A Post-Post Post on Post-Production
OK … so maybe I overdid it. But the P-word has certainly warranted some dedicated attention. First, there’s the Washington Post article about Red Line D.C., which appeared this past Sunday in the Metro section. That same day, we were also featured in the Our City Film Festival, where I participated in a brief, post-screening Q&A.
The profile in the Post and experience at Our City were both timely and sweet, humbling opportunities that have reminded me of the stakes behind Red Line D.C., as well as the project’s place within the community. No journey is ever completed without patient support and guidance along the way. The same can be said of the filmmaking process.
The making of Red Line D.C. has constituted 3+ years of my life; a long and winding road that’s still not quite finished. In the process of post-production, I have learned that concrete deadlines are only mirages in the distance. Limited funding, technical setbacks and inevitable dead-ends can turn any documentary filmmaker into a weary traveler. And that has definitely been the case for me. But all the creative help, community support and positive feedback I’ve gotten, especially as of late, has been a huge affirmation of my efforts.
So, I had to reflect, pipe up and speak to you directly with this blog post. I just can’t thank you all enough for your ongoing encouragement and interest in Red Line D.C. The sense of purpose behind the documentary has continually been renewed for me. Right now, I’m eager to push through–and past–post-production to deliver The Red Line D.C. Project DVD; a final cut of the awesome, two-part series I know you’ve been waiting for.
Stay tuned and, as always, state your piece below!
Director & Producer
The Red Line D.C. Project
Are We There Yet?
As 2013 approaches, we know you’re eager for the big reveal of Red Line D.C.‘s final two-part documentary series. Trust us when we say, so are we!
Having finished the fine cuts of (part one) “See Something, Say Something” and (part two, tentatively titled), “Crossing the Line,” director/producer Saaret Yoseph has tagged in some essential support to help her champion–and finally complete–this three-year long project The remaining elements include, visual effects and a soundtrack by local legend Damu the Fudgemunk, a surefire combo package to compliment our documentary efforts.
We know that you are just as excited as we are to see these final touches come together. No doubt, a little impatient, as well. But fret not. With a few months to go until completion, we wouldn’t pass the time without giving you a taste of what’s to come. Here’s a slideshow featuring some of the fantastic, never-before-seen photos of Red line graffiti that we’ll be including in both films. These images have been collected by Cory Stowers, one of our featured interviewees and co-owner of the custom design shop Art Under Pressure. We have him to thank for holding you over until we get our act together.
Enjoy! And, as always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!
It’s been a bumpy ride, but the winding road down #RedLineDC is nearly over. And what a ride it has been! Today we had the pleasure of being featured in The Express, a Washington Post publication that’s often read on the very Red line ride we’ve been focusing our energy on all these years. Director/producer Saaret Yoseph shared her behind-these-scenes experiences, motivations for creating the project as well as the major themes addressed in the documentary. It’s an honor for Red Line D.C. to be featured in the paper and we’re proud to consider ourselves a part of the many visual and communal elements of your commute! If you missed the write-up in print, you can find it online, right here. Take a look!
From Theory to Practice
We’re back with another sampling from the #RedLineDC video vault. This time with an excerpt from last year’s interview with art historian and culture theorist Martin Irvine, the founding professor of Georgetown University’s Communication, Culture & Technology program.
We asked Professor Irvine about the academic concepts evident in graffiti subculture. What’s the big idea behind the writings on the wall? Why has the tradition of graffiti returned to the Red line, again and again? Irvine weighs in on the lure of metro graffiti and explains why we need to give these everyday aesthetics a closer look. See for yourself and share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Reviving the Red Line
For weeks now, we’ve been hiding out in an edit studio trying to piece together the two-part documentary series that will encompass all the underlying issues of Red Line D.C. With a rough cut of part one already under our belt, the bulk of our attention has been focused on building part two, a story that will address the Metro-Branch Trail’s development; how changes in access to the Red line have in turn affected aesthetics and the value of wall space. This process has been slow, but steady. And sadly, because of our tunnel vision video-making, the online presence of #redlinedc has dwindled. For this, we sincerely apologize.
Hopefully, our absence has only made your heart fonder of the film’s potential. But in case it hasn’t, here’s some bonus footage to rekindle your interest. In this video excerpt, Prof. Zachary Schrag, author of The Great Society Subway, reminds us why Washington metro matters are so important to understanding the District.
While you patiently await our film’s final cuts, we’ll do our best to post more video clips like this one to hold you over. So until then, bear with us folks, documentary work in progress …
Who You Gonna Call?
