David Brent: Life on the Road
|David Brent: Life on the Road|
|Directed by||Ricky Gervais|
|Produced by||Ricky Gervais|
|Written by||Ricky Gervais|
|Distributed by||Entertainment One|
David Brent: Life on the Road is a 2016 British mockumentary comedy film written, directed, and produced by Ricky Gervais and released by Entertainment One.  The film stars Gervais as David Brent, a character he played in the BBC television comedy series The Office, who has a film crew that shadows him as he travels up and down the country living his dream of being a rock star. Gervais said, "This film delves much more into his private life than The Office ever did and we really get to peel back the layers of this extraordinary, ordinary man." He has emphasised that it is "not an Office film".
Fifteen years after his appearance in the BBC2 "documentary" series The Office, David Brent is a sales rep for bathroom supply firm Lavichem. His colleagues include his nemesis, Jezza, who cannot stand Brent or his jokes; however, he gets a more sympathetic response from colleague Pauline and receptionist Karen, and shares the same sense of humour as fellow sales rep Nigel.
Desperate to resume his music career and sign a record deal, Brent takes a month of unpaid leave and uses money from his pension to pay his fellow band members (Foregone Conclusion), his rapper friend Dom, Dan the sound engineer (whom he boldly offers double what he earns at the studio), a PR consultant, and many other costs, to arrange a tour of venues around Berkshire.
As the tour wears on, the band and crew refuse to socialise with Brent (unless he pays them to do so), and even make him drive behind the tour bus claiming there is no room for him. When Brent finally manages to convince a record company rep to attend a show, they are more interested in Dom's rapping than Brent's music. As the costs of the tour spiral out of control, sound engineer Dan confronts a dejected Brent, telling him to stop wasting his money. The band plays one final show, and then willingly join Brent for a drink.
Brent returns to Lavichem to the delight of Pauline, Karen and Nigel. Pauline asks him to take her out for a coffee and she takes his hand as they head out.
David Brent's characterisation
Having lost much of his status since The Office, Brent is now the victim of workplace bullying from colleagues and unlike in The Office where Brent enjoys his working life and the status it gives him, he is openly unhappy in his job and conversely is now having to contend with the effects of others' dysfunctional behaviour.
- Ricky Gervais as David Brent
- Ben Bailey Smith as Dom Johnson, Brent's bandmate. Smith sang with Gervais on his music tours and in 2013, they both wrote and performed a spoof reggae song, "Equality Street", for the charity Comic Relief.
- Andy Burrows as drummer of Foregone Conclusion
- Tom Basden as Dan, the sound engineer
- Jo Hartley as Pauline, Brent's sympathetic colleague at Lavichem
- Mandeep Dhillon as Karen Parashar, Lavichem receptionist
- Rebecca Gethings as Miriam, Lavichem's HR Manager
- Nina Sosanya as Brent's therapist
- Tom Bennett as Nigel
- Andrew Brooke as Jezza, Brent's nemesis at Lavichem
- Harry Shepherd as bassist of Foregone Conclusion
- Fiachra Maguire as keyboardist/guitarist of Foregone Conclusion
- Stuart Wilkinson as Stu Monkford, guitarist of Foregone Conclusion
- Diane Morgan as Briony Jones, PR
- Kevin Bishop as DJ at Tadley FM
Chris Martin of Coldplay, who guest starred in Extras with Gervais, recorded music for the soundtrack together with him. Andy Burrows plays the drummer for Foregone Conclusion, and wrote some original songs with Gervais. They both have written several original songs for the film, including "Please Don't Make Fun of the Disableds" and "Native American". There are some familiar songs Gervais sang as Brent in The Office, and he has also included seven or eight new songs. He said, "there's a few we did for The Office, like 'Free Love Freeway', and also 'Paris Nights' and 'Spaceman Came Down'."
On 20 October 2015, Gervais published an exclusive photo of Brent on the set of his music video shoot for his song "Lady Gypsy". On 24 October, the Daily Mail reported a first look with pictures showing Brent cavorting with a woman dressed in gypsy folk dress, while he strums a guitar. The soundtrack album was released together with the film.
In May 2016, Gervais announced that Brent would be releasing a single in July ahead of the film release, and on 8 July 2016, Gervais released Brent's single "Lady Gypsy". The David Brent Songbook was released by Blink Publishing on 11 August 2016 eight days before the premiere of Life on the Road. Included are introductions by the character, exclusive images and the tracks arranged for piano, voice and guitar. Gervais said: "This book is a dream come true for Brent...Even though this is clearly a humour book, the sheet music is real and the songs are insanely catchy and easy to play. Go and get the guitar." Gervais revealed that the album has 15 tracks, with the vinyl edition containing 2 LPs.
- "Ooh La La"
- "Native American"
- "Lonely Cowboy"
- "Free Love Freeway"
- "Life on the Road"
- "Thank Fuck It's Friday"
- "Lady Gypsy"
- "Please Don't Make Fun of the Disableds"
- "Paris Nights"
- "Don't Cry It's Christmas"
- "Equality Street"
- "Ain't No Trouble"
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||31|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)||103|
|Irish Albums (IRMA)||21|
|UK Albums (OCC)||3|
The film was first revealed in August 2013. Gervais said that he was excited to show the world what David Brent is up to now. Stephen Merchant, co-creator of The Office, was not involved in the film's production.
Principal photography began in November 2015, with Gervais directing as well as starring. Filming ran through 18 December 2015, and was shot in locations in London and Slough.
Entertainment One and BBC Films co-financed the film. Entertainment One distributed the film in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Open Road Films distributed the film in the United States, although Netflix later acquired distribution rights to the film in all territories excluding the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
On 15 March 2016 Gervais released the first posters of the film, both featuring Gervais as Brent. The film received its first official release on 19 August 2016 in the United Kingdom. On 7 April 2016, Gervais released the first teaser trailer of the movie. It showed Brent in his office interacting with his co-workers.
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