Green Mill Filmworks
959 Rich Ave. #13
Mountain View, CA
Attn: John Jansen
SIDE 1: THE STORY
On April 8, 1994 the news of Nirvana singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain's suicide spread across the world. At the time, filmmaker John Jansen was in pre-production for his first feature-length film “modern knife”, after spending 10 years making short films, documentaries and commercials.
The concept of “mainly ETC.” was developed the very same weekend in 1994. Designed as a companion piece to “modern knife”, the story would follow eight friends all pursuing different artistic ambitions, who reunite on the same day the news of Cobain's suicide is released. Each one reacts to the suicide in different ways. Some are fans. Others not. But the idea of a struggling artist reaching the top and then deciding to kill himself brings conflicting thoughts of ambition and stardom to the characters.
Cobain was 27. So was Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendirx, Janis Joplin and blues legend Robert Johnson. The characters of “mainly ETC.” are in their mid-20's, out of college now four years, with no new graduation in sight. The impact of the moment and nostalgia for the past, sparks the idea to take a road trip to Seattle and attend Cobain's vigil.
The film is broken up into 4 sides, like a double album.
Side 1 introduces the characters and their personal conflicts for the day. Side 2 brings the characters together where the idea of a road trip is born. Side 3 follows the adventures on the road, becoming an open forum on why we listen to music and the impact it has on our thoughts and feelings. Side 4 presents the arrival to the Seattle vigil and the emotional decisions that will change their relationships and lives forever.
Taking an ensemble approach that has traces of “Fandango” and “Return of the Secacus Seven”, “mainly ETC.” is ultimately about a group of friends who are about to break up, yet they don't know it yet. The weekend of events will turn out to be a lasting memory of a time before everything in their lives changed for good.
In the summer of 1999, a cast was put together for a 27 day shoot that would finally bring “mainly ETC.” to life.
SIDE 2: THE CAST
“mainly ETC.” is an ensemble film with over 30 speaking roles. The cast was assembled by director John Jansen and do to the low budget, all agreed to work for free.
Valerie Allen has appeared in multiple theatre productions at Foothill College and Bus Barn, while also acting in local Bay Area commercial and industrial productions. Her role as “Susan” marks her second collaboration with John Jansen after appearing as “Tetris Girl” in “modern knife”.
A supporter of creative arts in all areas, Valerie also helped recommend many of the supporting cast members.
John Hargrove is a Bay Area musician and sometime actor in Jansen productions dating back to 1985. Hargrove not only played “Stewart”, but also served as a creative consultant to the film. Duplicating a real life experience, Hargrove returned to the gravesite of Jimi Hendrix and played “May This Be Love” on his acoustic guitar for the camera and several bystanders.
Scott Manelis is a veteran of numerous Shakespeare theatre productions. He quickly found a rhythm for film acting in the role of “Tom”, who is also an actor. Scott actually auditioned for the film without ever knowing the story, later discovering that he would be behind the wheel of an RV for the 815 mile trek to Seattle. Additionally, Scott is an excellent driver with a sharp sense of humor.
Nicolae Muntean has been acting for over fifteen years and also appeared as “Killer” in “modern knife”. For the role of “Driver”, Nick called upon his own experiences in 1980, when he learned about the murder of John Lennon, and promptly got in a car with three friends and drove 300 miles to New York, eventually playing harmonica among thousands of fans outside Lennon's Dakota apartment. Nick's experiences and reflections helped ground the film into a reality shared by the entire cast.
Mark Paniagua is a Bay Area native who has appeared in “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Tommy” and “The Rocky Horror Show”. He met Jansen in 1993 while working at Sega of America and appeared as “Mark” in “modern knife”. For “mainly ETC.”, Mark returns as the same character, furthering the developments of a struggling musician and the choices that are made personally and professionally.
Carrie Rogers has appeared in both film and theatre productions during the last four years. She played an extra in “modern knife” and was later called upon to breathe life into the role of “Kay”. A week before shooting, she broke her wrist and later incorporated the hand cast into her characterization of “Cavale” from Sam Shepard's “Cowboy Mouth”.
