SEASON 01, EPISODE 04 – Deedle Lacour + Justin Wilson – Filmage: The Story of Descendents / All
On this episode, Dan visits with Deedle Lacour and Justin Wilson –two of the four filmmakers who created the documentary Filmage: The Story of Descendents / All.
The trio discuss balancing the storytelling between two bands who are in essence one, DP Justin Wilson’s goal with the art direction and shots used as transitions, how the team navigated a labyrinth of managers and agents to get Dave Grohl to appear, music licensing the SST catalog through stalking and longevity of their film documenting The Descendents – one of the most icon pop-punk bands of all time.
Just in time for Record Store Day 2021 Drop # 2, Filmage: The Story of All Descendents is currently streaming on Amazon Prime, Vudu, and soon to be returning to the iTunes store.
Read the Full Transcript
What makes a real life movement or story interesting enough to become a documentary film? More importantly, how does someone even do that? Let’s find out Dan Napoli is an award-winning documentary director and also the head of creative and post-production for Hurrdat Films. He sits down with other film directors and discusses the ins and outs of how their latest project went from real world event to the film reel in this limited series monthly podcast. It’s the Reel Life with Dan Napoli. On this episode, Dan visits with Deedle Lacour and Justin Wilson, two of the four filmmakers who created the documentary Filmage: The Story of Descendants/All.
Dan Napoli (00:00:36):
Super stoked about today’s episode of the Reel Life. I get to talk to two of the four guys behind, honestly, one of my favorite documentaries and honestly, one of I think, one of the best made music, at least punk rock music band documentaries ever, the guys behind the film Filmage: The Story of All/Descendants. Guys, thanks for being here. Tell us who you are and what you did with this on this awesome work.
Deedle Lacour (00:01:12):
I’m Deedle Lacour. I was co-director and produced the film. All of us really wore a lot of hats, but those were my main roles. I’ll throw it to Justin for his.
Justin Wilson (00:01:28):
Yeah, I’m Justin. I was director of photography, and co-editor, and co-producer. Deedle was the co-editor. He didn’t say he was editor, but he absolutely was.
Deedle Lacour (00:01:39):
I mean, in indie filmmaking it’s always some version of the slash or the predator producer, editor, director, or whatever, some crossover there, right?
Justin Wilson (00:01:52):
Dan Napoli (00:01:53):
I’m really interested first in how you guys got this project to come to life, because I’d have to assume that Milo, and Bill, and everybody in the Descendants camp it had to have been talked about, or they’d been approached many times over the years to do a doc. That’s the first thing that fascinated me was like, “Oh man, how did you guys get this thing to come to life?”
Deedle Lacour (00:02:25):
It started… Matt Riggle, the other co-director and I had a band, and we met Stephen 15 years ago when Stephen was guitar teching for MxPx. It was really bizarre because we were like, “Dude, is that Stephen from Descendants and All.?” We saw him at like an in-store. MxPx was playing in local in-store here at Texas. Anyway, so we met Stephen. We found out he had moved to Tulsa. He had just built a studio, so we went and recorded with Stephen, got to know him, and became friends with him. Then we started talking at that point, even in the studio like, “Golly man, somebody should make a film on these guys.” All of us, Matt and I and the other guys, Justin and James, were already in this film and video world.
Deedle Lacour (00:03:23):
Those were the early stages of it, but then it got more serious around 2009, 2010. That was because we heard Bill was really sick, and we were like, “All right, well it’s time to try to get this thing going.” Stephen was our in, but Bill actually got healthy while we were trying to start the process. It’s just that we couldn’t… He wasn’t responding to emails. Everything goes through Bill basically with the Descendants and All. Once Bill got healthy and they started doing shows again, that’s when we basically showed up with our cameras and little mini crew. We started earning Bill’s trust, but it took at least another six months, I think, after that.
Dan Napoli (00:04:23):
Interesting. He was a little unsure even after he had said yes of feeling it out?
Deedle Lacour (00:04:30):
I mean, it was more that… Bill historically doesn’t… He’s always kept a tight lid on any videoing of them behind the scenes or at shows. He used to send Bug, their roadie guy, out to the crowd and take the tapes from the people filming the shows back in the days. It took a while, and this is how Bill is. You got to crack the egg and get through the Bill armor, but then it’s like you’re in the family forever.
Dan Napoli (00:05:16):
What did you guys shoot this with or shoot these on?
Justin Wilson (00:05:22):
It was a Canon Mark II and a Canon… What was the other Canon?
