Link to home page

Documenting the Yellow Movement

- with Chris McGill (10 with Betty Mayonnaise)

By • Jun 24th, 2017 • Category: Feature

Our writer Ms Mayonnaise has often looked to the small screen for inspiration for her writing but enough about that…

Regular readers and Scottish indie music watchers will have become aware of a splash of colour around the scene. Yellow to be exact. But what can it all mean?

Filmmaker Chris McGill has attempted to find out in his new documentary of the ‘Yellow Movement’, and our intrepid reporter attempts to put her lens to his work – an amusing and entertaining film which charts the rise of said Movement and has interviews and performance footage from all the key players including Colonel Mustard and the Dijon Five, The Mickey Nines, The Twistettes and more…

Is it a cult, or isn’t it a cult? Opinions vary, so read on…

1. What was your first contact or exposure to The Yellow Movement and what did you think?

I had heard of some of the bands from around the Glasgow scene for a couple of years but it was only when I started to go to festivals that I noticed waves of people dressed in yellow. At Eden 2016 I followed a bunch of them to the Melodrome Stage and was blown away by the bright, colourful atmosphere when watching Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5. People in the crowd were getting up onto the stage, interacting and singing along, I thought… this is interesting. Once the brass section started playing along to the jumping beats, I was hooked.

2. How did the film come about – did you approach them or did they approach you?

I approached them, we got together in a tapas restaurant after Eden and we started chatting. I had been checking out the other bands online and I was really interested in how they all related as a wider movement and what that meant for the music scene in Scotland. CMD5 were really interested in the project and were keen to get the filming started, so we arranged to start filming at Kelburn Garden Party a few weeks later.

3. How much footage was filmed and was there anything you’d have liked to include but couldn’t?

There is a lot of footage and I really wish that I could have expanded on each band more but to in order to make the story work, I had to make some tough decisions.
I am considering releasing an extended feature length version later this year. I really like the short film format because it helps to keep the film punchy and captures the energy of the yellow movement. There are some really funny moments captured that I would like to include in the extended cut. There are interviews with Colonel Mustard, Mark McGhee and Saint Cool about the origins of the Yellow Movement which I think people will like to see.

4. What is the “best moment” of the film for you?

That’s a tough one, definitely capturing the energy and the feeling of the festivals and the gigs were amazing, especially the Dijancer’s crowd surfing on the inflatable unicorn. But as far as the actual filming went, one of the funniest moments was when Lady and Colonel Mustard arrived at Mugstock festival, I decided to do a time-lapse of them pitching their tent. Sometimes at a festival it can be quite an ordeal, but funny to watch. I didn’t notice at first, but the group camping behind them caught on to what we were doing and starting to join in, moving their chairs and creating funny scenes in the background. Every time I watch it it makes me laugh.

5. Was it necessary to secure funding and how was this done?

No, basically it was a bit of a win-win situation, as a freelance filmmaker I made this film in between other commissions so it was a bit of a passion project for me. The support from the bands was great, with their help I managed to go to festivals all summer, interview cool people and party along the way. Normally I would secure funding, but this was an independent grassroots film, very much in the same DIY ethos of the movement that I was trying to capture.

6. How did the interviews go and who did them?

I did all of the interviews and filming. Keeping the production small and simple meant I had to do everything myself. The interviews went well, many of the people in the bands that I interviewed are natural performers who are confident and have something to say, so for me it made my job easy. I also think that by taking the time to get to know everyone during the interviews helped to keep things natural and let the banter flow.

7. Where do you hope this film can be shown and are there any screening dates as yet?

I am hoping to put it into quite a few festivals over the summer and autumn. No confirmed screening dates as of yet, but will keep everyone posted. Watch this space.

8. Have you decided for yourself whether this is a cult or not?

I think when people talk about cults, there are usually negative connotations. The bands have a massive cult following but there is such a positive atmosphere in the Yellow Movement that it is anything but sinister. I think its just about good music, good memories and people and bands supporting each other. I think the Yellow Movement is gaining so much momentum because its such a positive and social thing that people can get involved in.

9. And that massive O2 Academy Dijon 5 date in May?

Yes! I went to the last 02 ABC gig they did at Xmas, it was fantastic! There are also snippets of it in the film.

10. Where do you think The Yellow Movement will go next and what of the future for you, and them?

There’s a lot of very talented musicians and bands involved, so I can see a lot them going very far in the music scene. For the movement I think its a very positive thing that speaks to a lot of people in Scotland. Many of the bands are unsigned but now have huge followings, especially around the festival circuit. I really hope the movement inspires other bands and musicians to have the confidence to create something that is DIY and unique. For me, I am just focusing on getting my film and my work out there. I am also working on other projects at the moment, each of them totally different to the other in terms of themes and tones. I hope to do more video work.

This is the trailer for the the up and coming documentary film ‘The Yellow Movement’ by Chris McGill. The film follows the people and the bands that make the Yellow movement over the course of a year. Through festival circuits, local gigs and social ‘happenings’, the film will give a glimpse into the music revolution that is taking off in Scotland.

Music courtesy of: Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 ‘These Are Not The Drugs’

Comments are closed.