BOOM BUST BOOM Film Q&A With Co-Directors Bill Jones and Ben Timlett – Part 3, Final

BOOM BUST BOOM opened Theatrically March 11 in New York AT Village East Cinema and was release on iTunes and On Demand March 15. It’s one of those movies that this reviewer believes will been seen – and should be seen – more than once.

From Gregg Morris, WORD Editor: This Q&A took place March 10. I’ve edited comments to try to give a narrative style to the Q&A. Such as, I edited my questions, comments when I was meandering or elaborating too much. I sometimes get wrapped up in interviews and drone on. I sparingly edited the remarks of … Co-Directors Bill Jones and Ben Timlett, basically eliminating pauses for a better read for readers. Also, because Monty Python’s Terry Jones appears in the film and narrates, I made references to BOOM BUST BOOM as another Monty Python movie which it isn’t though it’s obviously Monty Python-esque, that’s for sure.

Part 1 and Part 2.

Part 3


Gregg Morris, Editor: I think it’s the kind of movie that I would have to see three times. First, it blows you away. I get lost in great movies, you know, as if my mind, soul and body merge with the big screen. know I’m going to have to see it a second time to see what I missed the first time, and, I hope this makes sense, there’s a visceral feel that’s going on when I’m watching this. I feel like, “Ah, oooo.” Are you guys going to do a sequel?

Bill Jones: To be honest, it’s like, when the next crash happens, you just have to watch the same film. It’s all about the same thing. It’s very interesting talking about watching it three times because, when we were editing, when these guys were talking about the economy, you had to watch it three times to try and work out what they just said. They’re using jargon that we don’t know what a lot of that jargon really means, and it’s a complicated and dry subject.

Ben Timlett: But it’s so important.

Gregg Morris, Editor: You made it so exciting.

Bill Jones: We’ve been saying that this is one of the hardest edits we’ve ever had, and that is because we weren’t able to get it from what it was into the space it’s in now.

Ben Timlett: The hardest this was, as you say, was to know that we could keep the raunchiness to it. That we weren’t just going to glaze over. That was the hardest part.

Bill Jones: We were also worried that we were just giving information, and just bombarding people with information we thought we’ve got to try and put breaks in there. That’s why some of the songs are in there.

Bill Jones: Give you a bit of time to digest what’s coming, and hopefully give you a chance to catch up.

Gregg Morris, Editor: I have to to see it Friday because I need to see it on a big screen. I saw it on a [screener online]. I have a 21-inch Macintosh, but … Actually I might have to see it a fourth time, but I’ve got to see it on the big screen again, because if I get affected by something that’s just on a 21 inches, I want to see what those big images are like when I’m in that movie theater watching it.

Bill Jones: It’s amazing what shooting it was … It looked beautiful. We got to go to Alter Ego and see Monkey Island.

Gregg Morris, Editor: So funny.

Bill Jones: The animations are just so lovely, and just wonderful, and just been drawn into the when you have the Queen song, and you just … It’s a kind of mash.

Gregg Morris, Editor: People who’ve seen this movie can’t help but imagine there is a bust on the horizon.

Ben Timlett: You know there’s going to be one. When?

Gregg Morris, Editor: There’s going to be one, and it’s going to be soon. Wait a minute, this is 2016. I’m rushing things. Probably a few years from now.

Bill Jones: I’ve been saying there’s going to be a crash in 2010, and I’m right. Still hasn’t happened yet, but I’m right.

Ben Timlett: China went …

Bill Jones: The Bank of Scotland as well announced that they thought there was going to be a crash this year.

Ben Timlett: Deutsche Bank …

Ben Timlett: Chinese crashed. They just switched off the machines.

Bill Jones: They closed the market, so that you couldn’t just sell your shares.

Ben Timlett: They’ve inflated since 2008. They’ve almost made it worse.

Bill Jones: They’ve just carried on the system that crashed, but just shoved a whole lot of money into …

Ben Timlett: A kind of heroin of money, for jaunty reasons, to sort of park up the financials.

Bill Jones: To prop it up, and it’s just going to blow them down.

Gregg Morris, Editor: How long did you work on this?

Ben Timlett: A year and a half.