Deedle Lacour (00:05:36):
There might have been a T2i in there. We started in early 2010, so it was right when DSLR’s…
Justin Wilson (00:05:47):
Yeah. It was a Mark II, and then we also shot some stuff on a 70.
Dan Napoli (00:05:53):
Justin Wilson (00:05:55):
Some of the other stuff that Daniel Jarvis shot for us was on 70, but A-cam was mainly 5D Mark II with a 50 millimeter or a 35 millimeter or sometimes the 24-70. Most of the time, it was one of those three lenses.
Dan Napoli (00:06:14):
What’s interesting for me anyways as a viewer is I’m normally a very long lens, depth of field guy, and I normally don’t respond very well to a tighter setup, but it really worked for me in the film for some reason. It didn’t really… it never… Just because of my personal hangup tastes, sometimes it snaps me out of it, but it didn’t. I thought it all worked really well. How much of that was necessity versus… On docs, right, of course you go in with purpose, and then you’re like, “Oh cool, so this is where Karl has us. All right. What are we going to do here?” I’m curious as to how some of that laid out.
Justin Wilson (00:07:07):
Yeah, there wasn’t a whole lot of opportunities to use long lenses, and we didn’t really have that many at our disposal. I don’t think I had my 100 to 400 yet, and I think that for any interviews, we were really in tight quarters for almost everything except maybe a few, but even there… We usually try to stay with the primes as much as possible and only went on zooms when we thought it was necessary at a live show generally. I think all the interviews are mainly prime lens with DSLR’s.
Deedle Lacour (00:07:47):
We did put a lot of thought into when people would show up in the film and their eras. We tried to think a little bit about the color, and it’s cheesy, even the way they were looking because we knew that Bill and Milo would very much be talking off of each other the entire film and same with Stephen and Karl. We definitely… There were some conscious decisions, even with being stuck in whatever random place we had to film in.
Justin Wilson (00:08:32):
Right, so they’re talking at each other, having a conversation on screen basically.
Dan Napoli (00:08:39):
I thought you guys did… I really liked… Mark Hoppus looked great. I really liked how he was set up, and I also thought… I’ve done two stints on Warped Tours. I used to be a college radio DJ which I actually interviewed Bill for All once, so I know how some of these venues are. I was going to say what you guys opted to do with Joey Cape and Lagwagon who was probably two feet away from his merch table, I thought was really clever. Can you talk about how you guys managed that?
Justin Wilson (00:09:11):
That was the widest place in that building.
Deedle Lacour (00:09:15):
We were at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas which is a huge punk festival. I think that was… Is it a bowling alley down there?
Justin Wilson (00:09:27):
Deedle Lacour (00:09:27):
I can’t even remember where we were. We went upstairs, [crosstalk 00:09:30] and it was so loud. That one was… I mean, it worked out pretty well. [crosstalk 00:09:43] there was so much space.
Dan Napoli (00:09:45):
Yeah, he spoke on a balcony. I wonder if it was some of those venues because you know sometimes you have some of those older… Ogden Theater is one that comes to mind where they have an upstairs. I actually thought maybe I was like, “Gosh, is the only time they can get him was during the opening bands?” He’s upstairs with his… how much did you guys have to do… Besides having whoever is running sound probably want to kill you or kill the situation, did you guys have to do a lot? He’s pretty separated out. As much noise as there is, you never really… You understand everything he says. You’re not really competing much with…
Deedle Lacour (00:10:26):
I’m an audio guy before I was a filmmaker, and then we had a total badass mix the film. Justin and I work, and James, at a big post house in Dallas and Austin, Charlotte Uniform Tango, so we have a lot of resources. We recorded as good of audio as we could get there. We did have him mic’d up with a closer mic because the further away mic was almost useless. It was all the law of things, and even there, there was a lot of work done on any Joey Cape audio. It worked, I think, a lot because the nature of the film, it’s pretty fast-paced and loud. There were some moments in his interview where the audio was almost unusable, pieces we didn’t use.
Dan Napoli (00:11:40):
Let’s go off the Joey Cape thing for a while to go back to the structure, bounce out of the technical for a while, get more into story. Tell me a little bit. I’m curious how on earth… How do you go about tackling a story and a band with this much influence? You could literally talk to anybody who played pop-punk after 1985 and certainly anybody who was in through the ’90s rebirth that is like, “This band is super loved, super influential, a signature in their sound.” How do you sift through that? How is it Mark Hoppus and Joey Cape, but not Mike Herrera? Not giving you crap, but you brought up MxPx earlier. You could literally put out everybody who’s put out a punk record in the last 30 years, and I’m sure they would have jumped to sit and talk about this.
