Originally Posted on: August 1st, 2013
Shane! Hahn sits down with Jeff Frumess, owner of Video Business Media and director of the upcoming Blitzkid DVD, 'Return to the Living'.
H-P: Let's start from the beginning, how did this project come about for you? Was it something you approached Blitzkid with or was it something they approached you with?
JEFF: It started in March 2012. But sometime before that, Goolsby posted Via Blitzkid's Facebook that they were calling it a day and that they were going to try and put a dvd together. I'd met Goolsby previously when I interviewed him for another music documentary I had been working on. I was intrigued and shot him an email asking about what he was trying to do, that I was potentially interested, and we started talking about movies like "Another State Of Mind".
H-P: Did the crowdfunding used on 'Return to the Living' enable you to do more with the DVD than you normally would have been able to?
JEFF: I'd say without crowdfunding, and more importantly without the fans, that none of it would have been possible. Crowdfunding proved that there was a demand for it. The goal was reached in 16 hours and we got double of what we initially asked for. It's an amazing tool for creative people if you have a good idea, and your humble about it.
H-P: We're one in the same in the sense that we both do one man productions. I know you can face a lot of challenges during filming and I usually film throughout one night, you did a whole tour both in the U.S. and outside the U.S. What was the hardest challenges for you during filming throughout the whole final Blitzkid Tour?
JEFF: It was definitely challenging. Unlike anything I have ever done. Touring is hard - It's like a war, so is making a movie. I have a much deeper respect for musicians and the baggage they deal with being on the road. It is a unique perspective most people never get to see. Touring can wear you down, but no matter how much fatigue the guys in Blitzkid may have felt day after day, they always showed up, loaded in, played their hearts out, loaded out, and were present for their fans - hanging out and taking pictures. Seasoned Road Warriors.
I on the other hand had never been on a tour before. I was a tour noobie trying to do the jobs of a whole film crew, along with the worries of a whole film crew. I had a lot of equipment to look after, like keeping an eye on all the cameras (sometimes 4) while trying to shoot the band onstage… They were on clamps that could have easily been ripped right off the wall amidst the chaos of shooting the band. Everything involved a time window. Time management. It was like a dance I had to learn around the schedule of the band: To set up all the cameras before they hit the stage, and try and break them down and change the camera set up to interview fans afterwards while they loaded out. And then File Management after-hours - backing up footage until 3, 4 am sometimes 5. Also, striving to always have a camera near by to capture a fleeting candid moment - it was a hit or miss. These challenges all a valuable learning experiences, that will only help me to grow and improve.
H-P: How many hours of footage did you end up with after all was said and done?
JEFF: A lot. A whole lot. I shot every show too. That's like 50 shows. But they aren't all great. There are problems shooting live bands solo with multiple cameras. Sometimes the sound guy sucks and I get bad audio. A large problem is vibrations. Vibrations from drums, vibrations from bass - low end. It shakes the shit out of the camera. Before I can even set up the clamp cameras I gotta check out what is vibrating, if i'm lucky it's during sound check, but sometimes i'm off picking my nose or shooting an interview or b-roll and miss that. I gotta feel the wood or metal or whatever the club is made out of and see how much it is vibrating, unless its stone or concrete. But stone and concrete usually means there is nothing to clamp onto except for awkward piping.
And since it's not a matter of IF your hard drive is going to fail but WHEN it is going to fail, there is 4tb and a back up of that 4 to make 8tb. Even though there is 50 shows, only a handful of those shows are worthy of being edited for a quality live release on dvd. I think the Conne Island show was one of these handful o' shows, Berlin as well. I'm glad that I shot every night and that there is 50 to pick from instead of 20 or 15.
H-P: What was the most memorable moment for you during your stint of filming for the DVD and was it something that may make the final cut?
JEFF: There were many… I hope they all find their places in the film.
