Many people remember the cult band Union Carbide Productions from parties and night clubs in the Gothenburg area in the late 80s and early 90s. After breaking up, the band became the successful The Soundtrack of Our Lives, featuring front members Ebbot Lundberg, Ian Person and Björn Olsson.
Now, more than 25 years later, the history of the band and the time in which their story plays out is presented in a full-length feature documentary film.
'The 1980s was an exciting and dynamic time in Gothenburg with all the underground clubs and an exuberant music scene. Society underwent a major change, from collective to more individualistic and the guys in Union Carbide were a part of that. Many bands wanted to conceal the fact that they came from the upper middle class, but Ebbot and the others wore the fact that they came from Askim and Örgryte as a badge of honour,' says Hans-Erik Therus.
The film, with a planned length of about 70 minutes, consists largely of video recordings from the band's glory days and includes recent recordings after the band reunited in 2016 and interviews with the members of the band.
The film's producer, Hjalmar Palmgren explained more about the work behind the film.
Where did the idea to do a documentary about 'Union Carbide Productions' come from?
'The idea for a film about Union Carbide Productions came from a different project that Hans-Erik Therus did with Björn Olsson, who was an original member of Union Carbide. Hans-Erik discovered a wealth of recordings on VHS, super 8, 16mm and Beta tape,' explains the film's producer Hjalmar Palmgren.
'The original members were in the process of getting the band together again. And with the archive, there was a unique opportunity to alternate between past and present and that became the start of the work on the film. Over time, it has intensified and changed, which is usually the case with voluminous material.'
What are the major challenges involved in this type of project?
'One challenge is that new material arrives all the time. That's obviously good, but it also takes a lot of time, especially in consideration of the various formats. We have digitalised a lot of material that we don't know whether we'll use simply for the fact that we wouldn't dare to throw out people's private original material.'
You are also working with crowdfunding during the process. How is it going?
'A film about Union Carbide Productions can succeed with crowdfunding because there are so many people out there who are interested in the music and the band, but we have also found that it is rather difficult to succeed with crowdfunding, so we are waiting to launch our campaign.
Many film projects that launch campaigns on Kickstarter (the crowdfunding platform that we will use) only work with digital payments to their financiers. Since we are also appealing to the band's fans, we also want to offer physical objects that are more difficult and expensive, but will seem more exclusive for those who are prepared to help fund our project. We have worked a great deal on the film's facebook page, because we believe that it is important to build a community around the film before we launch the crowdfunding campaign.'
When will the fans get to see a preview of the film?
'We plan to be finished some time during the first half of 2020. It would be fantastic to have a premiere at Way out west or a similar event where film and music meet. The film is made for the cinema, but we have not decided how it will be launched. Eventually, it will also appear on SVT's K special in a one-hour version. Of course, we hope that the film will also appeal to an international audience, since Union Carbide was an influential band in many countries.