Gregg Morris, Editor: Audiences will be mesmserzied, and the story line is not predictable about what’s going to pop up in the next scene, and when the monkey thing came at the end, I just thought, “What a kicker.”

Ben Timlett: Did you end up feeling depressed, or did you … Did we entertain you into depression?

Gregg Morris, Editor: Okay, I was entertained. Absolutely. I was informed, amazingly, but I know people who were affected by this. I know people who are probably going to be affected by the next one, and I literally … This is a little bit of exaggeration, I could hear their cries and their screams, and all the deplorable stirrings … It’s weird to be high about this movie but it’s not fiction, you know? Even with all the Monty Python, I remember, and it’s stuff that eluded to … It was contemporary stuff that … There was fiction there. There was hope. It’s going happen, and maybe we could do something …

Ben Timlett: No, I don’t think we can do anything for the next one.

Gregg Morris, Editor: Maybe, but you didn’t completely leave the … At least [a feeling of impossible doom].

Ben Timlett: No. We very much focused on education. Trying to change the whole education establishment, and we’ve got a website, well, Boom Bust Click, and then there’s the economy website, which is all about re-education, lobbying for change education.


Gregg Morris, Editor: The economic students, those are from …

Ben Timlett: Yeah.

Gregg Morris, Editor: They’re doing something now that’s …

Bill Jones:

Ben Timlett: is the whole movement, and it’s big. It’s really taking shape, and they’re doing great stuff to try and change the way economics is taught, or at least make it broader. At least. People going honestly, or whatever, they can actually … They’re looking for problems. The moment somebody says, “That asset there is cast iron and will never fail,” they go, “Hang on a minute.”

Gregg Morris, Editor: Someone should be there with one of those big posters at Bernie’s, or Hillary’s [campaigns]… When they’re doing a debate, and [the cameras are] scanning the crowd.

Bill Jones: I remember in the UK when we had this Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, who said … This was early 2000’s, “We have solved the problem of boom bust. We no longer in a boom bust.”

Ben Timlett: “No return to the boom and bust.”

Bill Jones: “No return to the boom and bust cycle.” And I remember being quite young at the time, going, “Well, that’s nonsense.” But he couldn’t see that. He’s a very intelligent guy. He steeped in the economy …

Ben Timlett: Surrounded by advisors.

Bill Jones: He’s got all these advisors, and none of them could see it, that what they were saying was nonsense, because they were intelligent enough to convince themselves otherwise.

Ben Timlett: That they were clever enough to have solved it.

Bill Jones: If you’re clever enough you can convince yourself of anything. [Picture below by Tatiana Villiwani].


Gregg Morris, Editor: The actor …

Ben Timlett: John Cusack.

Gregg Morris, Editor: Cusack. He was in [2012, the catastrophic results of climate change].

Gregg Morris, Editor: He was in that 2012 horror movie. The world ends …

Ben Timlett: Yeah.

Bill Jones: Yeah.

Ben Timlett: Okay, I made a connection when I saw him, and I really like him, but I thought, “Jesus, he was in this horror movie, so it was fate. Is there a message coming? Don’t go to the beach.”

Bill Jones: That’s the last thing of this issue.

Ben Timlett: The end of the world.

Gregg Morris, Editor: His comment, “I’d love to deal with these economists.” He was serious, and he was dead serious. He wasn’t exaggerating. He was just …

Ben Timlett: He’s angry. You believe in his anger.

Bill Jones: Like you said, these are real events, and it’s like, a lot of these people, these economists, they’re not affected by it. They’re not affected directly by this thing, and it’s like they … They’re just not, as much as other people. You can feel this guy feels for the people. I’m sure John Cusack was not affected by it much, by the crash …

Ben Timlett: He’s actually written quite a lot about it, and he engaged with it.

Bill Jones: It’s amazing. We sent it to him, and he was unsure about it, and …

Ben Timlett: We’d read a couple of things about him.

Bill Jones: Then he suddenly sent us … The next day, he sent us an email talking about Hyman Minskey. We’d never heard of him before, but he started ringing up and was like, “Oh my God. This is amazing.”

Ben Timlett: Hyman Minsky

as a person, to me, I just think about the fact that he’s a professional writing in the 50’s, when America’s at it’s absolute top. Everything’s great, everybody’s got loads of money, and he’s saying, “No, this is going to cause a disaster.” Just being completely put out onto the outskirts of the profession.