Deedle Lacour (00:12:50):
I mean, we… Pretty much anybody we approached was willing to do it. I think that we originally had plans to have more people in it, but then when we started interviewing all the actual people in the band, because there was that rotating cast for so long before they have the main guys, and we got such great stuff with all the dudes, it felt better just to have mostly them tell the story. For the sake of, I think, really getting out to those people who had never heard of Descendants… We wanted to tell the actual story, but we also wanted to tell this story to the non-fan, so the Dave Grohls, the Mark Hoppuses, they help tell that story to a much larger audience than just other punk rock guys.
Deedle Lacour (00:14:00):
I don’t know if it was necessarily conscious to leave out particular people, but I think it’s just certain people told the story better. I mean, there was so much we had to leave on the cutting room floor. Literally Mike Watt, we did an hour and a half of Mike Watt, and his interview… Some day I’d just like to put that whole interview out because he’s a philosopher, and he talks with a jargon that it’s all water references, like boating, and sailing, and not pirate-y, but it’s just… we just… Go ahead?
Dan Napoli (00:14:45):
I was going to longshoreman-esque, a lot of longshoreman jargon from Watt?
Deedle Lacour (00:14:49):
Yeah. Mike Herrera from MxPx is in the film a little bit. He’s only got a couple little spots, but we did get him in there. I’m sure there’s tons of people that we missed. I know there’s some people that were pissed off that they didn’t get in there.
Dan Napoli (00:15:11):
That’s always a case when you’re doing a film that big though, right?
Justin Wilson (00:15:15):
We interviewed Mike Herrera right there behind you.
Deedle Lacour (00:15:18):
Dan Napoli (00:15:18):
Oh, no way.
Deedle Lacour (00:15:20):
It was literally right there.
Dan Napoli (00:15:24):
That’s awesome. Certainly, I wasn’t like, “Where’s my favorite guy?” I was more thinking too, I mean, do you guys have… For us in 50 Summers, our minor league baseball documentary, I think we did 41 interviews and used 29 or something like that, so some people were disappointed. Then we even had some festival notes where folks were like, “There’s too many people in here.” You’re like, “Oh man, well I have a whole list that didn’t even get in. You should see where this went.” [crosstalk 00:16:02]
Justin Wilson (00:16:02):
We took care of that with all the bonus stuff. We made long bonus features where we got people that didn’t get into the movie, we put them in. We interviewed Glen E. Friedman a little bit too late to get into the film, so he’s featured pretty well in the bonus features.
Dan Napoli (00:16:27):
Deedle Lacour (00:16:28):
Yeah, the bonus stuff is really like a second movie. Justin really took that on just because we had so much stuff. I think it’s another 52 minute… It’s an actual edit. It’s not just sections.
Dan Napoli (00:16:48):
Deedle Lacour (00:16:49):
It’s a whole other piece that complements the film. It’s probably because Justin did a lot of the film festivals with us. We did a divide and conquer on the film festivals because there were so many in that era when we were doing them. We got a lot of feedback from all of the hardcore fans like, “Oh, you didn’t talk about this, or there wasn’t enough of this.” I think after hearing that for a year it’s like, “Well, we got all this stuff, but it doesn’t really work in the actual film, or it would have been a three hour movie.”
Justin Wilson (00:17:29):
Dan Napoli (00:17:32):
Talk a little bit, if you will, about your process, taking it through festival, and then ultimately getting it for distribution. I remember, as a fan, being super frustrated of just like, “Oh my god, when can I… I’ll pay whatever. When can I see this? I can’t even follow them on social anymore because we’re in Omaha, and it’s not hitting any festivals or any little things around us.” It’s like, “Oh my god, how long am I going to have to wait for this thing?”
Justin Wilson (00:17:59):
Yeah, that sucked. It sucked being done and then it taking a little while before it came out. We were already getting some, “This movie is never going to come out messages,” but then even after we figured out distribution, finally figured it out, got it all worked out, then they have their own calendar. Then that took a long time before that happened, so then we were once again telling people, “Stay tuned.” It went on for so long it felt like at the time. Now it’s hard to quantify it.
Deedle Lacour (00:18:31):
We had a pretty big challenge, bigger than a lot of films, in that we had a sizeable amount of audio masters to license from SST. Historically, that’s challenging for people because Greg Ginn is just… It’s hard for people to even be able to get a hold of him, so that was a challenge. We got that done with the help from our producer Caryn Capotosto. Justin and I ended up having to literally show up at a Black Flag show. They started touring again right around the time we were trying to get all the licensing done. We jut showed up early to a show and cornered Greg outside.