H-P: I know there is interviews with the band and fans, but is there any interviews throughout the DVD from any special guests that we may recognize?
JEFF: So many bands were interviewed! The list is long- a who's who of horror punk and beyond. Even Randy Savage, The Macho Man himself said a few words! Gumby too! Man, there are so many interviews, that it kind of hurts my brain. I interviewed Blitzkid fans from California to Moscow! I have a plan though. I don't want anyone who was interviewed to be cut out completely, especially the fans. But the movie can only be so long. So at the end of every interview, (as you yourself know Shane) I have the interviewee say "Long Live The Horror". I'm gonna take every one of those LLTH's and stick em under the credits, this way EVERYONE is included and can be in the film! So If YOU said "Long Live The Horror" to me on camera, then YOU are in the film!
One person in the movie you may not know, Is Chris Schaefer. He was our tour manager for the European Tour. Dude had been touring with bands since the late 80s I believe (Don't quote me). Hundreds of tours!! Tragically, Blitzkid's last tour ended up being his last tour as well, as he past away earlier this year. He was an awesome guy, a smart, professional, historian who wanted to always make sure the band was comfortable, had a bed to sleep in - he'd go sleep out in the van. I find it remarkably profound that I shot footage on his last tour and that some of his essence lives on in our tapes, and I hope there are some good moments where I can find a place for him in the movie.
H-P: Now that filming is done, where are you at as far as editing and getting a final product finished for 'Return to the Living'?
JEFF: Right now I am logging footage. I spent a lot of time cutting together the live Conne Island show (which I just finished) for those who pledged on Kickstarter. There is still a few things that need to be shot.
H-P: What has been the toughest challenge for you during the editing process?
JEFF: It's one thing to turn on a camera and shoot, and shoot, and shoot, but a completely other thing to turn all that footage into a working film. The editing process is a lot more complicated than people think. A lot goes into it. Editing IS the making of the film, it is not just some after thought. That's when the writing takes place. If a movie is the same as building a house, then shooting footage is like growing and then chopping down trees. Building the house from that wood would be like editing/post production : Logging and capturing/compression of dailies, syncing audio, sifting through terabytes of footage, assembling the narrative, graphics, sound design, mixing, mastering, DVD Menu authoring… There is a lot to do.
H-P: Will there be any special features included on the DVD?
JEFF: TONS. There is so much random stuff that is funny or silly - It will all find a happy home i'm sure.
H-P: What can fans of Blitzkid expect from the finished product of the 'Return of the Living Dead' DVD?
JEFF: I hope they can find a cathartic, definitive film about a beloved band going out on the road one last time. My plan is to make it one part road movie, one part concert film, and one part band history. At the end of the day, I will try my best to bring something great to the fans of this band. Goolsby and I have been brainstorming ideas about packaging and extras. One thing we both agree on is hidden Easter Eggs. There will be a bunch of good stuff. There is nothing better than buying a dvd of a film I love and see that it is chock full of goodies! Troma movies are like that, Kevin smith films too. It's important the fans get maximum bang for their buck.
H-P: Is there a release date set yet or at the very least a tenative one?
JEFF: I have an Ideal (A goal) of when i'd like to have a rough cut. December would be nice, but I won't promise a deadline unless I am 100% positive I can deliver. Depending on certain factors, the average documentary can take a long time to complete.
H-P: Well, that's about all I have for you Jeff. Is there anything else you would like to add?
JEFF: Thank you for having me Shane, thank you and Horror-Punks for the continued support. You guys are awesome at what you do. Thanks to Goolsby and Blitzkid for taking me out on the road. If anyone has anymore questions or inquiries regarding the film or anything else, they can shoot me an email at Videobusinessmedia@gmail.com or visit the site at www.videobusinessmedia.com. Subscribe on youtube!!! http://www.youtube.com/user/VIdeoBusinessMedia
H-P: Thanks for sitting down with us Jeff, we wish you much success now and in the future!
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