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
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 …
Just 5 days left for fundraising on Indiegogo! In a little over a month, we’ve been able to raise more than half of our $6000 goal and get the word out about Red Line D. C. to countless locals. All thanks to you, of course. And as a thanks for all your effort and contributions, we’re offering up the long-awaited Red Line D.C.: The Mixtape.
This playlist has the potential to jazz up your commute with a soundtrack curated by none other than Yodith Dammlash, our resident photog. Though, Dammlash is adept at eye-catching photographs, she lent us her ear for music when we needed her. (Sadly, our crowd-sourcing plans didn’t pan out.) So while we’re hard at work in the edit studio, making sense of the last two years, feast your ears on this mix tailor-made for your ride.
Oh, and if you like what you hear, don’t be shy about showing it. Five days is still plenty of time to make a difference …
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 …
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.
Field Trip to Fes!
This week, we’re traveling way past the city limits to get a little taste of graffiti abroad. Saaret Yoseph, the director and producer of Red Line D.C. with a bad case of wanderlust, shares photos taken of graffiti during her current trip to Morocco. Read on as she talks a bit about her snapshots and impressions of aerosol going wild elsewhere in the world:
While studying abroad in Morocco this past month, I’ve been lucky enough to visit a handful of historical sites and cities, including Marrakech, Volubilis, Meknes and Rabat. Alongside the beautiful madras, mosques and ruins of these well-known places, I’ve been encountering aerosol, etchings–and even penciled!–graffiti. Just yesterday, I went to the former capital of Fes and was surprised to see so much writing, especially on the walls of the old medina, Fes el-Bali. The hidden corners and winding walkways of this UNESCO World Heritage site house more than just an endless array of souks. Here, on the stone walls of this rapidly dilapidating tourist attraction, random words in Arabic and English present themselves at nearly every turn, proving that one-man’s desecration is just another man declaration.
I haven’t been able to decipher it all, of course. But, despite the gaps of language and culture, the pervasiveness of graffiti is clear. Even in a centuries-old medina, Moroccans are adding their own layer of existence; contributing to these lived spaces by leaving their mark.
Take a look at my photos and let me know what you think of the graf I’ve found in the Motherland!
Graffiti Gone Wild
Last week, we had the pleasure of visiting 5Pointz in Long Island, NYC, a 200,000 sq. foot factory where permissible graffiti abounds. Aerosol art can be found everywhere from the sidewalks to the fire escapes, from the building walls to its rooftops as well as nearby slabs of concrete canvas. The place is a “graffiti Mecca” of sorts where writers come to add their names to an ever-growing congregation without any threat of arrest.
Considering how widely known 5Pointz is by graffiti writers and readers, alike, it makes us consider how a permissible graffiti space like this might operate in the capital city. Would an allocated stretch of land, on the red line or elsewhere in the city become an attraction in Ddot, like 5Pointz is in NYC?
Check the photos and let us know your thoughts!
Red Eye: Private Time in Public Space
Riding the metro is a distinctly communal experience. Every day you have a chance to sit or stand next to someone new; your single self joins a crowd of city-bound strangers who are hearing, seeing and experiencing the same ride as you. Of course, the trip isn’t always pleasant, especially during those bum-rush hours … but on occasion, you get a little wiggle room to run amok. Check out the video to see what happened when one red line commuter discovered he had a train car all to himself!
The Inaugural Post
This is the space to discuss, comment and submit multimedia related to D.C. aesthetics,
public art and public transit! Share your thoughts on any new graffiti popping up on the
train or submit your own flicks of sights along the ride!
Welcome to The Red Line D.C. Project, a multimedia exploration of what happens when public space, public art and public transit collide. Share your thoughts — and photos — on metro graffiti and take a look at the trailer for the forthcoming documentary.