Everything Changes/Nothing Is Ever Truly Lost
Remember that time I said I was going to make a DVD? Not just any DVD, but that free DVD, for that band from Long Island, NY, that pretty much launched my directing into the wider hardcore music scene in the USA and UK? Some might laugh at that but let’s be honest, the thing I’m most renowned for is that video I put together one evening shortly after Crime In Stereo said they were calling it a day.
People still ask me about that now, and a lot of the hardcore bands I’ve worked with know me through that video. Naturally, I’m grateful to the band for letting me even have the opportunity to film them, but to be honest, we were always friends, and it was easy for us all to work together. It was effortless to capture them doing their thing, purely because we were all so at ease around one another. If you’ve read any of the above thinking ‘the dude’s bragging’, well, you’re wrong. I feel that talking about my time with those guys is something more people should know about, because even though that video shows the dedication they have, you still really don’t know everything. That was just the tip of the iceberg with them.
So after the reception of the I Am Everything I Am Not video proved to be greater than anything I could have imagined, I felt like there was room for a little something else. I had a whole multicamera show sat on a hard drive, plus footage on the road which people still hadn’t seen. Things like, that fight you see Gary and Alex having briefly in the IAEIAN video, along with various other things that really you only saw briefly. Hence forth the DVD option came to life and we announced it to you all. Things got moving, artists started illustrating and two immensely talented graphic designers began designing packaging etc. Things took a basic shape. But then, things went quiet.
I know a lot of you have been contacting me on various internet places asking me whats going on. Where is the DVD? Is it still happening? What is the status of the crime in stereo DVD? You know who you are and what you asked. Each time you’d get a brief response from me which was ‘it’s on its way’ or ‘it’s in production’. And to be honest those answers are about as satisfying as a slap in the face. So this is me updating everyone who wants to know, on everything that’s been happening.
Largely after the DVD got announced, I started having more work arriving. Lets remember that this DVD has been put together in everyone’s free time so there’s never been any income involved, and there won’t be either. The deluxe versions are designed to be cost price ‘advanced orders’, so people can buy their copy and it gets assembled. It’s a pre-order situation. The other versions will all be torrent and free shareware DVD copies. I’ll upload a torrent to the web and then leak the address to everyone so people can begin sharing and seeding. So on top of all that, I’ve got bills to pay for.
When it started out I was living on the second floor of my parents house in the south west of England. I didn’t really pay any rent. Crashburn Media operated nationally in the UK shooting music videos and tour content whenever it came in. Very much super budget, because everything when you’re running a business has to be so finely tuned. Let’s not forget that the long term goal for me is to direct major motion pictures. It always has been. So the majority of my time has been poured into increasing the company profile. So in other words, when work comes in, I take it provided it is paid/or it offers me larger opportunities. Back then it was mostly UK hardcore bands and a handful of USA clients. I was also working on all the content for The Ghost Of A Thousand, working with Jag to try and really up the bar on not only their releases but my directing. We had plans for music videos etc. Again very time consuming.
Then I had a call one morning from Shark’s manager asking if I wanted to go to the USA/Canada for 9 weeks. Naturally I took this opportunity without a second thought. Before I knew it I was on a plane heading to America with ideas on shooting an incredible documentary and music video for sharks. 9 weeks later I landed back in the UK, exhausted, ill, malnutritioned and largely looking like I’d been living in a hedge for a long time. Truth be told, it wasn’t far off the reality of the situation. I’d spent 9 weeks living off $10 a day for food, sleeping in the back of a van next to my camera. By the time week 7 rolled around I no longer knew if the things I was shooting were any good. I just kept shooting over and over.
I got back to my flat in my parents house and had no work. Nothing. I had stepped out of the UK scene for 9 weeks and effectively lost a buzz. I had turned down some work while in the states and ended up coming back to a dry spell. I had the bank calling me up asking why payments were late etc. I had to spend about 2 weeks boosting my own PR and fishing for other videos, which did eventually come in. But all in all it was hard work. I was the poorest I had ever been and probably the most depressed. You really do think at those points ‘what in gods name am I doing all this for?’ but I did keep the faith. I had seen Alex, Kristian and Wig (Eric) in Brooklyn one evening and we all had some drinks and took the piss out of each other. It was refreshing to see the guys, I remembered why I loved hanging around with them so much. They were my type of people. Straight up no bullshit guys with manners and good morals behind them.
I apologised to them both that the DVD still wasn’t out, and of course their response was something along the lines of *face screwing up* “dude don’t fucking worry about it”. They know first hand what it’s like to be a person out on the road, trying to live creatively.
