Photographer and filmmaker brothers Frank and Tyrone Lebon are gearing up to drop a new book and accompanying film that will take us behind the scenes of Harmony Korine's new Matthew McConaughey-starring cinematic venture, The Beach Bum.
Titled Inside the Bum, the book is a limited-edition, 106-page dive into Korine's world, offering insights into the director's inimitable artistic style, his filmmaking process, and the characters he creates.
Stacked with photographs, collages, notes, Florida tourism paraphernalia, video stills, and call sheets, its pages are the result of six weeks on set, where the Lebons were given unrestricted access to wander and capture Korine and a cast that also includes Snoop Dogg, Zac Efron, Jonah Hill, Isla Fisher, and Martin Lawrence.
Before Inside the Bum's release on April 23, Highsnobiety caught up with the Lebons to discuss the project, which differs from their previous work, such as shooting Frank Ocean's "Nikes" video and clips for RIMOWA and OFF-WHITE.
The brothers discussed how the hook-up with Korine came about, their favorite image, and what it was like watching McConaughey grind around a brothel wearing nothing but tinfoil pants. Find out everything you need to know about Inside the Bum below.
How did the collaboration with Harmony Korine come about?
Tyrone: I first tried to contact Harmony in 2014 for a project I wanted to include him in, but I hadn’t had any luck. This opportunity came through meeting the producers to see if I could work as the behind-the-scenes photographer for the film. I couldn't, as the job needed a union member, but after developing a relationship with the producers John Lesher and Dylan Weathered, we were given full access to the production.
What made you want to work on this project in particular?
Frank: There were many reasons: the chance to observe Harmony making a film; working with my brother; seeing the inner-workings of a high-budget film set; spending five weeks in Miami. The list goes on and on.
Tyrone: [Korine] has been a big inspiration to both of us since I was 14, when I worked out that he had written the script for Kids. Then, when Gummo came out, it blew my mind. I’ve followed his work ever since. So when this opportunity came up, Frank and I jumped at the chance.
You said you both see Korine as an inspiration. What about his work attracts you?
Frank: The way in which he finds poetry in the chaotic madness of life.
Had you been on set in a big Hollywood production before? What was the experience like? Did you feel like a fly on the wall or was it more immersive?
Frank: No, never. Looking back on it, it was very insightful. Though at the time I felt quite intimidated, especially when I first got there. Not being a part of the crew, I didn't want to get in anyone's way. Eventually, with the help of the vibe that Harmony carried on to the set, it became easy to relax into it. By the end of the shoot, I felt like a part of the family.
Tyrone: Everyone was incredibly welcoming from the start. From Harmony, across all the crew and all the cast. I think everyone was relaxed and having a good time, so they were cool with us filming them or taking pictures.
What was the energy like on set? Do you have any stories you can share?
Frank: It just felt really easygoing and fun. There was a moment when me and T found ourselves in a Key West brothel alone in a room with Moondog [McConaughey] wearing nothing but a pair of tinfoil pants, prepping himself for the next scene by dancing around the room rubbing himself with oil. I remember T and me catching each other's eyes from behind our cameras. We were both telepathically saying the same thing to each other: "What the fuck are we doing here?!"
What was it like collaborating as brothers on this project?
Frank: I think for both of us it was surprisingly easy. Neither T nor I tend to collaborate. Learning that we are able to [work together] and enjoy the process so much feels like an amazing discovery.
Tyrone: This is actually the first time that we’ve worked like this. Frank and I have worked together in different capacities over the years. I'm 11 years older than Frank, so, you know, growing up, Frank helped me on different projects. And this is the first time we've really gone totally 50/50 on a project. We work really closely all the time and speak to each other about what we're doing all the time anyway. But even so, going into this we were slightly hesitant. Sometimes collaboration can be hard, but never at any stage on this project has it been anything but a positive thing.
What do you want the viewer to take away from this project?
Frank: I think to really absorb the project, you need to watch both the film and look through the book. I want them to be entertained, laugh, be challenged, and ultimately have a greater understanding of an artist's creative process.
Do you have a favorite image from the book?
Frank: I met my girlfriend on the set. It's probably my photo of her.
What can you tell us about the accompanying film? Is it a documentary about making the movie or something else?
Frank: It's all that and much, much more. A documentary of and inspired by Harmony's creative process.
Inside the Bum's accompanying film will arrive later in 2019 as part of publisher DoBeDo's documentary series Reely and Truly.
DoBeDo presents ‘Inside the Bum’ a book and film by Frank & Tyrone Lebon. The 106 page limited-edition photo book and the 18 minute short film documents Harmony Korine and his process on the making of his new film ‘The Beach Bum’ - starring Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill, Isla Fisher, Snoop Dogg, and Zac Efron. Available from the 23rd April. Pre-order for £35 from the publisher’s website.