Not only content with being a wonder-cure for hungover folk across the land, Relentless Energy Drink wants to offer the world something even more special. 'Short Stories' is a fantastic project they present which offers a place for young film makers to dazzle the world with stunning five minute snapshots of cinematic talent. One such snapshot is 'The Road', a fascinating insight into the life of one of this country's most exciting songwriters, Frank Turner. It's a documentary debut for James Henry, an East London based film maker who has taken this year's 'Short Stories' theme of 'focus' and moulded it around a man who allows him to really expose his character and his essence on camera. It's a really engaging piece of cinema, and we were very pleased to be given the opportunity to chat to both James Henry and Frank Turner and find out more about the ideas and production of 'The Road'.

R13: Hi chaps! First off would you like to tell our readers at Room Thirteen a bit more about this project? When I heard the theme was 'focus' I assumed you meant focus on Frank Turner as an artist, which it does, but it also seems to mean what makes you focus as an artist as well and what keeps you doing what you're doing. Fair assessment?
James: Yeah, my idea was to make it more Frank's focus and what drives him on to keep doing his thing. We hopefully captured that and got that across.
Frank: It was very much James' project and I think there are a lot of reasons why I'm driven and I think they came across really well.

R13:What was it about Frank that made you want to use him as a subject and what was it about James that made you feel able to let him ferret around your life for a bit?
James: I think one of the first things that drew me to Frank became the subject of the whole film really- looking at his touring schedule over the last few years. He has that element of being driven. He's not just someone who makes an album and then just does a few shows around the country, it's almost non-stop touring. I think especially coming off the back of a hardcore band then switching to folk music- it'd be very easy to just go to another hardcore band and sign to somebody. It's that determination to say 'I'm going to do what I believe in' and that resolve to do something different and stick to it.
Frank: Well I must confess when we first met I wasn't entirely sure what the project was about, then I watched a few entries from last year which was more about sports people and the standard was really high. And then I met James and he was just a terribly nice chap! I'm pretty happy with the end result. It makes me feel pretty bad ass. Its quite a decent advert for what I do. It's funny, 'cos I don't try and project an image to the world but if I had choose a way I was presented to the world that would be quite close to it.
R13: It's like an extended trailer for 'Frank Turner: The Movie'.
Frank: (Laughs) Yeah, I suppose! I'm pleased with it.

R13: Last year's winning entry was stunning. Did it bring back that feeling like when you're at school and someone's brought in a project that's so good it makes you panic?
James: (Laughs) I wouldn't say I necessarily looked at it and panicked, but it was definitely a bar that had been set. It was a case that we had to hit it or there was no point in doing it. It was never a case of 'oh, that's good but I think ours will do alright'. It was like well, that's theirs, let's try and match that and hopefully do better.

R13:Frank, as someone who has never been afraid to surrender themselves lyrically, was this an extension of this attitude or was it something different?
Frank: A little bit. It was actually quite nice for me to do the interview sections. Basically there were two parts to the film; the show where James and the crew came and filmed that was fine- once everyone gets in the room I don't even notice. But the interview section that we did was actually nice as it allowed me to get in a bit more depth and philosophical about things as opposed to 'how's the tour going?' 'It's alright'. It was nice to get a bit more holistic and philosophical and to talk about things in a little more depth than I get to do in interviews.

R13:One word that Frank can't ever seem to get away from is 'troubadour'. Is this a theme being built on or expanded away from?
Frank: It's better than the word 'minstrel' I suppose.
R13:Bit medieval that.
Frank: I'm not really against troubadour as I am somebody that moves around a lot and plays a guitar! I just think that activity in itself could be something considered more profound than it might sound. At the end of the day I'm not saving lives or being a brain surgeon... I am essentially just dicking around with my guitar but it's just something I do quite a lot.

R13: Five minutes isn't a very long time. I'm assuming there's plenty of footage that ended up on the cutting room floor? Was there any that was particularly hard to see not make it?
James: Yeah there were some bits, a few of the interview parts and soundbites that were really nice. Frank's tips for sleeping on the road were pretty good- shame to lose those!
R13: Care to share so they get published somewhere?
Frank: Ah, like making a pillow out of your shoes and stuff like that. (Laughs)
James: There was some really nice footage as well which is sitting on a hard drive now. It was quite hard at times to cut things but we just had to be quite focussed and quite brutal. There were a lot of shots I would have liked to included but there were definitely shots you looked at and thought 'that's definitely in' or 'definitely not in'.
R13: Must be hard to let it go though?
James: Yeah, but the nice thing was that it was a tight schedule. We cut that in three days, so the good thing was that although I was a bit precious about it, I didn't have time to be too precious about it and I think in some ways that probably helped.

R13:James I understand you were in music video making before this project came along. What is it about music do you like translating into visual media?
James: I think everybody, will hear bits of music and think this is a visual that would go really well or it's like a soundtrack to your life. It's nice to have those ideas and match those visuals with music. It's nice to bring something to the music on the visual side and make something that feels like it was always part of the music. Like when you see a live album with a live video its like they were always meant to be together.
R13: Is it like reading a text must be to some screen writers?
James: Yeah there's certain music you hear and you think 'I've got to do something with this'. You hear music everyday; there's always going to be something going on around you music wise. Its one the most prevailing forms of media and I think to then be able to match it up with some visual and to bring something to it is a great thing. And if you do it well its an amazing thing.

R13: Frank if you could watch a five minute snapshot like this on anyone's life who would it be and why?
Frank: Off the top of my head, Nick Cave. I'm endlessly fascinated by him and his creativity which seems to be boundless. And he's the only person that seems to have skipped the middle aged shit period that everyone seems to do. You know what I mean? Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen...they all had a middle aged shit period. Whereas Nick Cave, at the exact time he should have had a middle aged shit period, to my mind started releasing his best work and that's really interesting. I wish to study it and learn more about it- how he managed to skip the shit electro album. He's one of my heroes and I'm actually engaged in a long term project to try and meet him and track him down...
R13: That sounds a bit stalkerish... track him routing through bins?!
Frank: (Laughs) It's like in 'Star Wars'. You know when Luke goes off to find Yoda to train him to be a Jedi? Its like that.

R13: If that guy with the big deep voice who does cinema trailers all the time- do you know who I mean?
Frank: (In a perfect impression) 'THIS YEAR...'
R13: That's the one! If he were drafted in to narrate a tagline for 'The Road' what would you want him to say?
Frank: It would have to include the words 'this year'. I think it'd be a little weird having a trailer for a five minute film.
R13: Indulge yourself!
James: In that case then just 'THIS YEAR'...!
Frank: Yeah I'd be happy.

R13: If you want to squeeze it in on the end of this... hows the new album doing? Is it nearly complete? How well cooked is it- does it need to go back in the oven?
Frank: I literally just got sent through the final mixes a few minutes ago. The last ones that came through were very nearly done but there were a few tweaks that needed fixing- there was a glockenspiel line that had to go, wasn't right, and there was a gang vocal that needed turning up. But yeah, it's good I'm pleased with it. I cant wait to get it released to the world. Unfortunately it wont be available to release until June...well until some arsehole leaks it on the internet. Which they will!

Thanks to both James and Frank for talking to us. 'Short Stories' is a fantastic project and you can head on over to to see 'The Road' for yourself.