I took the day off and drove up to Kennett, Missouri to eat with the woman and her family. First time really hangin' out with her folks, and I managed not to appear too awful creepy. Which is good. I think more than anything they were probably curious as to why I was wandering around in socks (had to pull the woman's car out of a mudhole along the way, so I guess I figured it would be more anti-social to track mud in the house than to walk around in socks...) but nobody said a word.
Anyway, back to the fray. I thought that - seeing as how no-one has arrived here to talk with me about Black Lodge - I'd review the basics. Who I am, who they are, and what it is that I'm trying to do.
"Tucked back from the road on Cooper Avenue stands the unnerving sign for Black Lodge Video. For the uninitiated, the bloodstained letters coupled with the heavily spray-painted house behind it make entry seem, at best, a dicey proposition. Folks in the know, however, march right in to Black Lodge Video, a fiercely independent rental business that specializes in independent, foreign, classic, and genre films ranging from the wildly eclectic to the wholly obscure. Black Lodge Video is also the home of the owners/curators, Matt M., and Bryan H., friends and self-professed “cinephilejunkyfreaks,” who share a militant passion about film, film history, and aesthetic quality. Living the lives of film ascetics, Matt and Bryan have watched Black Lodge evolve into something of a community center since it opened in 2000. Who are the customers who identify with their vision? What is their vision? What is Black Lodge Video really all about?"
The above paragraph was the initial pitch I made to my professors at U of M to be able to do this project. My name is Patrick Buttram, I'm the filmmaker, and the Black Lodge documentary is my thesis project for my Master's degree. I'll be embedding myself at Black Lodge Video over the Christmas holidays and into the New Year. As in, sleeping on their couch, and sharing some living amenities with Chris Bratton, the guy who lives upstairs. And, hopefully, over the course of those thirty days or so I'll be capturing a LOT of footage.
The documentary has evolved a bit from when I first started working on it. I'm a lot more interested, now, in the community of individuals who make up the Black Lodge core - it's not just about movies, you know, a lot of folks are there because it's a place where they feel, more or less, normal and accepted. I also am interested in talking about the threat to Black Lodge (and other places like it,) that comes from services like RedBox and Netflix. These independent video stores are really up against it in the coming years. Matt Martin (co-owner of the store,) speaks pretty catastrophically about the coming years for Black Lodge, while Bryan Hogue (the other owner,) seems to be a little more optimistic.
So I'll be talking with Matt and Bryan and quite a few others (Coffin Joe, Farmer, Brooke, Chris Bratton, Patrick Halloran, local filmmakers and cinephiles, more and more as I find them.) This is where, hopefully, you come in. I've canvassed, posted flyers, and now I'm doing this blog to try and find folk that are interested in talking about Black Lodge. If you're out there and have a story to tell I would really love to hear it. This isn't necessarily a gloss piece, either, so if you've got some bad blood for Black Lodge, you'd find a willing ear for that too, here. Anything and everything you've got - I'll take it. Be advised, you may find yourself sitting in front of a camera and telling your story there, as well.
So, there are the basics. Read, think, respond! It's a collaborative age, people! I need your help.