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Music Documentary as Transmedia Storyworld
 

Music Documentary as Transmedia Storyworld

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(SXSW 2013 ENTRY PRESENTATION ) -- When the former soundman for an eclectic '80s post-punk band rediscovers tapes of their earliest, most powerful and innovative songs - he sets out to re-create ...

(SXSW 2013 ENTRY PRESENTATION ) -- When the former soundman for an eclectic '80s post-punk band rediscovers tapes of their earliest, most powerful and innovative songs - he sets out to re-create those songs 30 years later.

That’s the story behind the transmedia documentary "Get It All Out" - mapping the journey of producer Will Kreth (@wkreth) – a man haunted by the long-lost songbook of the Pittsburgh-originated group Stick Against Stone.

What began as a standard music doc in 2008, has since emerged into a storyworld containing a 13 piece orchestra, live concerts in New York City, a new 12 song album (due Oct. 2012), an eBook and a remix contest – all preceding the eventual documentary film (due in 2014).

@2012 MediaGroove LLC. --- Twitter: @mediagroove & @wkreth --- Facebook: www.facebook.com/mediagroove
www.getitalloutmovie.com

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  • “Get It All Out” is a transmedia music documentary about the life of the late John H. Creighton Jr. (1955-1985), the band Stick Against Stone, and the underground music scene of Pittsburgh, PA in the early 1980s.

    A 2005 rediscovery of tapes from live performances of the original line-up of the band in 1982 sets producer/co-director Will Kreth (and former SAS soundman/manager) on a quest to find out “Who Was John Creighton?” - the charismatic and powerful voice that brought life to a sound seemingly lost to time.

    30 years later, using transmedia concepts and practices to tell a compelling story across screens and live events – GET IT ALL OUT pushes the boundaries of traditional music documentaries with newly recorded music, a live 10+ member orchestra, an eBook, a remix contest, and a feature film – all part of the same narrative that speaks to the power of music to indelibly live in the heart and to connect us with something larger than ourselves.
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  • Our protagonist was truly a likable, inspired character, and it doesn’t hurt that he was a generous human being who could actually sing and write decent lyrics. In short, we are reanimating the lost musical DNA of an underground sound that never reached a wide audience, and having a blast doing it (by re-recording and remixing an amazing songbook of material as a companion soundtrack). Film-wise, we’re 2 years in the making and we’ve already completed 2/3 of our planned interviews. Breaking the rules of the typical talking head “rockumentary” – we’re incorporating the use of animation/motion graphics, CGI visualization, social media and other creative digital storytelling techniques to elevate the storyline in contemporary ways.
  • In 1992, I helped design and execute multi-faceted, nationwide (and then international) marketing campaign for the launch of WIRED magazine. When we started this film in 2008, I knew the value of pre-marketing the film as part of a multi-year plan to find and capture our audience for GIAO. We have nearly 2000 fans on the MediaGroove Facebook page, a few hundred followers of MediaGroove on Twitter, and will keep looking for ways to communicate directly with our potentially global audience, wherever they may be.
  • In 1992, I helped design and execute multi-faceted, nationwide (and then international) marketing campaign for the launch of WIRED magazine. When we started this film in 2008, I knew the value of pre-marketing the film as part of a multi-year plan to find and capture our audience for GIAO. We have nearly 2000 fans on the MediaGroove Facebook page, a few hundred followers of MediaGroove on Twitter, and will keep looking for ways to communicate directly with our potentially global audience, wherever they may be.
  • Our protagonist was truly a likable, inspired character, and it doesn’t hurt that he was a generous human being who could actually sing and write decent lyrics. In short, we are reanimating the lost musical DNA of an underground sound that never reached a wide audience, and having a blast doing it (by re-recording and remixing an amazing songbook of material as a companion soundtrack). Film-wise, we’re 2 years in the making and we’ve already completed 2/3 of our planned interviews. Breaking the rules of the typical talking head “rockumentary” – we’re incorporating the use of animation/motion graphics, CGI visualization, social media and other creative digital storytelling techniques to elevate the storyline in contemporary ways.
  • John Creighton was the unofficial “spiritual leader” of Stick Against Stone – working with (and sometimes in spite of) the drama of its Political Leader – Richard Vitale (the drummer). This friendship (and tension) made for a cyclone of creativity and chaos that left those in its spell/wake wondering “what the hell happened????” (both positively – for the intensity of the music that was created, and negatively – as what they ended up creating was “lightning in a bottle” – fleeting, elusive, and nearly unsustainable and impossible to constructively channel/build-upon.
  • Aninterestingglimpse into a brief window-in-time - when both musicians and listeners were more open to the mixing of Black and White music, folkloric music, avant-jazz horn charts and punk energy, art/funk, minimalism/dub, No Wave meets Downtown, Bush of Ghosts vs. Sandinista!, urban yet tropical, atonal at times, melodic hooks too, and always, always percussive.
  • What could be more “punk rock” than no guitars?
  • John had left the group by this time – in the summer of 1983.
  • Photo is from in front of the Washington State Capital, Olympia, WA – Nov. 1983