Gregg Morris, Editor: This is one of those films that’s going to inspire others. Similar themes maybe. It just seems like it’s a big seed that’s going to be planted, and others are going to pick up on this. It’s the next …

Bill Jones: Our hope is to inspire the next people who go into politics, the next people who go into banking. We want to, in 25 years time, we want this to be the seed in their brains. The people who are then, in 25 years time, are running the country, who are running the banks, to have seen this film when they were in college, and to think about it, and then to try and help, and to try and change our system, our financial system, to work to protect the most vulnerable in society.

Ben Timlett: I think also, we want to inject a kind of moral view. This is a moral issue. We need an education system to make sure that people know that. This is important stuff. It’s not just about getting a job, or going [inaudible 00:23:40], and making sure that money earned doesn’t obscure business. It’s about these things have an affect, [crosstalk 00:23:49] and that’s really the end of Manchester students. They’re taking a moral view, and they’re saying, “What you’re teaching us is not helping, in any way, for what we’re going to be.” That’s fundamental. That’s got to change.

Bill Jones: We talk about the behaviors of people and how, if you can be detached from reality by it. There’s this thing about, if you’re betting with money, you’ll be more cautious, but if you’re betting with chips, you’re less cautious.

Ben Timlett: You’ve got to walk over there and cash your chips in, so that’s why casinos …

Bill Jones: That’s why casinos use chips, not real money. When you have these dealers, these bankers losing, they are one step removed from the money. They’re removed from who’s money it is. It’s not real money. It’s just numbers.

Ben Timlett: They can get more, ten times, 20 times more.

Bill Jones: You can feel detached and not worry so much about the real impact of it. Again, and these are all blocks which are problems within the system, and it’s not just one thing. Nothing is simple. It’s all complicated.

Ben Timlett: One really, I try not to be mad at them, because the inter-connectivity. We talked about the banks, that fact that they’re all lending billions to each other, and that’s not …

Bill Jones: Also, what annoys me is they hold our savings, and our mortgages, to ransom because they’re making these massive deals on … These bets, and it’s like … After the 1920’s they put laws in to separate all that, and we need other laws to stop this packaging of assets, and chopping them up and packaging them, and then spreading it around because, again, they’re just spreading the risk around, and so everyone will get affected. It’s just, no. This is a capitalist system. If you fuck up, you’ve got to fail. Capitalism.

Gregg Morris, Editor: Okay, so you’re talking about 35 years down the road. I’m actually talking about the next year.

Bill Jones: That is the thing. There are two things we won’t to do, and we might fail with both of them, but we might get one of them, and it’s like, we’ve got to plan for both. Even if we help what’s happening now, we might fail in 25 years time, because that’s what happened. That’s what Hyman Minsky says. You forget that people go away. We’ll have a crash, and then the people who’ve lived through that crash will die, and then the next people will forget about it in 50 years time. We’ve got to try and …

Gregg Morris, Editor: That was a depressing thing. Now, that really depressed me. I was like, “Oh geez.”

Bill Jones: Not learning. It’s this thing where it was like … We’ve got a story … There’s a story about the guy from one of the big mortgage companies, who’s saying, “Oh, well, we’ve got it set up that if it drops, more than 12% …”

Ben Timlett: 13 percent

Bill Jones: “13 percent and we’re okay.” It’s like …

Ben Timlett: What if it’s more than 13 percent?

Bill Jones: “It’s never happened before. Well, not since the 1920s.” I just thought, “Oh my God.” What amazes me is, that guy knew that it could fall, and incorporated it into his model system, and also knew that it had fallen worse than that, but even he hadn’t put it together. I was watching the Big Short and every time they sit there and they go, “You want to bet against the housing market. That’s crazy. The housing market has never failed.” And I’m like, “What the fuck? 1929?” It’s just like, “Prayer hands! Oh God.”

Gregg Morris, Editor: It’s opening this Friday.. Where do you go from there? The reason why I’m asking this is, if I have to do … I have a number of ways to do some interesting follow ups on this, but one would probably be maybe trying to connect directly with the students …

Bill Jones: We’ve got their system, is the students [site] … That is students from the film.

End of Part 3, Final