The Music Factor is a documentary by the talented Manchester based Director of Photography Mike Staniforth. The documentary is based on the unsigned Manchester band The Mantells, who have been given the task of seeing how far they can get in the music industry in 17 weeks, the same amount of time it takes an unknown X-Factor contestant to go from a nobody to international fame.
The full documentary will be available to watch exclusively on Clowdy at midday on December 13th 2015. See the trailer below and read an extract from Mike Staniforth’s blog about the making of the film.
“It had been two years since the release of my debut documentary, Shelter, when a good friend of mine approached me with an idea for a short movie. Chris Ridgway is an old colleague and a radio show host. We met for a catch up in the summer of 2014, over a couple of pints Chris told me a story about how many CD’s and demos he gets in his pigeon hole at work. He tries to play as many of them as he possibly can but sees that 99% of these artists, no matter how good, just haven’t got a chance to be listened to by the masses. He went on to say that all of the music that gets sent into him is miles better than anything he hears on commercial radio and on TV shows like the X-Factor.
So he wanted to make a film showing how much good music there is out there and how you don’t need to be told what to listen to every Saturday night. Especially from some glorified karaoke singer. Then we thought what if we show how unrealistic these shows are, the viewer only gets to see the contestant rehearsing a song they didn’t write, shows them turning up and stepping out on stage. It doesn’t show the real side, the side where the true artist struggles to juggle a full time job, studies, rehearsing, writing, self promotion, carrying their equipment to the venue, getting ripped off by promoters, staying until the end to pack up their amps and playing to 5 people in the crowd. Then still getting up the next day to do it all again, because they love their art. It doesn’t matter to them if they play their song to 2 people in the pub or a venue with 250, they do it for the love of music. Now we don’t want to paint everyone with the same brush, some people do it for the money and fame, as some contestants on the reality shows have the best intentions. But the people running the show don’t.
With this in mind we came up with the idea of a 17 week challenge. See how far a band could get in 17 weeks, the same amount of time the X-Factor runs for. One person on the show will go from nothing to National fame and Christmas number 1, on the other hand we wanted the band to see if they could write, record and release a single, self promote it and see what happens. Really give it a good push. Now obviously we were realistic and knew that we wouldn’t be challenging for the number 1 spot, thats been done before, so we thought aim for the top 100, however unrealistic it is, give it all you got. But take into consideration everything will be done out of your own pocket; marketing, promotion, rehearsals, studio time. This isn’t provided, this is expensive.