Dan Napoli (00:19:30):
The grown up equivalent to the autograph… It’s like, “Do you want me to sign some 7-inch?” You’re like, “No, we’re shooting a documentary. We need to get this music licensed.”
Justin Wilson (00:19:41):
That’s exactly what it was.
Deedle Lacour (00:19:41):
After for six months, we were trying to do things through the official channels. Once we just finally got in front of him, he thought we wanted him to sit for an interview. Once he realized, “No, we’re just trying to pay you money to let us use the songs in a movie about the guys,” then he gave us the name of his lawyer. I think we finally got the name of the person we needed to talk to.
Justin Wilson (00:20:15):
Deedle Lacour (00:20:15):
Anyways, that… Nobody knows who that person is unless they have that inside track with Greg. That was one of the big things that took a long time was just getting that done. We had never done it before. This was our first feature. We had so much we had to license.
Dan Napoli (00:20:37):
I was going to ask if you knew at all what you were up against once you first went into it or you had forgot? The epitaph stuff will be easy from a process standpoint. I know over the years we’ve actually done some stuff, Hector Martinez and their department, and stuff like that, but then yeah, dude. I forgot. I was like, “Oh my god.” Where is that SST stuff even from a… I don’t even see… The label’s technically not active, right?
Deedle Lacour (00:21:14):
Well, it’s certainly active in the sense that all that is still generating revenue on streaming platforms. You can still order stuff online through their online… You can still buy Descendants vinyl and T-shirts through their website, so somebody is still operating the online store.
Dan Napoli (00:21:39):
It’s not like digging through the SST website and being like, “Oh, it’s Sally Smith. They’re the music supervisor or the music licensing coordinator.” It probably was a little bit more difficult than that it sounded like to get that stuff.
Justin Wilson (00:21:50):
Deedle Lacour (00:21:54):
Oh, yeah. I don’t think we fully thought through that on the front end. It was more getting Bill on board. By the time we had Bill on board, we had this momentum going. We had already started shooting some shows, and then it just took off because we went public. I think we announced with a Facebook, and an Instagram, and then it just picked up. We started getting press when we were just starting. It helped us in a lot of ways, but it was also the thing like Justin is mentioning where people were like you, were pissed off because that was in 2011. We didn’t start doing film festivals until 2013, and then it took another year to get the licensing and the distribution done. Yeah. It was basically four years.
Dan Napoli (00:23:00):
Talk a little bit. You mentioned him earlier. How did you guys get Dave Grohl in the process, and where did he come on board? How did you guys… The Mark Hoppus is a little bit more obvious. I mean, if you really know Dave Grohl, it makes sense too, but you know what I mean. For the general person, you can connect the Blink-182 dot maybe quicker than you can connect maybe the Foo Fighters dot or you don’t even know there’s a Scream dot to be like, “Oh, okay.”
Justin Wilson (00:23:29):
That was a two year process.
Dan Napoli (00:23:31):
Justin Wilson (00:23:33):
I mean, yeah. It was very long.
Deedle Lacour (00:23:36):
Ultimately, we went through all the official channels, even had some additional back channels. At the end of the day, Bill was like, “You need me to call Dave?” We were like, “Yes.” Then Bill called or sent a text to Dave, and got an immediate response, and Dave’s like, “Oh, yeah. I’ll do it. Have them send this person an email or whatever.” It’s all about just getting through all the people that protect.
Justin Wilson (00:24:17):
The gatekeepers I think is the [crosstalk 00:24:20].
Deedle Lacour (00:24:20):
Yeah. Once we had that person, and we specifically were like, “Dave told Bill to have us contact you,” it got set up, but it was still like, “All right, he’s available this Tuesday at this time to this time.” We had a week, so we had to… Everybody had to get off work, we had to book flights, but that was it.
Justin Wilson (00:24:53):
We interviewed Bad Religion that same day that we interviewed Dave Grohl.
Deedle Lacour (00:24:57):
Dan Napoli (00:24:57):
Oh cool, both the Gurewitz and then was Brian Baker also done that same day?
Deedle Lacour (00:25:05):
Justin Wilson (00:25:06):
That was done in the studio while they were recording an album. I think they were a little bit trying to do their album, and we’re there asking them about a contemporary. They were cool about it, but they were in the middle of making an album.
Deedle Lacour (00:25:21):
Yeah. It was actually… What’s that dude? He mixed Tool records. Joe… It started with B. Anyways, he’s a big time producer guy. His studio is badass. He has all these toys. You had to walk through this maze of shelves with all his toys and stuff, and we were walking in there not a big crew, but we weren’t just one or two guys. I think there was seven of us in our crew that day. He was a little freaking out because I don’t think that… I mean, Brett set up the interview and had his people set it up. They knew we were coming, but it freaked them out, I think, that it was more people than they thought and more cameras. It was funny.
