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03:13 pm: Puke on the screen: A vault opens and closes

Last week, I put together a small screening for my birthday that ended up being a sort of grab bag of over a decade's worth of Gonzoriffic archives that never played at our Ciné shows for whatever reason (they opened in 2007 and our first program there was in 2008, so very few of the movies we made before then have been screened at the venue). Everyone had a good time and the show played better than expected, but I had a few kind of unexpected memories pop up on the drive home.
Gonzoriffic began as a cult film review blog in 1996 and I slapped the banner on a couple shorts I did in 2001 and 2002 while still primarily active as a musician, so the filmmaking thing didn't officially get its start until early 2003 when we made a trio of 30+ minute shorts back to back in spring and summer. The crew would go through some lineup changes, but by the end of 2009, the majority of the players were either on their way out or gone completely. I ended 2011 with almost no one left and was wondering if I'd even be able to continue, and then 2012 completely exploded within months. It was kind of a miracle, and the past five years have been characterized by a stability I had only dreamed of during the first five.
Watching some of the old clips reminded me of lots of things. How much we were able to do before the technology really caught up with us. How reckless and therefore awesome we were because we were younger and had that energy that comes along with doing some new creative thing. But I also remembered how fast people burned out on it and how much carrot dangling I had to do sometimes to get the movies made. The more I began to figure out what kind of art I wanted to make, the more at odds it put me with key members of the group. There was tremendous talent that had either reached the end of what they were capable of or what they would allow themselves to do, but either way, it all culminated in a couple awesome final projects that really showed how far Gonzoriffic had come (even if not everyone made it there with me).
If the past couple years is any indication, the future of this thing will see it continue to evolve as less of the me thing and more of the us thing I always told people it was. We have so many self-starters, folks who develop their own projects and do the casting, writing, directing, and sometimes even the shooting and editing on their own. I wanted to have a safe space where my creative friends could feel free to make whatever they dreamed up, and an umbrella they could do it under knowing they were part of something real that was genuinely interetsed in them and would not be going away. The short version is it's more exciting than it has ever been for me, and hopefully for everyone involved.
I loved seeing performances getting applause that had never been seen by a big crowd before, and faces being recognized for the true talents they were, and hopefully still are at whatever they're doing now. It's tough to get hung up on what was when there's so much that will always be, and even more that still is.

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