So after I arrived back, sorted my shit out, I ended up trying to get things back on track and we made a little more progress. But again other work rolled in with money connected with it and a high profile. These pieces of work are pivotal because you’re being paid to do your job, and a lot of people see the results. Some of those people are in bands, and thats when you get more and more work. Some of the people AREN’T in bands and then you have avenues to other areas which shows you’re really doing well. Then I had a call from Jag Jago (The Ghost Of A Thousand). The call basically said “we’ve got a room in the house in Brighton, it’s yours if you want it”. I’d come back from America feeling fairly unsettled. A lot of things were on my mind about my life in general. I like to keep my private life private, but in a nutshell there were things worrying me which I won’t go into. Worry is a part of love, and when you love someone if they aren’t at 100% healthy you will worry. It’s the only time it’s unavoidable. However we had some news that was positive and promising finally come back, and I felt a move may well do me good. So I packed up all my stuff about 2 months later, said goodbye to my family (alone), and drove up to Brighton. Adjusting to a new city was hard. I had friends here but I had removed myself from my surfing, my family and a lot of my buddies. It was a challenge. Not only that but I actually had a full 2 and a half months worth of work roll in for The Blackout, Polar Bear Club, Foxy Shazam and Defeater. Back to back. I packed up my stuff again and hit the road. I literally had about 4 days in those 2.5 months back in Brighton. Flat out, but able to pay the bills. It was good. I finally felt like I was acting and living like a professional director. This didn’t stop after Christmas, and a lot more things came in that gave me chances which any person would dream of. One of the things being, I went to Australia and ended up co-directing a documentary around bands like Slipknot, Maralyn Manson, Limp Bizkit, Bush, Lamb Of God etc etc etc.
The other day finally I saw the opportunity for me to get to work again on the DVD. I spoke to my designers, Josh Smith (sings in the band Mountain Man, who I’ve recently done releases for) and Steven Hill (scottish graphic designer and owner of struggletown records), and both of them agreed with me it was time to really get this DVD out there. I’ve had a couple days free and I’ve sat down and finished the live show. It’s done. It’s upstairs now rendering. Next I just need to look at the footage left over of the guys on tour, and I need to spend a day putting it together into a format which will be watchable by you all. By that i mean, a sort of mini documentary in a very basic form.
Congratulations if you’re still reading this, you’ve got patience, and I completely respect that. I’ve given you all the details of what’s been going on, openly and honestly, so you can hopefully understand why this DVD is still in production. The next stages for the project now are to decide what we can put on a single layer DVD. How much content can we get on there. I say single layer because a dual layer will cost more money, and people simply won’t buy them and copy the DVD. We need to keep this easy on everyone’s wallets. I need to get someone in to build the DVD menu with me and make this look amazing. I need to get Jag Jago to master the live audio from the show (thank you Jack Goodwin for recording and mixing it). The list goes on, but all of the things are largely doable in a short space of time.
Next Thursday I start on more work. I head off up north to shoot a music video, and then Sunday I connect back up with Defeater, we do some dates in the UK and then we disappear into Europe. I get back from that and I’m directing 2 more music videos. Then I head out with Pianos Become The Teeth and direct their new video. After that I have a final day of shooting for the EVE film. Then after that I should probably take a break for a week or my brain may shut down. I will have some well overdue surfing to do and I’d like to take a little time out to just do other things.
BUT in that time off, I’ll be looking to get the final points cleared up for this DVD. Technically by next week we’ll have the content for the main part of the DVD finished. I’ll probably upload something small for everyone to see regarding what the live show is about (once the guys have approved it). But I do want to make some things clear to everyone about this DVD (I promise I will stop talking in a moment). This DVD is something that collectively was put together last minute. We turned up to the venue with just 3 cameras and somehow another production company was there to film the show as well (for banquet). Naturally we got the priority because CIS had me on tour to direct their content, but I didn’t want the other production company to just be stood around feeling like they had wasted their time. So we combined together. We were working with people I had never worked with before, and time to brief everyone in advance just was not there. This MIGHT be a crashburn media release but the show itself does NOT reflect our current position. This is no ‘Mastodon Live At Brixton Academy’ like what we shot recently. This is a punk show with people climbing over each other and the cameras. Furthermore something important must be said.
No one gives a shit where you come from and what the shows are like there. No one cares how good the show WOULD have been if it was in YOUR town. Those kinds of attitudes are not a part of this production, or CIS, or anyone who’s decent. I see it all the time on youtube and it’s something that grinds me gears. I don’t want to hear douche bags telling me that the ‘show sucked’ because someone didn’t front flip off the stage. I’m spending my free time doing this, along with my team, and we’re reflecting the attitudes of crime in stereo who are people motivated by the shows they played. Decent people coming together to have a decent time. So keep any ‘metalcore’ attitudes away from this. We want a positive vibe. This is something you put on your shelf in your room, and pull out now and then when friends come around for a beer and you want to relive a band that inspired you. It’s there to enjoy when you want that ‘nostalgia kick’. It’s there to be shared and enjoyed. We would all appreciate that being respected, thank you.
Furthermore, we need your help to get this around the globe. As soon as it goes out, you have my blessing to copy it and hand it out to your friends and fellow music lovers. Give it out in the spirit of spreading a good thing. Upload it to a torrent site and share it. You are FREE to put this on megaupload and not worry about someone suing you. I want this everywhere, for everyone. Even if just 500 copies go out world wide, I’d like to think that 500 people are enjoying it. At the end of it all, it just comes down to some guys hanging out, being creative, and keeping things real. Respectful humans with manners and decency doing things as they should. Fuck everything else in the world that looks to shit on those types of feelings.
When this DVD drops, it’s a testament to good things. When this DVD drops, do what you gotta do. But I thank you for your patience and understanding, and I thank everyone for their continued support.
Signing off, until next time we meet (and you ask me where this DVD is)……..