Jessica Scott makes her film debut as “Holly”. She met the director in 1997 while working at a local video store. In 1999, she was in her third year at Wesleyan University in Connecticut when she got a call from Jansen to audition. She got the part and shot all her scenes in five days before returning to school. An avid traveler, for the road trip portion of the film, Jessica flew from the East Coast to San Francisco, traveled by RV 815 miles to Seattle, then another 815 back to San Francisco and then flew back across the country all in a 4 day period.
Ric Silva has lived in San Francisco all his life and has enjoyed the music scene for years. As “Heavy Metal Ronnie”, Silva drew upon his own feelings as a fan to create one of the more colorful characters. Ric also appeared in “modern knife” and looks forward to the further adventures of his character in the next Jansen production.
Michael Stevens hails from Texas, as does his character “Jared”. A Bay Area singer/songwriter, Mike was never a big fan of Nirvana, but plunged into himself into research for the film and discovered a new found joy in Kurt Cobain's lyrics and music. He is currently writing and recording new music of his own.
Noel Wood is a San Francisco veteran and has acted on stage throughout the Bay Area, including Stanley Kowalski in “A
Streetcar Named Desire”. Playing “Daniel” in "mainly ETC." marks Noel's cinematic debut. Noel learned to play the guitar for the film, while also investing countless hours of conversation and speculation on the ideas and themes of the film. While not acting, Noel plays piano and practices massage, which proved useful during the rigorous shoot.
Director BIO: "mainly ETC." marks the second feature length film from John Jansen. Growing up in Houston Texas, as a sophomore in high school he completed his first Super-8 film "Julius Caesar in the Twilight Zone" for an English class project. Various movie genres followed including the cop movie "Magnum", the crime thriller "Invader" and the sci-fi comedy "The Range Riders". After years of Super-8 cut and splice editing, Jansen graduated to 16mm and produced a series of short films including "Cycles" and "The Bench". Active in theatre acting and directing, he continued to balance both mediums, using resources from both for future projects. With equal interests in writing, directing, photography and editing, Jansen often works as a one-man studio to complete his films.
After moving to San Francisco in 1991 and seeking out the talents of friends, local actors and "anyone willing", he has been able to assemble together a local company of Players up for the difficult task of guerrilla film making.
In 1994, after producing a series of documentary and industrial videos for Sega video games, he wrote the screenplays for "modern knife" and "mainly ETC.". "modern knife" was shot on Super-8 film in anamorphic widescreen in 57 days over a three year period and due to the spiraling cost of film processing and transfers, still awaits to be finished. In the interval, Jansen put together a cast for "mainly ETC." and shot on Digital Video in 27 days on location in San Francisco and Seattle over three months in the fall of 1999. Together both films provide a dramatic canvas where the concept of crossing the rubicon affects the daily choices of characters, with no turning back.
An avid fan of cinema, his tastes and influences cover filmmakers as diverse as Krzysztof Kieslowski, Richard Linklater, Stanley Kubrick, Joel and Ethan Coen, Sam Peckinpah, Steven Soderbergh, John Cassavetes, Michael Mann, Orson Welles, Woody Allen, David Cronenberg, Sergio Leone, Martin Scorsese, Todd Haynes, Terry Gilliam, Atom Egoyan, Terrence Malick, David Fincher and John Sayles.
Complete “mainly ETC.” Cast Credits:
Ric Silva........................"Heavy Metal" Ronnie
Lauren English............................... Celeste
Janis Bergmann........................ Holly's Mother
Essie Hamadani.................................. Alex
Melissa Helmer......................Machine Head Girl
Tom Gough........................Infomercial Director
Kurt Brown..........................Pete the Engineer
Dave Paniagua.........................Studio Engineer
Kevin P. Kearney.................... Big Time Manager
Chuck Farrell............................Son of Samon
Jeff Cotton..............................Son of Samon
Tom Gillen..........................Teacher/Tupac Fan
Kristine Severson........................Jared's Boss
Christina Wright....................Elevator Woman #1
Joanna Lee..........................Elevator Woman #2
David Zernick...................Rock-and-Roller Jimmy
Samantha Emily Weigel...............Bart Simpson Girl
Clara Aranovich.........................Question Girl
Stephanie Fitch........................Note Passer #1
Charlotte Hill.................."This is Stupid" Girl
Geoff Ball............................Punk Rock Simon
Jay Vo............................"Got Any Bootlegs?"