Justin Wilson (00:26:22):
That’s 80% of the film shoots that I’m on. You show up, and they’re like, “Oh, I thought it was just going to be you.”
Deedle Lacour (00:26:33):
Justin Wilson (00:26:34):
There’s an audio person and a camera system.
Deedle Lacour (00:26:37):
We have lights.
Justin Wilson (00:26:38):
Dan Napoli (00:26:38):
I have a gaffer, I’m sorry.
Justin Wilson (00:26:42):
It happens all the time.
Dan Napoli (00:26:44):
It’s always that weird pendulum, right? If you just show up with the smallest footprint like a single dude and a single operator, it’s like, “Oh, I thought this was a pro setup.”
Justin Wilson (00:26:55):
Dan Napoli (00:26:56):
You show up with some gear and some people, and they’re like, “Oh, I didn’t know you were going to have stuff.”
Deedle Lacour (00:27:03):
I felt like we had walked in there right when something intense was happening in the recording studio. They were working through something. It was just… It was funny.
Justin Wilson (00:27:14):
Dan Napoli (00:27:14):
I want to ask a story question, a two-parter. Did you know going in… Was Bill adamant going in that it was the story of Descendants and All, or were you guys adamant about that, that you can’t tell one without the other? Was there ever a consideration to have it just be Descendants?
Deedle Lacour (00:27:46):
Well, we definitely… I wouldn’t say we were adamant. I just think that’s what we set out to do was tell the whole story. Bill, of all people, would want the whole story to be told, although he jokingly says, “Oh, you’re spending too much time on the yellow guy,” or, “The yellow guy is too big on the art.”
Justin Wilson (00:28:16):
Deedle Lacour (00:28:20):
In some ways, it almost seems Allroy is almost a metaphor for Bill, whereas Milo… All the love is on Milo, yet Bill is the guy that’s been carrying the thing, and doing it, and he’s written so many of the songs that everybody loves. I think the hardcore fans know that, but the, as Bill would say, these people, the Mohawks, the punkers, they all connect with Milo and just that whole old school aesthetic of punk. We definitely wanted to tell that, and we wanted to get to the bottom of why is it that Descendants are so loved and why is All so not loved?
Justin Wilson (00:29:17):
Yeah. All four of the main filmmakers were all All fans, so it wasn’t like that was really something that some of us had to convince of the other. It was all basically baked into the idea because there was those years between when they would only have a new All album would come out. We all thrived on that, being big fans of both bands. Some of us got into All first. I got into Descendants first, but some of the other filmmakers of Filmage were way bigger All fans before they were Descendants fans, so that only made more sense for us to be more even. To all of us, we all understand the way that they work. It didn’t seem like a stretch to us at all because there’s no reason to leave out this part that was so personally important. We wouldn’t dare leave out the part with Pummel or whatever. You couldn’t do that, if you were any of us.
Deedle Lacour (00:30:38):
Although, I think we did… It was interesting to see the perspectives of the All singers. I never thought of it in terms of from their perspective. They definitely each have their own perspective, especially Scott and Chad because Dave was in there for such a short amount of time. They definitely… It really sucks to be those guys because not only are they always in the shadow of Milo, but a lot of times they’re in the shadow of the other All singer that people prefer Scott, or they prefer Chad. I really felt that, especially on Chad’s interview when we were interviewing him and just how I’ve seen it play out in real life. He loves being in that band, and loves All, and loves making music with those guys, but he’s just this one part of this whole bigger thing that most people care more about the Descendants anyways.
Justin Wilson (00:31:40):
People love to rank stuff. People love to have to decide this is better than that, whether it’s musicians or whatever. I don’t understand the need to do that.
Dan Napoli (00:31:55):
They can’t be appreciated in their own. I’m a huge All fan. I was saying before we turned on, I’m probably one of the only five people… In post, we’ll have Sasha do a cut in. I won’t try get my calf in front of the camera, but I have the huge Mass Nerder cover on the back of my calves. It’s interesting what you said. Some of your guys… I found…
Justin Wilson (00:32:22):
Deedle Lacour (00:32:23):
It’s Milo thinking about Allroy.
Justin Wilson (00:32:25):
Deedle Lacour (00:32:29):
Allroy to me is the metaphor for Bill.