There’s nothing like an 80′s classic to kickoff the week. And, folks, it doesn’t get more “I Love the 80′s” than Ghostbusters. This retro single from the film’s soundtrack is our subtle way of signaling the last #redlinedc event of the summer. Come Wednesday, we’ll be wrapping things up right, with an outdoor screening near New York Avenue metro station.
Before featuring that ghostly, cult comedy, our partners at NoMa will show a rough cut version of See Something, Say Something, the first installment of our two-part documentary. We can’t think of a better way to wind down our events and amp up our online fundraising than a screening that’s smack dab on the Red line.
So, come join us on the grass and get cozy … It’s nearly showtime.
So, How Was Your Weekend?
This past Friday was a great success for Red Line D.C. The people were present, the music was thumping and #RasPunch was being poured in abundance. Our end-of-the-week happy hour offered, yet, another opportunity to generate interest in the project. As sneak peek footage from the documentary played in the background, filmmaker Saaret Yoseph mingled with the crowd and appealed to attendees to support the efforts they saw on-screen.
We raised nearly $600 that one night, thanks to small contributions and sales from our first batch of Red Line D.C. T-shirts. Check out the photos from the evening. And, in case you missed all the action at Ras, be sure to join us this Thursday night at our closeout party at Blackbyrd (6-9 p.m., 2005 14th St, NW). No doubt, this next event will be just as fun & fruitful as the last.
Have You Missed Us?
Lately, you may have noticed the absence of Red Line D.C. online. But there’s a reason behind our disappearing act. While our blog updates and Twitter timeline have been neglected, we’ve been holed up in the editing room and huddled around tables planning events.
In anticipation of the documentary’s summer release, we’ve amped up the momentum of post-production. By day, we pore through footage, edit and arrange a storyline about the aesthetics and experience of the Red line; by night, we ride the route ourselves and see first-hand how much of that story continues to unfold.
With that said, if you’ve been jonesing for a helping of Red line D.C., we’ve got the cure. In the weeks leading up to the release, we’ll do our best to share snippets like this one from the cutting room floor. Here, interviewee Cory Stowers, a former Red line writer and local business owner, shares an anecdote about graffiti and the late, great go-go legend Chuck Brown. Check it out …
The Red Line’s Nerdy Side
It isn’t easy explaining all the moving parts of Red Line D.C., but director and producer Saaret Yoseph did her best last week. Presenting in front of faculty at Georgetown University, she defended the research and remixing done for the project over the past two years. Saaret discussed the transient elements of graffiti and transit as well as her motivations for exploring the everyday aesthetics of our Red line commute. The event was a marker of Red Line D.C. ‘s progress and a milestone in her graduate career in the Communication, Culture & Technology program at Georgetown. If you’re looking for insight on what makes this whole interactive, multimedia project work, get into geek-mode and take a look at this snippet from the presentation:
The Graffiti-Fueled Field Trip
It was a typical Sunday with extraordinary ambition. A small group of strangers convened at Metro Center this past weekend with only their curiosity in common. After a quick exchange of names and pleasantries, they boarded a train toward Glenmont and gave little thought to the destination. This was an afternoon commute that was all about the journey; an art-filled event steeped in the metro experience. And of course, Red Line D.C. was along for the ride.
The event, hosted by Knowledge Commons DC, was a part of the metro poetry series, Slam the Rails. In last weekend’s session, Joseph Ross shared poetry inspired by the work of graffiti writer Cool Disco Dan. As the the last car of the train ascended out of the tunnel and above ground, Ross began his reading. Attendees (and unsuspecting riders) took in the names and sights of the red line–some even for the first time! After a couple of unexpected stops along the way, the ride ended at Takoma station, where participants were invited to reflect on the ride and its surrounding graffiti.
Check out the flicks from our graffiti-fueled field trip!
Show & Tell: Two Takes on Offline Graffiti
For Red Line D.C., last night was another opportunity to take the topic of graffiti off the Line and into the city. We occupied U street corridor for the evening to interview two different, but well-informed sources: local graffiti writer Asad “ULTRA” Walker and cross-cultural artist Saul Williams.
We met Walker in an alley at 14th and U st, NW, where we talked about his history with D.C. graffiti and watched him produce a legal piece on the back of a local business.