Patricia Humeau Simpson..........Student Psychologist
Thomas Fahrner..............Distracted Campus Student
Shelley O'Connor........................Tired Student
Ericka King....................Bored to Tears Student
Paula Rek................Tyring to Stay Awake Student
Rylan Kirby.............................Extra Student
Mark Sherwood..............Daniel on the Run Observer
Thomas Stedman.............Daniel on the Run Observer
Andrea Edelman.............Daniel on the Run Observer
Robert Field...............Daniel on the Run Observer
Brian Kenney...............................Beatle Fan
Kathy and Zoe Kenney.............Campus Girl and Baby
with special musical guests Michael McShane, Britt
Joel Proto & Paul Roybal as the Substitutes
SIDE 3: THE PRODUCTION
“mainly ETC.” began production in the Fall of 1999, shooting 27 days in August-October on weekends. The film was shot on Mini-DV digital video and had a budget of $3,000. All cast and crew worked for free.
John Jansen served as the writer-director as well as cinematographer and editor, working as a one-man crew.
The film was shot on over 50 locations in San Francisco
and Seattle…and on the long road in-between. Locations included Height Street, Stanford University, Music Annex Studios, Belmont Video, Jimi Hendrix gravesite, Kurt Cobain's home in Aberdeen, Vinyl Solutions record store, apartments, houses, garages, classrooms, Foothill theatre auditorium and inside a grounded Delta airplane.
For the airplane scene, Jansen was given free use of the plane, with the condition that filming could take no longer than 1 hour. Up to the challenge, the cast was game and the scene was shot on a Saturday afternoon in October.
For the road trip portion of the film, a Recreation Vehicle and a convertible Mustang were used to travel to Seattle, with Jansen moving between each vehicle to collect footage. On Friday September 24, the RV left San Francisco and traveled three miles, before Jansen was pulled over by the police for hanging out of the convertible with the camera.
Only September 24,25 & 26 were available for the road trip, although seven days would have been more appropriate. For three days, Jansen worked on five hours of sleep, shooting almost half of the script while on the road. Several stops along the way provided locations for the cow pasture and the relieving nature sequences.
The arrival in Seattle at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday proved to hold several challenges. Due to traffic congestion, only one pass of the RV entering into Seattle was obtainable. Also because of available daylight, only 40 minutes were left to shoot the characters at the Cobain vigil sequence.
The campfire sequence was shot at 3:00 a.m. early Sunday morning at a campground outside of Washington. Then it was three hours of sleep before the long drive home to San Francisco, which would end at 4:30 a.m. Monday morning.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long did it take to shoot?
27 days during the weekends of August-October 1999, with 3 days of pick-up shots in 2000.
How much did it cost to make?
About $1,000 for production costs (blank tapes, misc. supplies) The vehicle rentals and gas to drive to Seattle and back cost about $2,000. All actors and crew worked for free.
Was it shot on location?
Yes. Every location in the film is a real place, no studios were used, besides the scene in the music studio. Also, all locations in the film were donated for free use.
When did the project originate?
1994. The weekend the news of Kurt Cobain's suicide spread across the world. The outline and first 30 pages were written that weekend, with a first draft script of 175 pages completed in late 1995.
How large was the crew?
The film was made with John Jansen acting as a one-man crew, with extra help from people willing to push the dolly cart in selected scenes.
How long was post-production?
The Assembly Cut was finished in December 1999 and ran 3hr20m. The First Cut was shown in April 2000 and ran 2hr15m. After shooting and adding 7 minutes into the film, the soundtrack was re-mixed and the film re-cut to its current Final Cut length of 2 hours.
