Thursday, March 29, 2007

Kick me when I'm down and I'll pick myself up! - GGN

March 29th

This entry has so many highlights but It’s hard to reflect on the positive right away because I’m dealing with a severe blow that was dropped on me yesterday. The blow that I speak of comes from a financial sense and has caused stress for me and my wife for the last 24 hours. During this time that I’ve been shooting this film I’ve been financing this project with my credit cards and any other spare cash I can muster from the random jobs I’ve been working. A bank loan was discussed with several banks over the course of the last six months to finish the project and we had come up with a great business plan to clear the debt which revolved around the party I was planning on throwing and filming for the movie in Toronto. It looked like everything was falling into place and we found a co-signer for our loan and had all the elements set up with the venue and promoters for the event. Then the bomb was dropped; the bank we had discussions with had misread our proposal and realized they couldn’t help us. The small business loan terms we had proposed had us paying them back in September with interest payments taken care of in the meantime. The plan was fool proof due to the experience, the venue, and the talent we have connected with our party… but due to this non traditional way of how we planned on executing our proposal, the bank changed their mind when they registered the information for a second time. I think what really bugs me about this is that we approached them in November and they didn’t fill us in on this roadblock. We had wasted so much time working in one direction of getting a co-signer when in the end it ended up being all for nothing… now I’m under the pressure gun to at least raise 60k in a month for deposits and try and keep the schedule intact for the party in September. It’s truly a disaster in many senses of the word but I guess all you can do is get angry and cry for a day then get back on the horse and try to make things happen. Life is too short to just give up and for all the amazing footage I’ve managed to put together as well as the relationships I’ve made over this year with the electronic community, I refuse to give up! Kick me when I’m down… I can take it. I just need to find this money!

Any suggestions –

Now to the highlights: Before this bomb was dropped I had just got back from WMC in South Beach. Comparing last years trip which was the beginning of this journey to where I’ve come to this point it truly is amazing. Last year I was able to just get some random interviews with people through a magazine I came down with but it was truly just a fly by the seat of your pants kind of trip that didn’t have enough structure to my liking. A year later I had a tight precise schedule that had me able to interview a bunch of artists under the OM records label as well as follow DJ Dan around for two days for a pilot spin off show I want to do when the documentary is finished. The Thursday started with me interviewing Mark Farina, Chuck Love, Andy Caudwell and the OM records family as they introduced the public to some of their new releases and threw a crazy party which we filmed at Y Ultra Lounge in downtown Miami. The interviews were great additions to the project as well as the performance footage from all the artists were incredible. One person in particular, Chuck Love, brought the vibe to a new height with his combination of instruments, singing, and mixing that I hadn’t had a chance to ever experience. OM records and their stable of artists are truly pioneers in the electronic scene and have brought to the fore front some of the best talent and creativity I’ve seen. I was truly blessed that they let me share in this event and spectacle. I’m excited at the thoughts of bringing Mark Farina, Chuck Love, DJ Heather, DJ Colette, and Andy Caudwell to my party and exposing both the old and new fans of the scene to their music.

The other highlight on this journey is another chapter to my DJ Dan saga… oh yes… this was truly a unique moment in my life. Friday through Sunday I followed extensively Dan and his entourage as we got a true inside look into what it’s like to be a d-jay during one of the busiest times of their annual schedule. The parties included a Pete Tong essential mix, the world famous AM only party in Miami, a showing at the outdoor festival known as ULTRA, and finally one of the closing parties at SHINE in South Beach. The pace was fast and enlightening as Dan opened up and really gave the audience a sense of how things work for a big name d-jay as he travels from party to party over a 48 hour period.

With over 20 hours of footage from this day to day experience filming, I promise that the audience will get some true insight on this artist and how things truly work from a DJ perspective. My problems that I’ve mentioned financially at the beginning of this entry have set my stress levels to an all time high but reflecting on all these successes I can’t give up. Life is about challenge and for all the people who have helped me along the way to this point I owe them just as much as I owe myself… this project is to important.

Stay tuned… Max Graham is on deck!

