(Pictured L to R) Randy Frykas and Jeff Newman
Randy Frykas, Writer, Director, Editor
Immersing himself in music and new media gives Randy Frykas' work a sense of tension and pace that has served him well on numerous nationally broadcast documentaries and series. As comfortable behind the camera as he is in the edit suite, Frykas' body of work is impressive and varied.
Having edited over thirty documentaries, including the Gemini-Award winning 'Hockey Brawl: Battle on Thin Ice' (CTV, 2006), 'Sabrina's Law' (Global Television/NFB, 2007) and 'Polygamy's Lost Boys' (Global Currents, 2006), Frykas has fused words and images that are at once moving and provocative. In early 2008, he edited the 'Reconcile' music video for Sights & Sounds (Smallman Records), meticulously bonding thousands of photographs to create complex animated performance and storyline sequences.
In creating 'Call to Arms: The Story of The Royal Albert', Frykas saw a way to communicate the invaluable contribution a dingy, low track hotel has made to the music scene both locally and internationally.
"The Albert and the people that go there deserve a lot more credit but it's been the same situation for years, it isn't new. It should get more credit, but will it? Probably not and that's ok."
Making 'Call to Arms' required a willingness to step back and allow The Albert's story to emerge through the experiences and emotions of those closest to it. Frykas deliberately allowed the character of the place dictate his direction, rather than limiting himself to predetermined ideas. The result is a raw, unrepentant story as gritty as the icon that inspired it.
Most recently Frykas completed production on the Comeback Kid 'Through the Noise' DVD. Directing and editing the 'Live in Leipzig' concert portion, the DVD was released world-wide in October 2008. Also included on the DVD is a one-hour biography documentary entitled 'Our Distance', which he edited/co-wrote.
Frykas is a musician who has performed on The Albert's legendary stage several times with bands Doc Brown and Charlie Company, but currently favours his career as a freelance editor for 9th Avenue Media in Winnipeg.
Jeff Newman knows a good story when he hears one. His professional journey has taken him to blood-soaked hockey rinks in the Gemini-Award winning 'Hockey Brawl: Battle on Thin Ice' (CTV, 2006), the crashing surf of South America in 'Breakbound' (OLN, 2007) and the bright lights of Broadway in 'Kyle Riabko: The Lead', (Bravo, 2009).
So when Newman was approached to produce the documentary 'Call to Arms, the Story of The Royal Albert', he knew he wanted in. The chance to bring the legendary, iconic punk rock den to life on television was a rare opportunity not to be missed.
As a writer, director, editor and producer, Newman has spent more than a decade capturing the unique, the bizarre and the beautiful qualities that bring his subjects to life; experience that lent itself well to 'Call to Arms', an unapologetic homage to a rundown rock grotto credited with launching bands from the obscure to the infamous.
"The Royal Albert is of a dying breed", says Newman. "Most of the world's legendary punk clubs have closed their doors, and with each one a piece of music history is extinguished. It's time to talk about how important the place is, the careers it's launched and the culture it preserves. At The Albert, people feel a sense of belonging and they're utterly passionate about it. There's a sense of ownership among the bands and the fans that comes across so clearly in 'Call to Arms'."
Newman lives and works in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he operates his production company, Nüman Films. He himself graced The Royal Albert's stage with his band Debauchery in the late 1990s.