden details, which as a filmmaker, make all the challenges of making a short worth it.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I've wanted to make films since I was 12. My parents have great taste in movies and introduced me to thinking critically about film from an early age. I would absorb all the behind the scenes features, which is the foundation of all the techniques I use today.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
The Social Network by David Fincher. I go back to it every couple of months to study it again.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
Newsletters are so valuable. One email which collates all the opportunities, such as competitions, funding opportunities, recommended short films, interviews. I love a good newsletter.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
FilmFreeway is fantastic. Quick and simple to submit to festivals; I can't imagine what it would be like without it!
10. What is your favorite meal?
Rissotto. The best.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I'm working on a follow up to Blurred Lines also set in the music industry, following an influential artist. I have a comedy pilot too which I have been working on since the start of lockdown; each of these have some great parts for actors, so I'm really excited for what's next!