Where did the actors come from?
Several are graduates of the Foothill Conservatory Program in Los Altos. Others are friends, co-workers and anyone else willing to work for free. Many are returning players from earlier Jansen productions.
Did you really drive to Seattle?
YES. We left on Friday, September 24, 1999 with the RV, the Mustang, and a pair of walkie talkies. After getting pulled over and sited by the California Highway Patrol we drove through the night to Aberdeen to meet Dave Perkinson (BOBBY) by 11 AM Saturday. Then it was off to Renton for the shots at Jimi Hendrix's grave, and finally Seattle for the vigil. About 2AM we found the campground, and at 9AM Sunday we began the trip home. We rolled back into SF at 4:30 AM Monday. A long strange trip indeed...
Is that really video footage from the actual Kurt Cobain vigil?
NO. It was from a similar vigil for rock promoter Bill Graham in 1991.
Who is the Driver supposed to be?
He's not anyone famous, but someone who came close, then just faded away, like so many before and after him.
SIDE 4: THE TIMELINE
April 8, 1994
Original 30 page story draft of “mainly ETC.” is written.
April 8, 1996
A 172 page 1st draft is completed. A shorter 121 page 2nd draft is later sent out to various production companies and studios. No takers.
In Variety, I read about a new script sold to New Line Cinema called “A Leonard Cohen Afterworld”, about two friends who drive to Seattle to attend Kurt Cobain's vigil. “mainly ETC.” gets put on the shelf and I'm thinking I will have to wait ten years to make it. It then occurs to me why there are 2 Asteroid Destroys Earth movies coming out and
2 of everything else. I start to wonder who read my original script.
June - August 1998
A first assembly cut of “modern knife” is put together, minus dialogue.
I'm saving funds to buy editing equipment to finish this feature film.
April 8, 1999
I break out the old script for “mainly ETC.” and read again for first time in two years, getting several new ideas and inspirations. I start to think about shooting it on video and getting it out before the “ALCA” film comes out. If I want it, I can make it happen.
I discover that Apple has just released the new G3 with Final Cut Pro editing software, which brings a $80,000 editing system down to about $6,000. I'm sold at the demo and make plans to purchase. “ALCA” lands
a first time director and will begin shooting this summer. I'm now
convinced that I should shoot “mainly ETC.” first, and use the Apple system to practice editing, then begin work on “modern knife”, thus giving me two feature films. I have lunch with Valerie Allen and pitch making “ETC.” fast and cheap this summer.
June - July 1999
Pre-production casting for “ETC.” is underway. I hook up with Nick Katakis, who reads the script and agrees to come aboard as a producer.
Together we begin the process of finding locations and cast. Valerie
Allen contacts several fellow actors at the Foothill College, while I recruit John Hargrove back into the fold for another film project. Auditions are held, and everyone who shows up lands a role in the film. A total of 32 speaking roles are needed.
August 2, 1999
First rehearsal with core group of nine actors. Dates are worked out for shooting and the road trip adventure. Over 40 locations to find.
August 7, 1999
The first day of shooting begins at Foothill College with Valerie Allen (in a scene I would later cut). Shooting continues as all of Jessica Scott's scenes must be shot in five days, so that she may travel back to college on the east coast. She will later return for the road trip portion of the film.
August 12, 1999
We now rehearse 2 days a week for 4 weeks, while shooting something every weekend, slowly knocking out a scene here and there. Nick K. locates the RV and rental car for the road trip weekend. After a week of shooting, I have 3 hours of footage in the can, including all of Holly's scenes and Daniel and Susan in classrooms.
August 23, 1999
I write new scenes for Daniel and Holly, expanding their character arcs. Daniel now visits a student psychologist, spills events from his childhood and his first experience with music. Noel Wood's improvs during the scene add the right balance.
August 25, 1999
Janis Bergmann who is a teacher at Foothill College agrees to take on the role of Holly's mother. We shoot both scenes in about an hour.
Jessica leaves us for college and will return on Sept. 23.
