“Finding Big Pink” Challenges the Original Short Film Experience

March 16, 2019

With 2018 being the 50th anniversary of the release of the album, “Music From Big Pink,” the timing couldn’t be better for releasing the labor of love that is “Finding Big Pink.”

Original album art for “Music From Big Pink”


Three years in the making, and with many obstacles to overcome, the film is finally complete. The film is simultaneously a road trip, a tribute to a great band, one fan’s interpretation of a song, an example of subversive film making, and a couple’s vacation video. The film targets a niche audience, The Band fans, and people who love road trips.

The film is currently making its festival run with 4 official selections and 1 award.

“This is just the beginning,” said Director, Lisa Tignor.

This film almost didn’t make it to the public. “It was shot in 2015, and I thought the editing was complete in 2016, but it was clear that something was missing.” Tignor
decided to shoot the equivalent of a music video and splice it between sections of the documentary.

This created an entirely new obstacle.

After hiring lawyers, she found she could not get the rights to the song “The Weight.” Tignor stewed over this, thinking she would have to dump the entire project.
Then she had an idea. “While the travel portions are a bit shaky, the cinematography on the music video sections couldn’t be more beautiful! I couldn’t let this film not be seen!” She added time cues to the film and explained in the narrative about the struggle to get the music rights.

The Band fans watching the film at home could cue up “The Weight” to its appropriate point and see the film as it was intended. No laws were broken.

Anyone watching it at a festival can enjoy royalty free music. Tignor believes this decision may have contributed to the popularity of the film. “I’m getting emails from
reviewers, even from festivals where my film was not accepted, telling me what a brilliant idea this was. I guess it’s a familiar struggle for a lot of filmmakers, and they are relating to that.”

The film stars relative unknowns from West Virginia, but David Tackett might be recognized from his live theatre work. Zach Labin, of Appalachian Video Productions, wielded the camera for the beautiful cinematography.

“Finding Big Pink” can be enjoyed on one of the numerous sites, including Independent Shorts Awards. Watch Tignor’s amazing film here.

Article written by Lisa Tignor.


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