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The beat goes on - DJ Dan / Gabriel and Dresden

March 8th

It’s funny when you look at the calendar and reflect back on a two month period since I last dropped some stories of my day to day activities. As I said in my last installment the next adventure was my favorite thus far… This dirty beat maestro that I’m covering has been with me since the beginning and is responsible for me meeting my wife… the man in question is a legend in my eyes… an underground rock star so to speak; Ladies and gentleman I’m about to give you my experiences with DJ Dan… oh yes… but don’t think I’m done there… oh no… I have more adventures for you! On top of this journey to Vegas I also went to Cleveland to interview Gabriel and Dresden, and traveled to LA as well to get down on tape some old memories with my long lost pal Mike and my dear friend Shauny B… these are good times indeed!

Lets start things off with a little Vegas recap… it was a crazy trip leaving Toronto; it was an early morning flight involving a connector and the custom agent decided to flex his muscles and give me a hassle about my camera. Now a hassle can be something of a moment that passes but this particular agent took it upon himself to be the prick we only stereotype about in the movies or on television. The delay became one that dragged out and within moments of coming to the conclusion that I couldn’t bring my camera, I was on the verge of missing my plane. It took me only a matter of moments to realize I needed to stash my camera in a locker, call my wife to pick it up, and make like the road runner and beep-beep through customs like a bat of hell. Sweat dripped and by the time I reached the plane with my belt and shoes in one hand and a ticket hanging from my mouth, I was a sweaty mess but fortunate for me they held the plane. Oh yeah, I was the asshole who held up the cause of getting everyone in the air and on time to their destination. I apologize but I can’t take all the blame. Fuck you custom GUY! Who ever you are! I solved the problem of a missing camera with a rental place in Vegas but this with a connecting flight drained the tank. I was tired but excited.

The night was like no other… Vegas, the city that never sleeps, ended up being the stage for my first meeting and introduction to my favorite DJ … Dan. JET nightclub was the setting and after some initial interview words from one of the icons within this culture, Dan took the house down with one of the best sets I’ve heard him play in years… it was truly an eye opening experience and the beginning of a fantastic relationship with one of my heroes.

The second adventure begins with a crazy snowstorm and a drive to Cleveland. My camera guy Dallas and I jumped into our rented car and made our way south of the border expecting a nice 5 hour drive to Cleveland but were greeted with 9 hours of super slow bumper to bumper driving as our legs lost feeling and we barely made it in time to interview our next subjects Gabriel and Dresden. This electronic music duo was a new introduction to me this year in terms of listening material and I have to say I was intrigued with their original beats and quiet demeanor. My friend Mike Mellon, who was the promoter for the event, suggested coming to check these guys out and get their thoughts on the culture. With really no background on their history except some exposure to their music, I was pleasantly surprised at what they had to offer in the comment department as well as what they brought to a live event. Club Sinergy was bursting at the seams as these two quiet guys blew away the crowd with their great beats and journey like control over their subjects. I gained a whole new respect for the duo and became excited at the prospect of having them come to the party I’m planning for September. I would recommend a night of booty shaking with these two anytime.

Now the last chapter on this particular adventure ends with my trip to Los Angeles. This was truly an exciting day for me when I got on the plane because I was excited at the prospect of spending some time with my old long lost friend Mike and his wife Monica. You become curious if things will be like they used to be and as I said before it seemed like we picked up where we left off when we met New Years Eve but this to me would be the true test. I was a little nervous but more excited then anything. This was one of my best friends during my East Side days and I just wanted it to be right. I could go on and on about our adventures over the two weeks I spent on the coast but you know what, those are memories I’m keeping to myself. Let’s just say it was two of the best weeks of my life and the two of them have been a missing piece of my life that I’m so happy and excited to have found once again. They’re truly great friends and people I have grown a strong attachment too. On top of that I got to connect with Shaun and the two of them helped me close another chapter of interviews for my documentary with their thoughts and reflections on our time back in the day at East Sides. It’s funny how individuals grow up and become respected adults but this is the point of this project. It’s about reflection and connection. Those days were our growing years as human beings and it’s nice to revisit and see that they have grown up to become amazing individuals. The more people I track down and the further this project pushes itself forward, the debt I’ve accumulated thus far and the vision I see this all becoming in it’s final presentation, makes it all worthwhile… thank you for being a part of my life… I owe you one.

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