Monday, October 13, 2008

Out of Print

Back in December I entered a film contest for filmmakers with a body of work. I was just about to release my dvd compilation Warts & All, so it was no brainer of a contest to enter. All I had to do was pop a dvd-r in the mail. I figured I’d be on the short list of finalists, because regardless of what anyone thought of the films, the dvd-r was a hell of a package. Bonus materials, stills, audio commentary. Plus the contest was for a site calling themselves Underground Film. And let’s face it, underground is my milieu.

I was pleasantly surprised when I got the call in the first week of January that I was indeed one of 12 finalists vying for a hefty grand prize. However, I quickly realized I had not read any of the fine print on the contest rules. If picked as a finalist I would be required to make two short films in under a month for a shot at the grand prize. I had not counted on that. The first film had a theme--a short film on the current state of counter culture. I cringed. In my younger days, I’d have that wrapped up in a heartbeat. But today? What the hell does that mean to me? As a forty-something parent, living in the urban/suburban section of San Francisco, I can’t say that I have my finger on the pulse. Sure, I have some idea of what the kids dig. I read some blogs, check out some podcasts, but who am I kidding? Trying to intelligently talk about the current state of counter culture seemed like walking into some horrid trap. At least a recipe for being mocked by some hip 24 year old.

So I decided to just run with the idea of counterculture and talk about what I do know. The late 80s, and early 90s. An era of zine making, cassette trading, vhs dubbing, rare book hunting and underground movies screening in bars, squats and cafes, as opposed to being disseminated on YouTube. A marginalized sub-culture that in large part I think will be overlooked and relegated to the dustbins of history. Maybe. Maybe not. But here’s the film I made.

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