Oly Ralfe Answers Bleeding Cool’s Questions About His Mighty Boosh Film, Journey Of The Childmen

Though Oly Ralfe was not available to speak to me about his Mighty Boosh documentary, Journey of the Childmen, he did answer some questions by e-mail.

His answers were very brief, so I feel they’re best presented in full like this.

BC: The film shows a fictional version of where Noel gets his ideas from, but the film stays away from giving any real indication of how the Boosh create things…

OR: I think just watching the film does give an idea of how they create. They’re always making things up together for the hell of it and that’s the source of the Boosh’s comedy.

BC: There are some references to the party lifestyle of the guys, but nothing overt. Why not?

OR: There are some things I couldn’t film or I’d get punched! Some things are better just suggested.

BC: We see Paul King, the stage show’s director, a couple of times and hear him talk but he’s never introduced or put in any context. Why not?

OR: It’s an observational film based on what I saw. Paul wasn’t around that much during the tour. It revolves mostly around Noel and Julian and also Rich, they were my focus.

BC: What do you see as the subject of this film?

OR: The subject of the film is capturing the Boosh as people I knew, floating through a storm of popularity and having fun with the creative freedom the film offered.

BC: There are some scenes in which the audio is very… unclear. Was it ever a temptation to subtitle these scenes? Is there any material that couldn’t be used for technical reasons like that?

OR: I filmed it myself with no soundman. They didn’t want anyone else there. Inevitably the odd off-camera comment may be quiet but the main audio is fine. It’s the pay off for the intimate style of the film and it is a film that may be worth watching a couple of times to pick up on all the dialogue.

BC: How do you think this film compliments the DVD of the Future Sailors tour?

OR: It shows the other side of the coin but I don’t think it has anything particular to do with the Future Sailors DVD. It’s a different piece of work – it’s a lo-budget film based on my relationship with them. It was about capturing natural situations. Also there are animations and fictional scenes I made. In a way my film is the opposite of the stage-managed, big production values of the touring show.

BC: If you could do it again, what would you do differently?

OR: Nothing particular, it is what it is, although you always learn a lot as you make something. Next film I make I’d like to complete more quickly.

BC: How did being a friend of the Boosh guys affect their representation in the film?

OR: Hopefully you can feel our friendship in the film and people have said no one else could have made this film apart from me.

The Mighty Boosh on Tour: Journey of the Childmen is available to own on DVD now. I’m sure you can tell from reading between the lines above that it’s a very low-key, low-budget, drifting affair. The following trailer makes it look an awful lot more polished and tidy than it actually is, but will also give you some idea of how intimate the access is – at least when there’s nothing punch-worthy going on. The bottom line, of course, is that Booshmania makes this documentary relevant to an awful lot of people, many of whom are seen in it, screaming and swooning.

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