September 6, 1999
We now have over 10 hours in the can and 20% of the film shot. We finish all Jared and Lucy office scenes, Kay office and Daniel running on Stanford campus...which I will return with a dolly for more shots.
September 7, 1999
I unpack my G3 computer and set it up with Final Cut Pro and begin the long journey to learning Digital editing. I put together two scenes for practice: Kay walking to her cube and Holly at the water pier.
Digital editing is a dream compared to scissors and splice tape.
September 18, 1999
We get shoot inside Music Annex music studio for free, as long as we only take 1 hour. Kurt Brown takes on the role of Pete the engineer and Chuck Farrell and Jeff Cotten play Son of Salmon. All goes well
and the location add great production value to our low budget.
September 19, 1999
We shoot Stewart driving out of SF and breaking down in Livermore. With Nick M. driving my bug, I manage to capture some action shots of Stewart driving. Due to a unique feature on John Hargrove's car, we can make the engine overheat on cue! All goes well until a patrol car arrives, and says we cannot shoot on the side of a busy road. All is well, as we get almost all of what we need...plus the surrounding windmills are a big plus.
September 24, 1999
When we go to pick up the RV, a different one is waiting, one with corporate advertising stickers on all sides. Without any alternatives, I loose sleep and try to think why they would travel in such a vehicle.
Spetember 25-27, 1999
Next morning, the cast works to remove as many stickers as possible, making the now familiar “cruise me” instead of “www.cruiseamerica.com”. By 2:00 we are on the road and we have 3 days to finish 6 days of work. I am pulled over after about ten minutes on the road for hanging out of the car with a camera and no seat belt. A $60 ticket later and we are on our way to Seattle.
Road Trip - Day 1
Noise in the RV is louder than I imagined, plus keeping the camera steady is also proving a chore. We travel north, first stopping in Livermore to collect reverse shots of Driver picking up Stewart in the windmill field. We have to move quickly for fear of a patrol car return. A half-hour later, we finish and race back to the RV, where we load up and start shooting dialogue until sundown. Night falls and we are due to meet Bobby (David Perkinson) in Aberdeen 11:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, so we take turns driving all through the night, with me getting the plum assignment of 2am-9am and arrive just in time, without any sleep.
Road Trip - Day 2
We shoot the Aberdeen stuff, circling around Cobain's old hometown, where I'm sure the neighbors were getting curious by our fifth pass. From there, we trek to Jimi Hendrix's gravesite, which takes longer to find than we thought. John Hargrove and Nick Muntean quickly prepare for the scene and we shoot it twice. We discover that a large memorial for Jimi is currently being built, and his grave will be moved. So our timing is perfect to capture the grave as it was in 1994. Many, many people visit this site, which warrants the larger memorial. A few even stay to listen to John play “May This Be Love' during our scene. I'm fortunate in the fact that the movie gods take pity on me and give me a beautiful pillow of clouds to shot against. No rain either. By 4:30, the sun is dropping and we begin our drive into Seattle. At 5:15 we arrive, and I only get one pass of the RV driving into the city, collecting as much footage as possible. We now have to shoot Driver and Stewart goodbye, Stewart and Jared hello and the entire vigil sequence in less than 1 hour. After spending five years imagining how the sequence would go, I throw it all away and play documentary filmmaker, rushing the cast into situations and collecting shots along the way. Not the best way to get a film made, but in this case, the only way. Darkness falls, but we still have travelling and work to do.
Road Trip - Day 3
By 2:00 a.m., we find a campsite outside Washington and shoot the campfire scene, which takes a few hours to do. Sleep is only possible until sunrise, when we have to shoot the conversation scenes.
