Monthly Archives: July 2011

The First Bomb Drops

So the world (well, the virtual world, at least) has finally had a chance to see Steve Tozzi’s 6-minute teaser/trailer for our little film here. It premiered at Kickstarter (if you haven’t seen or been to Kickstarter, just click here) on Wednesday July 6 as part of a funding launch to raise money for Riot on the Dance Floor’s production. And, at the risk of tripping over this huge swell of pride I feel, let me first insert a humble disclaimer for the heapings of praise I am about to mete out. When it comes to the trailer, man, it’s all Tozzi. I can’t take an ounce of credit on this one, and, for me, I don’t even feel like it’s anything I “produced.” Every time I’ve watched it (and I’m way too embarrassed to admit just how many times that is), I’ve watched it as many of you have: as a pure fan. I see it with the widened eyes of a timid 13-year old freshly wandering into a world that, for once, felt like home. So as I go on to gush embarrassingly about how amazing the trailer is, please know that it is the vision and execution of Steve Tozzi’s eye and ear that I am extolling, and not my own, self-serving ego.

Having said that… (yeah, I fucking love Larry David).

The greatest lesson I have learned thus far is to always surround one’s self with genius. It just makes you look better and forces you step up your game. I’ve done this forever. My friends are brilliant and I happily ride the coattails of their achievements. So it is with an admittedly biased skew I say that this trailer has done exactly what we had hoped it would: make viable and corporeal these deep, strong feelings we all hold for a place and a time that really defined us. We got your fucking heartstrings, but we also rocked the shit out of you and the response has been nothing short of AMAZING. We blew away our targeted goal of $20,000 IN LESS THAN 4 DAYS. Did you hear that correctly? 20 freaking grand in less than 4 days. It’s pretty damn stunning on many levels. The crew and I: Randy, Tozzi, Amy, Pete and Ken spent the bulk of the week and weekend bombarding one another with flurries of emails, calls and texts as we sat and watched the funding grow like a friggin’ Jerry Lewis telethon (although, I will say, unlike the Jerry Lewis telethon, we did it without parading a pathetic line of sick, diseased and deformed children in front of you while you were trying to enjoy your holiday…). Even my mom was texting and emailing me like crazy, as if I weren’t glued to my phone or my computer for every breathless second of that march to $20,000. I know for myself (and I expect the same holds true for everyone else) I felt just a momentary sense of relief at bursting through that monetary threshold; but, more viscerally, I felt a joy that actually made me jump up and do a Homer-esque “WOO-HOO!” I’ve never scored a touchdown and I can only imagine this is what it must feel like…

The social phenomenon aspect of it is what gets me. Ah, those crazy innernets, where would we be without them? 10, maybe even 5 years ago we never would have been able to accomplish and achieve the exposure we can get now with a few quick tweets and some witty exhorting on the book of the face. This both thrills me and scares the living shit out of me! But, as far as getting shit done; reaching the people you want to reach, these tools (loathsome as some aspects of socializing are) are mighty powerful. Just the fact that a site like Kickstarter exists is amazing in itself, and even a curmudgeonly, semi-Luddite like me has to admit that these necessary evils aren’t really that bad. In a lot of ways it is simply a digital continuation of the word-of-mouth networks that so many of us contributed to “back in the day.” This time, instead of putting rubber cement over stamps and rigging pay phones for free long-distance usage, we can simply click little buttons on phones and we are live on the world stage. We have seen contributions from people in places like Australia, Sweden, Europe… some of whom never set foot in City Gardens or the U.S., for that matter. Yet they somehow felt the same pull, the same sense of camaraderie and pride and whatever else you want to call it that those of us lucky enough to have gone to CG’s still feel. And those feelings are very, very potent, as evidenced by all the response we’ve seen in under a week.  You all have been vociferous in your understanding that this is something that needs to be preserved; that this place, music and time (and our own personal contexts contained within) is crucial for us and we are willing to pledge that most precious of commodities towards it: money.

One of the most satisfying aspects of working on this, for me, is the co-op-like accordance we’ve established. See, now YOU own this movie. This is your story as much as anyone else’s; these were your times. Your elation; your empowerment now has some significant presence in the history of what was probably the most important time of our lives. As disgustingly hippie-ish as it is, it really is a beautiful concept. As corny as a love letter: this is my thanks to all of you.

I am so proud of what we’ve done and what we are about to do. Sharing it, telling it, writing about it… I don’t care how sick of me you get between now and the time this movie is done, I’ll keep on fucking singing…


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