Music Documentary as Transmedia Storyworld Music Documentary as Transmedia Storyworld Presentation Transcript

  • The transmediadocumentary GET IT ALL OUT the improbable musical journey of JohnCreighton & Stick Against Stone
  • When the former soundman for an eclectic ‘80s post-punk band rediscovers tapes of their earliest, most powerful andinnovative songs - he sets out to re-create those songs 30 years later. 2
  • • That’s the story behind the transmedia documentary "Get It All Out" - mapping the journey of producer Will Kreth – a man haunted by the long-lost songbook of the Pittsburgh-originated group Stick Against Stone.• What began as a standard music doc in 2008, has since emerged into a storyworld containing a 13 piece orchestra, live concerts in New York City, a new 12 song album (due Oct. 2012), an eBook and a remix contest – all preceding the eventual documentary film (due in 2014). © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC. 3
  • Overview Timeline Stick Against Stone ORCHESTRA Project Who was John Creighton? Who was Stick Against Stone? A Window in Time – post-punk (what makes this story interesting, unique and still relevant?) Rock Against Reagan - cross-country tour – 1983 What Survives? Why a Transmedia Music Documentary? Where does a Melody live? © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC.
  • Documentary Timeline2008  Documentary production & interviews begin – with an archive of John Ongoing: Creighton’s personal papers (e.g. - lyrics, poetry, music, drawings) obtained for the project – fostering the concept of an eBook. Feeding the2009 iterative Social  2 songs from the Stick Against Stone songbook are re-recorded in NYC Media with the help of original saxophone player Bob Wenzel Feedback Loop  Doc interviews continue (with more than 40 people in 17 US cities) – via Facebook Fan Pages,2010 getitalloutmovie.  Producer Will Kreth begins working with founding drummer Richard com blog Vitale to reboot the band in NYC. Sadly, Richard dies in July. postings,  “The Index of Directions” – recorded between 1981-1982 - is MediaGroove released in July on iTunes & Amazon (their first-ever album release) YouTube  Scanning of John’s personal papers and artifacts (for both the film Channel, and the eBook) begins Twitter  By October, Kreth decides to find new musicians to play and re- record the music, and invites Bob Wenzel to participate © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC.
  • Documentary Timeline (cont.)2011 Ongoing:  Rehearsals of the “Stick Against Stone Orchestra”(SASO) begin in January with 8 musicians (including Wenzel) in the Lower East Side Feeding the of NYC for 2 concerts that summer iterative Social  Swelling to 13 (including 2 more former members) the SASO Media performs shows in Manhattan and Brooklyn in June and July Feedback Loop  Immediately following the shows, the SASO goes into a recording – via Facebook studio in Brooklyn to capture the new song versions for a 12 song Fan Pages, getitalloutmovie. album com blog2012 postings,  “Live at Danny’s Pub” – a recording from a show in 1982, is MediaGroove released in February on iTunes and Amazon YouTube  Development & curation work on the eBook for iPad and Android Channel, devices begins Twitter  “Get It All Out” by the SAS Orchestra is slated for release on Oct. 22nd (on LP, CD & Digital) © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC.
  • Introducing… the Stick Against Stone ORCHESTRA 2011 – present • In January 2011, with the help of music director David Terhune, the 13 piece SAS Orchestra began rehearsals that culminated in 2 live performances in NYCDavid Terhune – in June and July. Both shows were filmedco-founder of NYC’s“Loser’s Lounge” (3 HD cameras) for “Get It All Out” © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC. 7
  • Rehydrating theSongbook –the Stick Against StoneORCHESTRA Performing live at Von King Park, Brooklyn, NY – July 9th, 2011 © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC. 8
  • The Songbook Between 2009 & 2011, 16 songs (from a catalog of nearly 80 tunes) weretranscribed, performed and recorded in NYC. © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC. 9
  • Whowas John Creighton? 10
  • Who was John Creighton? © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC. 11
  • Politics in Action • A remarkable man and remarkable music – rescued from the dustbin of time – As a character, John Creighton is certainly just one life. But his story - as told through interviews with those who knew him and were deeply influenced (to this day) by his creativity, his ideals, and his Hunger Action Coalition – passion – that is where we’ve found A Story Pittsburgh, PA Worth Telling. – John basically “lived his politics” – at a time when many of his peers in their 20sWhere were either distracted or high, John John volunteered to help feed and clotheworked people in his community Thomas Merton Center for Peace and Social Justice – PGH, PA 12 © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC.
