In 2006, Cardiff-based independent television producer ROB FINIGHAN approached Andy McCluskey with the suggestion of an OMD documentary. With OMD reforming it seemed the right time to capture a picture of the band as they returned to both live performances and recording. In 2007, Rob discussed the decision to make the documentary and the process of production.
Why did you decide to do a documentary on OMD?
I run my own TV production company and, although I regard myself as lucky to work in a very interesting profession, there are times when you have to make shows that the commissioners want and not necessarily the ones you want to make. I was trying to work out what sort of programme I would like to make when the news began to break that my favourite band of all time were getting back together. I knew straight away that the story of OMD was the one I wanted to tell.
Were there any stand-out moments for you?
It has to be the first rehearsal at the Pacific recording studios last year when Andy, Paul, Mal and Martin played together for the first time in donkeys years. The day was plagued with technical problems and they didn’t really get going until the afternoon but when they did – wow! They started with Messages and the atmosphere in the room was electric. I think the band were really delighted that they could still do it and that they still got a buzz out of doing it.
Is there footage that you would have liked to include, but couldn’t?
Andy once rang me from America to tell me he was standing looking at the Enola Gay. That would have made a nice sequence.
Has the feedback from the band been positive?
The reactions of both Andy and Paul to the rough cuts have been one of the things that has driven me to get the film finished. They had some very positive suggestions for a few tweaks but overall they appeared very happy with the story I’ve told and the music I have chosen to accompany it.
Were Virgin very helpful in the making of the documentary?
There are some people at Virgin who have bent over backwards to help me but, as an organisation, well, what can I say? – It’s big and it’s about making money.
Has the making of the documentary made you look at OMD in a new light?
Of course. I have had a peak into the raw mechanics of how a band works, a nose around back stage if you like, but far from being disappointed, I have come away with even more admiration for what OMD has achieved (and continues to achieve). All four members of OMD couldn’t have been more helpful and supportive during filming.
Is there any update on plans for a TV showing of the documentary?
I am going to a TV festival in Cannes which is just a big market for buying and selling TV shows and I intend to push very hard. The problem is that, for some reason, music documentaries aren’t that popular with TV executives these days (that’s not to say they are not popular with viewers of course). I am hoping that the continued OMD activity over the coming years will trigger someone’s interest and we’ll get it out somewhere – though never in the long form on the limited edition of course.
Copies of Souvenir – The OMD Documentary are available here: www.omd-dvd.com
This interview originally appeared on the Official OMD Website on 22nd November 2007.
Original interview by Paul Browne
Revised text 31st January 2014
Publications that have featured his contributions include Electronic Sound, Metro, Japan Update Weekly, J-Pop Go, Wavegirl and The Electricity Club.