You may have picked up on how much music has been a driving force for me in inspiring me to do what I love and find the way I want to do it. I recently got a nice note from Elizabeth Agate regarding this and it is today's guest post. I finally got around to reading books like "Our Band Could Be Your Life," and just about every band singled out had a very similar message of DIY and community (concepts filmmakers really could benefit from). Here's a few quotes that mirror our current film world:
Conley from Mission of Burma writes, "Distribution was weak at best...there was no way to find out essential marketing information...it was like a new frontier, it was do whatever you can, call whoever you know. Everybody was just figuring it out for themselves. There weren't too many secrets back then--everybody was just kind of helping everybody out."
When Mike Watt talks about "jamming econo," the financial limitations the Minutemen faced forced them to record in a certain way, and to me this is what helped establish their sound, influencing other bands, even if they never reached rockstar levels of fame. "You have to be econo so when the hard times hit, you can weather them."
Rollins describing Black Flag's grueling schedule: "The thing that kept everyone living this pretty torturous lifestyle is the music was that good, and we knew it. At the end of the day, we had no money, we were scruffy, we stunk, the van stunk, everyone was against us. But you'd hear the music and know, oh yeah, we rule."
MacKaye from Minor Threat (on renting a house with other musicians for the sake of DIY record-pressing): "When something is so small and so underground, it involves everybody--not just record store owners but club owners, magazines, bands. It was in everybody's interest to cooperate."
--Elizabeth Agate is a independent filmmaker living in NYC. She most recently was accepted into Columbia University's MFA program in film directing and will start this fall.