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Certifiable - Universal

THE POLICE: interview
with Jordan COPELAND



-an exciting interview with the director of the Better Than Therapy documentary

Jordan... does this name reminds you one of the most influential drummer in the music industry? Bingo! Jordan Copeland, whose exciting documentary film The PoliceBetter Than Therapy, has just been released recently as a bonus from the double DVD version of The Police Certifiable, is the gifted sond of former "policeman" Stewart and singer Sonja Kristina. Jordan has filmed the rebirth of a rock legend. He tells us about the secrets of a film who was not meant to be.

07/12/2008 >> index


-- extract from the documentary film 'Better Than Therapy' by Jordan Copeland, available
on the collector edition of 'The Police Certifiable' DVD --


- THE POLICE: 'Better Than Therapy' -


jordan copeland interview - 1/3

- interview by Gert-Peter BRUCH -

Why did you decide to open this film with Sting's arm and can you explain to us what this ritual is about?

That opening shot is from an interview at Sting's apartment in New York. We had finished the interview, and the film's producer Jim was discussing something with Sting's manager, and Sting was sort of half listening whilst he raked the sand in this little tabletop zen garden. I managed to go in for a close-up without anyone noticing, and got this shot that is one of my favorite in the film. It's so expressive of a certain side of Sting, and feels symbolically resonant in many ways. The picking up of the rock, and trying to smooth things out.

How did you get involved in this once-in-a-lifetime project ?

When The Police first decided to reunite after 25 years, they didn't want a film-maker involved. Sting is particularly uncomfortable with cameras, and there was a feeling that this process would be difficult enough without a probing documentary presence. However, the label did convince the band to agree to a "videographer" to produce short, fluffy webisodes for the online fanclub, and on the strength of a series of similar tour webisodes I'd made for The Bellydance Superstars, I managed to get the gig.

But how did you sell them the idea of a full-length documentary?

Once the tour started, my job was to focus on fans, roadies and scenery, but of course I had secret ambitions – the story of the evolving situation inside the band, to which I had a certain amount of access due to the family connection, presented such an unprecedented opportunity that I couldn't help but try to capture it. And I was ideally placed to do so; as I was just the fanclub videographer and not a heavyweight film-maker, they soon relaxed into the idea that my camera was everywhere.

By shooting their casual interactions, riding with them from city to city and stopping into their dressing-rooms for a quick chat after soundcheck, I was able to capture a side of all three of them that is very different from the personas invariably on display when they are officially In Interview.

We see in the film that it was not that easy for Sting, Stewart and Andy to reconnect.

If The Police have a reputation as always having been wrought with conflict, it's because their relationship is so deeply tangled, and so personal to each of them. The process of rebuilding that relationship after all these years has been a revelatory journey for all concerned, and to have been able to document that process from such point-blank range, and under such photogenic circumstances, was a pretty exhilarating adventure. I ended up with hundreds of hours of material that would never be approved for the webisodes, and when I sat down to edit this long-form documentary, it was with a moderate chance of it never seeing the light of day.

Being such a personal portrait, it addresses issues that are never publicly discussed by the band, and I was unsure as to how they'd react to this film they hadn't expected, let alone asked for. To my relief though, they have all responded incredibly well. Now that this immense experience they've all lived through have comed to an end, I think they quite like the idea of an accurate portrait of the reality of their relationship, warts & all, if only to finally silence the easy popular assumption that all their conflict was "an ego thing", and I have their full support in its release.

How many hours of rushes did you shoot?

It's hard to estimate how many hours we shot, as a lot of it is multi-camera coverage, and a lot of it is live footage. Ami and I probably shot something around 200 hours in total once we got out on the road, but that's not including the Vancouver rehearsals, on which we were rolling continuously with four cameras for almost two weeks.

What equipment did you use?

We shot various formats at different stages of the tour - our main cameras were Panasonic HVX200s shooting DVCProHD at 1080i60, but we also shot HDV on some little Canon cameras, and some NTSC DV on Sony cameras whose colours were really dry but which had an invaluable infra-red mode.


- le réalisateur jordan copeland -







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