Afterwards, we set off for Black Cat (1811 14th St, NW), where Williams was scheduled to perform later that evening. As an actor, poet and musician, Williams has a knack for blending styles and experimenting with his artistry. In a recent video produced by la Blogotheque, he is seen exploring the catacombs beneath Paris, jamming out with layers of graffiti and history around him. The underground excursion made us curious about Williams’ stance on graffiti. Check out what he had to say:
PHOTOS: OG’s and New Additions
Last week was all about meet-and-greets for Red Line D.C. On the other side of the MBT fences, we were invited into one of the little-known properties lining the red line; this one by Rhode Island Ave metro station. The man waiting for us, opening his doors for an upcoming interview, was Arondo Holmes, owner of Hondo Coffee. Mr. Holmes’ coffee roasting warehouse, directly on the MBT, is one of the properties with a legal mural. His business has been in Edgewood for about 3 years, but he lived and work in the neighborhood 20 years back. He will, no doubt, have some great insights to offer our project. And now, that we’ve done the introduction, we can hardly wait for the interview …
Another newcomer to our project, but OG of the red line, is graffiti writer, CERT, who we interviewed along with writers Some, Fame and Grave. If the name CERT isn’t familiar to you, his work probably is: CERT’s responsible for the oft-photographed and frequently referenced “Sean Taylor” piece at Brookland Ave. metro station as well as, a ton of other productions along the Line. You can even watch commuters call to mind the “Sean Taylor” mural for us when interviewed on the metro. Among the graffiti community, CERT is seen by many as a local legend and, like Mr. Holmes, his personal history with the red line spans about two decades.
We’re happy to have these knowledgeable new additions to Red Line D.C. But until you catch them all on video, check out the slide show of last week’s adventures.
Take a Ride with Red Line D.C.!
My, my, my … how time flies. It was this time last year that we applied for a small/planning grant with the Humanities Council of Washington, DC and as we take stock of our work, so far, we thought we’d share a portion of our submitted project narrative:
The main idea of The Red Line D.C. project is to integrate the typically disparate players associated with illegal public art – those creating it, those consuming it and those covering it up. In a communal environment like the D.C. metro a mosaic of opinions exist about the images and messages populating the ride. Some view metro graffiti as blight, while others support it a means for free expression. Similarly, as the space around the red line metro begins to change, questions about valuation and gentrification begin to arise. The Red Line D.C. project intends to address the many interrelated issues associated with illegal public art by inquiring what one space means to many.
The mention of “disparate players” and singular space reinforces our red line goals. The red line has and continues to have different functions for the many different people who use it. Thus, we’re constantly on the grind to collect more voices, more stories, more experiences on the metro. Though, we’ve filmed and interviewed a good amount of graffiti writers, commuters and property owners have been, surprisingly, reluctant to bite. Currently, we’re on the hunt for one (or more!) metro rider(s) who might be willing to let us film their day’s commute on the red line. If you’re down for commuter cause and interested in being involved with our documentary, please contact us at email@example.com. If not, please pass on the word to someone who might be. We and our cameras are super ready to roll … but don’t worry, we’ll be gentle.
Open to the Public, Open for Discussion
Just when we thought we were alone, out here on the interweb, TBD’s On Foot echoes our efforts for public participation. Check out the pedestrian blog’s latest post with updates on our progress and read what blogger John Hendel had to say about the rough cut of part one in the Red Line D.C. series, See Something, Say Something. We’re so happy to have our words and visuals shared with new audiences. Let’s see what new conversations come of it …
First Post Since …
The new year has made us nostalgic. Looking back on old footage from the first days of Red Line D.C., we came across an excerpt-worthy interview that had to be shared. Robin Marcus, a writing professor at George Washington University, sat down with us in the summer of 2010 to sift through Flickr photos of red line graffiti and riff on its significance. It was an experiment of sorts. One of many we’ve conducted by taking the topic of graffiti beyond the red line and in new directions. This time, a mild-mannered academic was asked to eyeball the work of red line writer JU from the convenience of her computer screen. Since the project’s onset, our goal has always been to spark a larger dialogue about shared city aesthetics; to inspire metro riders with a renewed sense of attachment to their city, its public spaces and all that they see. In this video, Professor Marcus does well to remind us of that. Taking an open-minded look at JU’s “Big Booty” piece, she emphasizes the ability of artistic expression to connect us and our disparate ideas to a broader human consciousness. See what Professor Marcus had to say, then go back to our excerpt of JU’s interview to hear what he had to say for himself.
Without Further Ado …
Here’s the rough cut of Red Line D.C.‘s first installment, See Something, Say Something. Check out our efforts in this first part of the red line series then let us know what you think in the comments section or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We hope you like what you see!