Then its back on the road, shoot more dialogue, pissing scene, cow pasture, plus any Stewart and Driver stuff we can get. We set up the Mark on his skateboard scene, and all goes well as Mark is pulled by the RV, then disaster strikes. Mark slides downhill and falls from his board onto the concrete. He's cut pretty bad, but he's OK. The clock is ticking and he needs medical attention. Nick M., takes care of Mark while the rest of the cast and I find a way to shoot the cow pasture scene, working with a local family farm, who are very helpful to our cause (they think we are from Road Rules). Cow Pasture is shot without Mark and we later (finally) hook up with him and return to the drive home. When darkness falls and we can no longer shoot, no words are traded as exhaustion captures us all. Pearl Jam's “Alive” plays on the radio and lifts all our spirits into a sing along. At 4:30 am, we make it home, drained beyond belief. We will have to do pick-up shots on stuff we didn't get on the road trip, so I will fly Jessica back into town in October to finish up. I'm so tired, I wait two days to view the footage.
October 9, 1999
Thanks to cast member Terry Wong, we are able to shoot inside a real airplane. Catch is, we only have 1 hour. So we move quick and manage to get everything we need. That night I'm able to edit the scene together, marking the first time I have ever shot a scene and was able to edit on the same day. Love this digital stuff.
October 10, 1999
Busy day. We shoot the entire Bar Scene, leaving only 20 minutes to shoot the game room portion before Maggie Magee's opens. Then it's off to Woodside hills to shoot all of the Stewart/Driver on the road scenes that we didn't get on the way to Seattle. We have now shot for 16 days and have over 30 hours of footage.
October 16, 1999
Party Scene is shot in SF. Only problem is that Valerie lost her voice and cannot do any of her dialogue scenes. So we shoot normal, hoping to loop her lines later. Shooting lasts from 11am-10pm.
October 22, 1999
Jessica flies in for the RV pickup shots. We re-rent the RV and this time stay in the Bay Area, as we get extra dialogue scenes, Gas Station stuff, all of the Bobby scenes and the flat tire scene. A full day of shooting that finally gives us the needed footage to work with.
October 30, 1999
Pick-up shots for Kay at home and the Punk Rock Simon flashback, which is performed by Geoff Ball, who donated his home for the party scene.
October 31, 1999
At Foothill college, we find a large rock and shoot Daniel and Jared's morning conversation. The location even matches the original woods, even though cars are just below the frame line. We also knock out the Daniel/Jared bathroom talk scene, shooting everything in a master take.
November 6, 1999
Record Store day. Vinyl Solutions in San Mateo gives me full access to the store for two hours before opening, which means we shoot all dialogue stuff first. We end up spending the day at the store, and Ric Silva later even get a part time job. Long day, but productive. Unfortunately, we never get to have a band playing outside.
November 7, 1999
Mike Stevens and I shoot Jared at the airport and Jared walking down Height Street with a video camera. Great location shots. This marks the official end of principle photography after 27 days of shooting.
November 8-22, 1999
I take two weeks off from work to edit full time. Choices are made quickly. Cast members stop by to watch and contribute. Carrie Rogers helps makes some key choices. Ric Silva offers advice to clarify another scene. John Hargrove suggests musical and dramatic advice for multiple sections. I also shoot pickup shots of Mark in a field and add him into the Cow Pasture scene. As each new scene is cut, it's hard to tell how long it will be. At this point, the goal is to cut all the scenes and watch everything together for reference. We schedule a screening of the first assembly cut for December 14.
December 14, 1999
After finally putting all the scenes together (the night before) and adding several temp music tracks, a tape is made and screened for several friends and cast members...and a very important lesson is learned: NEVER SCREEN YOUR ASSEMBLY CUT TO ANYONE BESIDES THE DIRECTOR AND EDITOR. This 3h20m “Assembly Cut” version of the film contains all the available scenes placed in a chronological order, but not yet trimmed or cross-cut with each other. It's long. Very long. And I think it proves to be a bit overwhelming for those who watch it. But for me it's an effective blueprint, and one I begin taking notes on to create the first cut. It seems to me the hard part is over.
January - March 2000
More editing, trimming, removing, replacing, re-imagining, rethinking and re-arranging of the scenes in the film. Scenes and sub-plots are dropped as the film is trimmed down to 2h20m (with credits).