  • Who was Stick Against Stone?• Stick Against Stone was a post-punk/leftfield band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; that later resided in Brooklyn, New York; Eugene, Oregon and San Francisco, California and remained active (in no less than six incarnations) between 1980 and 1990. Although a post-punk band, the band experimented with no wave, world music, free jazz, reggae, funk, rap, dub, African, and art-rock in their music. 13 © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC.
  • A little-known musical window in time – For a brief period (1979-1982) the intelligentsia within the fan community of punk rock and post-punk embraced a panoply of genres (reggae, dub, African, avant-garde jazz, hip-hop, funk and world music) – Some of these fans became musicians themselves (e.g. Stick Against Stone) © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC. 14
  • Experimentation: Post-Punk Era • A period of time notable for its blending of global musical cultures, stylistic signifiers, cross-pollinations, appropriations, borrowing of rhythms, wholesale theft of beats, and mash-up of messages • (e.g. - Talking Heads & Eno borrowing from Fela’s Afrobeat, Byrne & Eno practically inventing modern sampling and rights clearances with “My Life in The Bush of Ghosts,” the borrowing of gamelan rhythms by Robert Fripp/King Crimson, Blondie borrowing from hip-hop & disco, Afrika Bambaataa sampling from Kraftwerk for “Planet Rock,” countless rock/pop/New Wave artists borrowing from reggae.) • Perhaps most notable in the breadth of their “adoption” – The Clash © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC. © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC. 15
  • A subculture that valued progressive Social & Political Ideals over Punk Nihilism – Spurred by the messages of racial equality and social tolerance from the Rock Against Racism movement and the 2-Tone ska subculture in the UK, young, mostly college- educated US kids who appreciated the energy of Punk (but not its nihilistic tendencies) and were drawn towards the new multi-ethnic, experimental & eclectic sounds coming out of London, downtown NYC, west Africa and Jamaica – and their messages of unity, social justice and anti- Apartheid (in particular) © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC. 16
  • Rebelling within the Rebellion • Unlike their 3-chord guitar slinging punk-rock peers, Stick Against Stone initially reacted to the movement by picking up different instruments (esp. horns & percussion) to create their unique sound • With complex, raw horn arrangements, call and response vocals, multiple songwriters, propulsive drums, percussion and bass – SAS’s mélange of influences created a diverse, edgy and memorable songbook of material. © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC. 17
  • Rock Against Reagan Tour In 1983, the 3rd version of the band moved toBed-Stuy Brooklyn (where they briefly lived with Bad Brains) – then drove across the country in a big yellow school bus as part of a multi-city, Yippie-sponsored music & protest tour calledRock Against Reagan – (with opening slots for the Dead Kennedys, MDC and the Minutemen) – before resettling in Eugene, Oregon © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC. 18
  • RAR tour (cont.)• Stick Against Stone’s cross- country Road trip – October & November 1983• A Yippie funded series of concerts in college towns and major cities across the U.S. between 1983 & 1984 (culminating in the 1984 Republican and Democratic conventions Performing live at the State Capitol Building, Olympia, WA, October 1983 © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC. 19
  • What Survives? © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC. 20
  • Why a Transmedia Music Documentary?With a narrative stretching back 30+ years,hundreds of pages of personal papers andartifacts scanned, hours of new andarchival video & audio recordings, a liveband performing to choreographedmultimedia video projections in 2013, GetIt All Out is a complex story - perfectlysuited to transmedia storytelling/curation. © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC. 21
  • Where does a melody live?• Get It All Out is a meditation on the DNA-like persistence of rhythms and melody in the hearts of those that experience it. It celebrates the lives of the unknown musicians who created an authentic, rich songbook of material that had been lost to time, yet revived after decades through the new SAS Orchestra. This power of song to connect and transcend friends, to flow between rivals, lovers, loners, survivors – and to evoke a collective memory of the departed – frames and carries the story forward.• The evanescent, yet surprisingly durable quality of a beautiful, hummable song – a beautiful melody - restored to the present, while much else has decayed or disappeared around it – and the promise of affecting a new generation of listeners – remains the dream nucleus of “Get It All Out.” © 2012 - MediaGroove LLC. 22