PETER LYNCH is the director of Cyberman and Project Grizzly, one of the most successful Canadian documentaries of all time, and has a varied background in arts, multimedia, new media and music videos. He also once worked inside the Masonic Temple as an elevator operator, making him the perfect director to handle Lioness at the Concert Hall.
LL: Give us your “elevator ride” pitch: the concept for your film in three sentences or less.
PL: Three bats descend from Yonge Street upon the Concert Hall! Actually, on a real level it’s a story about the band Lioness conjuring their memories of the historic Concert Hall as a music venue and Masonic Temple. It’s about how rock ‘n’ roll and pagan worlds fit into their music.
LL: I understand you once worked inside the Masonic Temple yourself: What surprising thing did you learn about the building from this shoot?
PL: Well, we had no access inside the building. So not being able to film in there freed us up and we started bringing in archival material and Masonic imagery – we took a more mythological approach, not tied literally to the architecture. This was really exciting for me because it was my way of expressing their relationship to it. We took it beyond architecture into the realm of imagination.
LL: What’s the secret to making a film that looks good on both a mobile phone and big theatre screen?
PL: Not to under-estimate how much you really need a good story. The characters still need to be good storytellers with something to reveal. Then to make it graphic, but just because it must translate small doesn’t mean you should have all close-ups. In the long shots find something that registers. Everything must be fluid over time.
LL: This was your 4th City Sonic film. What would you say is your favourite thing about making films for this series?
PL: I would say the insight into the artists, to get to their personal stories and the emotional quality that musicians use to transform memory and space. The filmmakers were given the freedom to be bold and to play. More generally, being a Toronto boy it was a chance to combine two of my loves: music and Toronto.