April 21, 2000
We have our first test screening of the 2h20m version of the film. We show it on four nights, removing and adding new stuff for each night, collecting feedback and suggestions. I make notes for over 60 changes I want to make to the film, including shooting scenes from the script we never had a chance to get. This version of the film is met with mixed response, but it's clear to me what sections of the film need the most work and how to strengthen the overall arcs of the characters.
May - August 2000
During this time, the camera breaks and must be put into the shop, meaning I have to wait 2 months to put new footage into the computer to work with. The “re-shoots” begin, which are actually new scenes we never got to do the first time around. A new set up for Holly where she shows her film in class, a sub-plot for Susan, a new scene between Mark and Tom and extra shots of Stewart in the record store are blended into the work-in-progress. I begin to re-arrange the scenes to find the best possible running order.
The work-in-progress cut is submitted to the alwaysi.com film festival, and accepted. The film is placed on-line for people to watch. Several feedback responses are left, both positive and negative, putting the overall concept into perfect perspective. Most frequent comment is that the film is too long, so I will have some tricky trimming to do.
October 2000 - Side Projects
Having shot a live show of “Rocky Horror Show” back in July, the time has now come to edit the final product. So I spend a few days putting it together and the response from the cast is very positive. Next is a series of live gigs from a local band Substitutes. I end up shooting four of their show and collecting footage for future promo use.
December 7, 2000
The band Substitutes agree to be the band that Heavy Metal Ronnie calls to play in from of the store, so we arrive early at Vinyl Solutions an within 30 minutes the scene is shot...a few hours later it is cut into the timeline of the film. It's adds plenty, plus showcases an original song “Heavy”, written by the band.
December 20, 2000
The same group of musicians who performed “Rocky Horror” now revive a live performance of “Jesus Christ Superstar”. I shoot with 5 cameras. John Hargrove, Mark Panaigua and Kurt Brown are all in the show, which Kirk Hammet of Metallica correctly quoted “This kicks ass”.
I come up with an new ending for Heavy Metal Ronnie that brings a proper closure to his character, plus draws a parallel to Stewart. Since Ric is now working at the record store, we arrive early and knock it out in a half-hour. Next up is the recording of DJ voices providing newscasts, commentary and etc. The editing of “Jesus Christ Superstar” is finished and becomes my best live show performance film to date.
The DJ voices are recorded by Jeff Miller and Jennifer Hamilton. The New Line Cinema film “A Leonard Cohen Afterworld” undergoes a title change to “Highway” and has been sitting on a shelf for over a year. I learn the plot concerns two friends running from gang members who chase them to Seattle during Cobain's vigil. This puts a smile on my face as the two films could not be more different.
Post production on “mainly ETC.” continues to progress. The opening morning sequence has undergone many incarnations, and now faces a musical selection problem. We try many songs, but can never seem to find a single song that works perfectly. Mixing multiple songs with a radio dial is not as effective as a single song, so the search continues. John Hargrove discovers a 3rd “going to the Cobian vigil” film called “The Vigil” on the net. This low budget film was shot in 2000, now bringing the total to three, which really is a magic number.
May 2000 - July 2001
Due to new technical difficulties, the entire soundtrack has to be re-mixed and re-cut into the film, one scene at a time. This is the moment where digital technology is not my friend. It seems a scratch sound now appears over the entire soundtrack. I discover that my hard drives need defragging and all the available memory is used up. The process is slow, but I manage to repair each scene one at a time.
August - October 2001
Voice-overs are added into the film, and minus a few music changes, the film is now in its final form. Only sound tweaking and picture correction is left to do. This is also the time where I find myself double busy at my "other" job at Sony Computer Entertainment.
I send a final cut to the New York Independent Film Festival and “mainly ETC.” is accepted to their February 4-14 2002 showcase.
The video cover is completed by Michael Stevens and John Hargrove.
November 27, 2001
Official release date for the VHS version of “mainly ETC.”. Extra features include over 30 minutes of deleted scenes, alternate versions of scenes, outtakes, trailer and bonus tracks. Final Cut runs 2h7m.