Dan Napoli (00:32:33):
Again, I know my punk rock music cred will go way down, but I didn’t realize… Context is always king too. I think it’s also easier when Bill talks about those guys, especially post Everything Sucks because they came back, and it became a thing. I didn’t realize at first that All was Descendants. I thought it was just separate. I found All though Pummel when that started getting pushed. I was like, “This is great. This is a great record.” I grew up in Denver. They were based out of Fort Collins. I was like, “Oh, this is so cool,” and then somebody connected the dots for me and was like, “Well, you know that’s basically all the players in…” I was like, “What? No way.”
Justin Wilson (00:33:18):
That’s very interesting. Yeah, that’s cool.
Dan Napoli (00:33:22):
Then, what, a year later? I also didn’t really know… I think the forgotten guy in a way who I really like though and is for me is Scott because then the next thing that happened was people were like, “Oh, and also Dave Smalley from Down By Law and Dag Nasty was the singer in the first.” Then there’s these two little records in here, but they’re really solid records, dude. I think Scott’s work, in my estimation of it, almost gets overlooked, but I guess maybe for core All fans, that’s the guy that they were more passionate about because, like you said, he’s 1A or 1B I should say because Dave was out of there so quickly.
Justin Wilson (00:34:11):
I love Scott.
Deedle Lacour (00:34:12):
Yeah. I feel like more people are into Scott. Then it’s always like half the people that are posting online still and interact with all those guys are like, “Oh, yeah. They need to do a show with both singers or with all three singers.” I feel so bad for Chad because he’s still the actual singer of All.
Justin Wilson (00:34:37):
Deedle Lacour (00:34:37):
They’ll never make another record. At the end of the day, I just don’t think the guys will… Now that Milo will do records again, if they put out an All record, nobody cares about it, but if they put out a Descendants record, everybody care about it. It’ll be the same song. It’ll just be Milo will sing it versus Chad.
Dan Napoli (00:34:59):
Right, they’re like the punk rock Kiss but nice people. In the setup where you saw there was that whole thing where at some point they decided to totally tread it back, bring back the original guys. They put all the other dudes on hiatus, put the makeup back on. They were going to bring them back, but then they were like, “Nah. People want to see Ace Freely.” They’re in a bit of that zone. Talk a little bit about… I want to see your guys’ take on the longevity of the film. I even had to remember in reaching out to you guys and then looking at the stuff like, “God, this is from 2014. Has it really been that long?” It still seems very… I’ll start to see whatever, Reddit threads pick up about it, or there’s a review here or these. Has it stayed relevant longer than you guys expected? Did you even know what to expect?
Justin Wilson (00:36:04):
We were just talking about this the other day how we get Twitter mentions all the time from people that have just recently seen it, and love it, and are writing about it constantly. Same on all social media, there’s just been consistently people watching it for the hundredth time, or so they’ll say, as well as new viewers that are talking about it online.
Justin Wilson (00:36:40):
I thought it was funny how it never gets mentioned in any of the Spin Magazine’s 10 Best Punk Documentaries, but they point to four of the documentaries will be the most random 420P YouTube doc on a subset of Scotland punk from the year ’83 through ’89. It’s like, “Okay.” I just think it’s funny. It’s funny. I don’t know that many documentaries that have people that are dying to talk about it, and writing all this stuff about it, and pouring out their heart about is years later about a punk band. I just find it to be a rare thing, but just like the band, I feel like it’s slightly underestimated as far as whatever big music magazine might be trying to talk about… I understand the need to put Decline of Western Civilization and everything in there. I think maybe, like the band, it’s just maybe missed the radar still a bit as far as the big magazines go.
Dan Napoli (00:37:50):
Much like the band’s work, judged in and of itself, awesome work. Like I said, I love punk rock documentaries. I know it’s maybe not the same comparison when you used to have the setup where label X has a documentary out about somebody, but there is some more recent stuff where I’m so excited to watch it, and then I’m like, “Oh, yeah. Sometimes these aren’t super well made.” Filmage is not like that. The story management is awesome. The ebb and flow is deep.
Dan Napoli (00:38:28):
I know something else I wanted to see where story and the visual met is who came up or how this came in. I thought the transitions that you guys used with the records, and the albums, and the way you had the stuff, whether you were actually using a slider or not, but stuff moving over it, I thought that was really, really cool. Did the visual with that start first, or was it more you’re breaking up the story like, “Okay, we need some transition here. I’ll just circle, we need to fill this in later,” and then you came up with that’s how you were going to do it? Did you always know that you wanted to incorporate the artwork? I’m curious about that.
