Thursday, July 10, 2008

More Like This Please

A story in today's Commercial Appeal that's good news for our local music scene:
Shooting begins July 18 on "$5 Cover," a 15-episode -- or "webisode" -- online program funded by MTV that will be made available to viewers later this year via personal computers, cell phones, iPods and other digital devices that offer an alternative to watching films on TV or in movie theaters.

Brewer plans to use Memphis and Shelby County residents exclusively for his 38 crew members as well as for his lead performers, who will portray "people who are in each other's bands and in each other's beds."

Among the local filmmakers working on the project are Morgan Jon Fox, assistant director; John Michael McCarthy, script supervisor; Nathan Black, director of photography; and Geoffrey Brent Shrewsbury, camera operator. Scott Bomar, composer of the scores for "Hustle & Flow" and Brewer's followup feature, "Black Snake Moan," is a producer.

Memphis Film Commissioner Linn Sitler said the project will have a side benefit: "We'll end up with a lot more experienced crew members here after '$5 Cover' wraps."

As in "The Larry David Show," actors in "$5 Cover" essentially will play themselves, in partly improvised and partly scripted linked dramatic and comedic stories shot on location at the Hi-Tone Café, the Young Avenue Deli, Otherlands Coffee Bar, Java Cabana and other Midtown venues, homes and recordings studios.

Ok,, that last part is worrying, as it means every deadhead trend-hopper will start swamping those places looking for the cool people. I kinda like Otherlands -- despite its lefty-only politics. I'd hate to see it become something else blander and more mainstream.

Read the article for the list of some of the folks involved on-camera. Very impressive.

But this is what Memphis should have been doing all along to promote its alternative bands, instead of pimping out Zombie Elvis and Setting Sun. We'll get the city out there, and the music and bands out there, and hopefully get folks to come here like they came to Liverpool in the Sixties, New York and London in the Seventies, and Seattle in the Nineties. (Especially when they find out how cheap it is to live here!)

There's a discussion of the show already at the Goner Records board.

Many thanks, Craig Brewer.

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