Ah yes, 2001. That was a very good year if you were a Duran Duran fan. At that point, I wasn’t very active on the internet – I’d check in to dd.com once in a while and read the message boards, but admittedly I wasn’t on the boards when the first teensy whispers of a possible fab five reunion started leaking about. I couldn’t say whether or not the rumors were being discussed on the boards or kept totally under wraps. I only remember the evening I happened to check into dd.com only to find that a new splash page had been put up with five faces on it…and I wasn’t entirely sure who a couple of the faces belonged to! My brain was saying one thing “Can’t be”, and my heart was saying another “PLEASE! You KNOW who these people are!!”
Every once in a while I’ll see a tidbit for a date in history that Amanda unearthed from one place or another and I’ll be surprised. I’m either surprised that she stumbled across that little bit of trivia, or surprised that such a thing happened. This is one of those tidbits…for both reasons. On this date in 2001, rumors of rehearsals for a tour with the original five hit the internet at allstarnews.com. I’m just guessing here, but I’m pretty sure those rumors must have set dd.com alight for the first time in at least a few years, no? Anybody out there???
Today we’re very lucky to have a guest blog from none other than Fabiana Torras, who along with her cohorts from Argentina, were the winners of the TV Mania Franchise contest with their song “Just Very”. Fabiana explains all about the franchise, and how they created such a brilliant entry!
By Fabiana Torras
“The idea of the TV Mania franchise was to open things up for people to become TV Mania elsewhere, as explained on the TV Mania website. We figured people could be TV Mania by actually following our Manifesto and for fun, and actually adhering to certain principles that TV Mania has, like using samples of people talking along with rhythm boxes and sampled analog synthesizers, and then putting it all together. So you just simply apply for a license to be TV Mania. So, If you´re in…Buenos Aires, and you wanna be TV Mania Buenos Aires, you have a look and then you apply and we give you an official TV Mania license. And then you can perform, send us music and video material, remixes, anything you like, and we put them up on the site. So we´re hoping that there´ll be a lot of TV Manias around the world”. – Nick Rhodes (answering my question at a TV Mania event in Second Life)
That might just be the best answer I ever received to a question I asked. As an extra bonus, it was Nick Rhodes who answered it. On that exact day, March 2nd 2013, not only did I receive an answer to what I wanted to know on the first of the Second Life TV Mania events; I also got the name of the future franchise Gerardo, Pablo and I would apply for: TV Mania Buenos Aires. This was not an instant thing, though. We had to wait for six months for the franchise to be up and running, but at this point we all know Durantime affects side projects as well, don´t we?
Last September, as soon as the franchise was up, we applied and got the confirmation email with our name´s approval and the download links for the “Franchise Pack”, which included samples and music of the songs Euphoria, Beautiful Clothes, Paramount and I Wanna Make Films. We were in! All we needed now was an idea and time to make it happen.
Our first meeting was set on a Friday night after we all got off work, mostly to discuss what direction our project would take. To be honest, we didn´t actually meet face to face until there was a deadline; as much as we loved the idea of “being the band” and enter a contest with absolutely fantastic prizes for any Duranie, everyday life makes you so tired that sometimes if someone doesn´t push you, you just do not move (See? Limits are good!). We had to make a song or a remix and shoot some video for it, since every song you sent was going to be uploaded to TV Mania´s official Youtube playlist. And from the first moment we started thinking about our franchise project, we all agreed it had to be something related to our local TV and the video had to show our city to the world, but in a “TV Mania” sort of way.
A list of famous phrases from Argentine TV was made and we recorded about 50 at Pablo´s home (he has a little studio of his own there), but ended up using only 9 of those. You can hear the three of us on our track, along with Pablo´s wife, Cecilia, who was very happy to help. We also wanted to include samples of Nick and Warren in our song, so we asked permission to use the audios of the Second Life events to sample the guys and we were very happy to get a green light from TV Mania. There was a precious bit of Nick we were dying to use where he said “TV Mania Buenos Aires”; I mean, we just had to have that, right?
Once we chose the bits of Nick and Warren that were going to be used, we wrote and recorded the samples in English (it is my voice you hear, by the way), and afterwards we began to write the music, which was completely new. We decided not to use anything from the downloaded franchise pack and try to come up with something fresh and original, respecting the TV Mania essence. For the video, the plan was to film different Buenos Aires landmarks and ourselves in what we thought could be TV Mania-esque outfits and colours. That was how “Just Very” was born.
Now, as I write and tell you all of this, I get the feeling it doesn´t seem to be that hard, does it? But there are lots of things you need to know how to do in order to make all of this happen. It´s not that easy to make and mix music, operate a camera and film proper video, edit both music and video, and I am not counting the “standing in front of a camera” process which many people may find uncomfortable (with zero budget, little time and no volunteers, it´s you and you alone doing that!). There were many things we had to use to accomplish our goal and I am glad we were such a great team, because I know that I alone could never have done what we did as a group.
Nevertheless, being more than one person doing something together means you have to find a common ground to stand on when you make decisions, and you can trust me when I say that isn´t always a simple task. For example, when the time of sending the final song to TV Mania came some of us did not want to include the samples in Spanish and some of us did. It took us a LONG TIME to agree on that. In the end, we put it to a vote and decided to send an “Ambient Mix” of our song that didn´t have samples in Spanish. For the video of that one, we simply added some colour effects to the original one and sent both “Just Very” and “Just Very (Ambient Mix)” for approval.
A few hours later we got the news of our videos being up on the official TV Mania Franchise Playlist on Youtube, and a couple of deadlines later (the contest deadline was pushed twice extending it for 2 and a half months) we found out via TV Mania´s Twitter account that we were the TV Mania Franchise Grand Prize winners for “Just Very”.
To this day, we still think it´s a dream….which is why I’ve included this photo (a memento from the Skype session we won with Nick and Warren as result of the contest!)
Just as Duran Duran likes to do for their liner notes…we’re including a list of what we used:
Guitar: Fx Boss GT8 / digitech rp7 valve/ Steinberger Spirit guitar
Adobe Premiere (video)
Fabiana is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She´s been a Duranie since 1988 when she was 10 and loves the band, side projects (well, duh!) and mostly all the fan-tastic people she´s met because of them. She has a major in Journalism and Communications and at the moment is finishing her Community Manager & Social Media graduate studies. She works for a private university where she manages an academic department (not as fun as seeing #Duranlive!) and is looking forward for the next Duran Duran album and tour. No need to convince an angry boyfriend to let her go see them live: he is a huge Duranie!
March 18th is a huge day in Duran history for a number of reasons…but we’ll begin with the note I’m actually supposed to mention. On today’s date in 1997, John Taylor’s solo CD, Autodidact, was released through the B5 website. This CD has video for
“Feelings Are Good”. I can honestly say that I had no idea John had been working on a CD during this time – I was knee deep in sleep schedules, laundry and baby bottles for my oldest!
Additionally, in 2009, the band entered the studio with Mark Ronson for work that eventually became All You Need is Now. I don’t know about the rest of you, but after some initial skepticism (on my part), that album became one of my most beloved in their catalog. I’ll never be able to look back on this part of my life without thinking of that album or the tour that went along with it.
Lastly, and most selfishly I suppose, I think back to 2005. On this date, I sat in third row for the show at Allstate Arena in Chicago with some of my closest friends. It was the first show I’d ever attended with a group of friends, and it certainly was not my last. In some ways, it was the beginning of this journey.
An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!