Deedle Lacour (00:39:12):
I mean, I think I wanted to do that pretty early on just because there’s so much art, and so many records, and albums. I don’t know how, when we thought about doing it where it does go from the 7-inches, to the records, to the cassettes, to the CD’s. We even shot some iPods for Cool To Be You, but it felt better to go back to vinyl because vinyl started having a resurgence. Just seeing… I think I had recently watched… We watched the Foo Fighters doc, and they just did it looked like a JPEG of the album art on black. They just did… That’s, to me, what you do for a placeholder. I just felt like, “Oh, man. This is a great opportunity.” Yes, Justin did… He had a slider. We were using that slider a lot. Me and Justin did that whole shoot. It was just the two of us. We spent a whole day or two shooting all those records. Oh man, my hands were all sore from holding them, and doing the moves.
Justin Wilson (00:40:40):
It’s Deedle in all those shots holding the records.
Dan Napoli (00:40:43):
I was going to ask. I literally was going to be like, “Whose hands were those?”
Justin Wilson (00:40:46):
We used the Kessler Pocket Dolly on that which is a smaller… It was an eight foot or maybe it was a six. I can’t remember how long it was. It’s in the other room actually. I still have it. That’s how we did those dolly moves on that. I want to say we came up with that stuff near the end after we had the story figured out. That way, we knew we needed to do this on this. When someone is like, “Yeah, I called up Bill,” and then we would shoot. Deedle shot my hand picking up the phone. I went and bought and old black, vintage, old school phone for that. Yeah, we bought some props, so that we could do that. I know that process was closer to the end when we had our dialogue pretty much figured out.
Deedle Lacour (00:41:41):
Yeah, we definitely probably had placeholders in there, but we knew that we wanted to have that actual physical thing. It also gave me a reason to get all the vinyl. The copy of Milo Goes to College I got, I specifically wanted to make sure it was on Mike Watt’s label before SST. The first three Descendants records were on Mike Watt’s label. I forget what it was called, New Line.
Dan Napoli (00:42:22):
I didn’t know that.
Deedle Lacour (00:42:23):
Yeah. It wasn’t on SST. SST bought that label out from the Minutemen.
Justin Wilson (00:42:31):
It’s in the movie. That little part is in the movie, Mike Watts talking about him being young. He’s in there for a second.
Deedle Lacour (00:42:40):
Yeah, he’s like, “Then they put out Milo Goes to College or whatever.” He was talking about that because he put it out. Mike Watt and the Minutemen guys, they ran that label. New Alliance, that’s what it was called.
Dan Napoli (00:42:56):
New Alliance, that’s right. I was going to say New Frontier, but I was like, “No.”
Deedle Lacour (00:43:00):
Yeah. I have… My copy of Milo Goes to College is an original pressing from New Alliance.
Dan Napoli (00:43:08):
He must have been a dude pressing gold gems for you guys. I also know there’s the great part when he’s talking about, I think, it’s the first time they ever played for them together, and they opened. He’s like, “There’s some dude in fishing boots.” He’s like, “Hmm, you don’t see that every day.”
Deedle Lacour (00:43:25):
Yeah, he’s like, “Fucking fishing boots,” whatever he says. It’s so funny. It’s such a Mike Watt delivery. He was probably the most interesting person to get to meet and spend a little time with.
Dan Napoli (00:43:45):
When you guys shot those records, I’m curious, did you decide that you were going to do it in whatever that setting was where you had the red brick in most of those stuff and actually have a record player in a lot of those shots?
Justin Wilson (00:44:06):
That was just a wall in my loft at the time.
Dan Napoli (00:44:08):
Justin Wilson (00:44:09):
That was just inside.
Dan Napoli (00:44:11):
It worked out because I thought for however you got it set up that the artwork really popped off that background, so you could really get in to see. I thought it was neat too because for both of those bands, the art and the illustration is always a huge part of their existence. I thought that was really solid.
Justin Wilson (00:44:35):
Oh, yeah. You’re talking about the TV that we shot that stuff on that had posters taped to it. That was the same wall. We did all of that. That was a conscious decision. Deedle was like, “You lived in this loft a year in this loft. We need to shoot all the stuff at the loft.”
Dan Napoli (00:44:52):
Deedle Lacour (00:44:54):
[crosstalk 00:44:54]. I wanted it to feel like you’re going through that collection from the same person’s collection. We shot a lot of funny stuff in there, pulling the tapes out of the old cassette holder, the wood paneled.
Justin Wilson (00:45:13):
Yeah, I was going to say that earlier. That was a conscious decision to do the vinyl first and then the tapes whenever tapes were more popular. To carry it that way was [crosstalk 00:45:24].
