You may recall previous posts mentioning indie film Pleasant People here on Indieful ROK, as it stars Jiyoung Lee of I Love JH and Oh My Melodies fame. Not unlike the short film with the same name, if you can recall it, the plot is centered around singer/songwriter Jiyoung as she strives to get one of her CDs back, but she also faces other musical hardships and experiences other type interactions with friends. The full length movie has world premiere on Friday this week, and curious to find out more I set out to ask a few questions to both Jiyoung Lee and director Dave Bonawits:
How much of Jiyoung Lee in Pleasant People is fiction and how much is the real Jiyoung Lee?
Dave: This whole movie was very much informed by the way I perceive Jiyoung’s personality. I thought, “what would happen if Jiyoung broke into someone’s car?” or “how would Jiyoung deal with creative rejection?” and then it branched off from there. Of course she would never really break into someone’s car, so that’s where the comedy comes from.
Jiyoung: I would say this is a version of me in an alternate world. The main difference between the Jiyoung in real life and the Jiyoung in the movie is that the Jiyoung in the movie has way more courage. The Jiyoung in real life is a total coward who would never have the guts to break into a car. Think of Woody Allen and his movies.
You are both making good music of your own, yet Pleasant People features plenty of songs from various other people. How did you go about picking music for the film?
Dave: Most of the music in the movie comes from friends’ bands like The Sw!ms, These Elks Forever and Robes. My cousin’s band, New Motels, contributed a song. Also there’s a sweet cover of one of Jiyoung’s old songs by an Irish band called So Cow. Also there is an open mic night scene where most of the performers are actual open mic night regulars.
Jiyoung: Also we were aware of what music we chose because we’d have to pay distribution costs.
Dave: Fortunately we have talented friends.
Are there any plans for an official soundtrack?
Dave: Not an official soundtrack but I have an unofficial soundtrack on my itunes that I used to listen to all the time while writing the movie. Only 1 or 2 songs from that soundtrack actually made it into the movie. That’s a good idea though, I may ask some of the bands if they want to be on a Pleasant People mixtape.
Where should one go for a chance to see Pleasant People?
Jiyoung: You have to be lucky enough to live in a city that has a film festival that shows Pleasant People.
Dave: Right now, that is only one city. Park City, Utah, USA at the Slamdance Film Fest.
Jiyoung: We’d like to try to get some sort of digital distribution but that may take a year or longer.
I’ve been very lucky to already get a sneak peek of the movie and I loved it! It caused plenty of smiles and was thoroughly enjoyable to watch, but what’s more after finishing I suddenly found myself immediately wanting more – something that rarely occurs for me unless I’m really hooked to some TV series. It could be that I recognized much too much of myself in Jiyoung’s social awkwardness (especially during girls’ night), but the movie had such a friendly and familiar feeling. Not to mention the same charming and kinda quirky humor found in previous short films from Dave Bonawits.
While I had expected a lot more of Jiyoung’s music (and Dave’s music too, for that matter) to be featured in the movie I really liked the score, a song with the hit title Why is Scott such a Bitch (from the open mic night) in particular. I really do hope they’ll make something of that soundtrack/mixtape idea, but for now you can get that So Cow cover from here.
Check out the trailer above and don’t miss the clips below for more:
– An Insiders Look at Pleasant People
– Pleasant People Clip 1
– Pleasant People Clip 2
– Pleasant People Clip 3
– Pleasant People Clip 4