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Monday, July 29, 2013

Good Good Things

Looks like I, along with about a hundred people, got to witness something last Thursday that people all over the world are clamoring for: seeing Filmage, the documentary on the Descendents/All.

I do what I can to spotlight local filmmakers with my connection to the Observer, but I wasn't expecting thousands of Facebook "Like"s and dozens of tweets about my brief Q&A with the filmmakers. I don't write for stats, but I'm well aware of them when a story goes live.

Coming out of the screening at the Texas Theatre -- which I can safely put on the same level as the original Alamo Drafthouse in Austin -- I couldn't stop gushing about the film. As in, this is a documentary that should be seen all over the world. And I'd love to see the film again.

The story of the Descendents (and its off-shoot All) is not something that could fit in a documentary like, say, American Hardcore or Hype! The Descendents might have been on one of the coolest punk rock labels in the '80s, but they were too melodic to be considered angry. All might have put out a record on a major label in the '90s, but they were not one of the casualties of the post-Nirvana/Green Day boom. The band is a story to itself, and I'm really happy a documentary on them exists. And it's a pretty definitive one at that, given the people interviewed for it.

The film looks beautiful, features a ton of great songs, and moves at a pretty even pace. Yet when the pace slows to a crawl (I won't say where or why), the film becomes much more than a retelling of a band's history. This part adds tremendous emotional depth that you rarely see in these kinds of films, especially about fast punk rock bands.

As I walked out of the theater and into the lobby, I talked with a number of people. One of the first things I said was, "I want to go home and pull out Milo Goes to College, Somery, and the All compilation on Owned and Operated." I've listened to the Descendents and All for many years, but it had been a while since I listened any of those. A great documentary on a band can make me want to listen to them again, and Filmage did just that.

I can't stress enough how good this is. While the filmmakers need to get music licensing taken care of, I hope they can commercially release this version as is. Whatever hurdles they need to get over, I believe it will be worth it in the long run.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

When I Get Old

I'm alive and still pretty busy, but blog posts may continue to be scattered for a while. In the meantime, here's a brief Q&A that I did with one of the fillmmakers for Filmage, a documentary about the Descendents. I'm very proud of these guys and happy to share what they've been up to.

Monday, July 08, 2013

When I Got Busy, Things Got Better

There's a phrase I really like and think about almost everyday now: "When I got busy, things got better." I don't interpret this as being a workaholic. Rather, breaking a cycle of frustration by doing something productive.

Taking on the part-time job that I have now, I was able to pull myself out of a regular pattern of job searching. Networking and looking for openings online are still the best ways to find something, but I kept falling into a pit of frustration when I'd receive rejection letters or no responses at all. Then I had this time to fill, but not a lot of motivation to fill it up to the max.

With the position I have now, I can spend a healthy percentage on job searching that doesn't afford me to fall into that frustrating pit. Most weeks I work less than thirty hours (last two weeks, though, were a total near one hundred) so I balance work, play, and finding a new full-time job well. And my weekends are pretty relaxing. Believe it or not, I don't find them too long or too short.

One of the unforeseen benefits I've experienced with this job was hearing the Man of Steel trailer over and over again. Superman as a character was a huge influence on me as a kid, and I was quite interested in seeing what Zack Snyder, Christopher Nolan, and David Goyer could do with the material. Hearing the minute-long trailer a (no exaggeration) few hundred times since the trailer played on a loop with other commercials, I kept reminding myself to stay busy and not be afraid to accomplish goals I set out for. I feel like I'm closer to that goal now, and I'm not so sure I'd be here otherwise.

The main thing for me is to stay busy, and I'm thankful that my job keeps me busy by keeping me on my feet. I'm not planning on donning a red cape anytime soon, but I certainly want to maximize my full potential sooner rather than later.