Deedle Lacour (00:45:24):
Which was funny because it was that really shitty area where the band… It was the Scott era, and that’s the era that in a lot of ways feels like the low point in the band’s trajectory.
Justin Wilson (00:45:42):
It’s like, “Deedle, take out this tape.”
Deedle Lacour (00:45:44):
Even the tapes, I feel like one of them was cracked, and we just didn’t even replace it. We just left it cracked.
Justin Wilson (00:45:51):
Those are my old tapes. Those are actually my old all tapes that I’ve had since I was a kid that are cracked. The face of the tape is frosted now a little bit and scratched up.
Dan Napoli (00:46:04):
It is weird, dude. It’s cool again because they address it in the movie. I always was like, “Wait, why are they in fucking Missouri? Wait, what? Punk rock doesn’t come from Missouri,” but when somebody had the great line to the effect of it’s like, “By that point in time, you couldn’t get arrested for playing punk rock in California anymore. They had to get out.” I think some of those All records with Scott coordinate with that time period.
Deedle Lacour (00:46:38):
Dan Napoli (00:46:39):
Can you guys talk a little about… You talked about the quest and the hill you had to get over with licensing music and SST. There is a ton of archival found footage in there that I’m really curious to what was the process like? How did you even find that stuff existed to get your hands on it?
Deedle Lacour (00:47:05):
[crosstalk 00:47:05]… Go ahead.
Justin Wilson (00:47:06):
An endless process.
Deedle Lacour (00:47:07):
One of the things we did is when we made that big announcement in 2011 when we were basically going down to Punk Rock Bowling and did a bunch of shooting is we announced we were going to set up a website with an upload option where people could upload anything they had. We got a lot of people that essentially uploaded old flyers, old photos, some old footage, but the real mother load came directly from Bill when we finally went and did his interview, and he really… I feel like it’s somebody… I know it’s Chris Shary, their artist. Chris Shary sat Bill down. He’s like, “Bill, this is really important. You need to do this. These guys are for real, legit, they’re going to do it.” We had done our interview with Chris earlier that year, and Chris, we really hit it off with him. He really believed in our vision for it, so he got Bill fully on board. After we spent a whole day with Bill, and then Bill basically handed over six boxes of videos, old film negative, photos, promo photos, just the whole thing. He just let us take it. We literally loaded it up in my car because we had driven.
Justin Wilson (00:48:40):
Weren’t you scanning some of it there though?
Deedle Lacour (00:48:43):
I think that I started, and we realized…
Justin Wilson (00:48:47):
There was no way.
Deedle Lacour (00:48:48):
… there was no way.
Justin Wilson (00:48:50):
Deedle Lacour (00:48:51):
He was just like, “Take it.” He’s like, “You know, I want it back, but…” it took me, I think… I mean, I took two weeks off of work just to do the scanning. I did it all, and then we did all the digitizing of the tapes. There were so many tapes. Some of that stuff, nobody has ever seen before. Literally it was one of those probably tapes that some guy was filming, and then Bug stole the tape out of the camera.
Justin Wilson (00:49:30):
That was absolutely it sometimes.
Deedle Lacour (00:49:35):
Some of that stuff was shot by Louis Elovitz who he shot a lot of those punk shows in the ’80s in LA. He shot almost all that Minutemen footage that was in that doc.
Dan Napoli (00:49:50):
Oh, wow. Cool.
Deedle Lacour (00:49:54):
They didn’t really credit him properly. He was a little irritated about that, so we made sure and gave him the credits that he wanted, and called him out, and brought him up when I think we did one of our screenings in LA. A lot of good footage came from him, some of that old stuff.
Justin Wilson (00:50:13):
Punk rock video godfather.
Deedle Lacour (00:50:15):
Dan Napoli (00:50:15):
Nice. Just a couple more questions before we wrap it up, guys. In what’s out there now and a bit of the legacy of it, if you will, I want to know how stoked are you guys about what’s out there, the film that’s out there and lives, and then how is Bill, and the band, and all the Descendants family feel about what ultimately ended up being the film?
Deedle Lacour (00:50:52):
I mean, I feel like we put out the best possible version of the film that we could. So much went into it. We didn’t always agree on everything like filmmakers, but just through a laborious process, I feel like we put out the best movie that we could make at the time. I feel like it holds up. We always wanted it to be a movie that anybody could watch, and that kept your attention, and moved fast enough to not bog down. I feel like that’s what we put out there.
Deedle Lacour (00:51:37):
I think the band, all of them have been complimentary. Bill… They were very hands off. They basically didn’t ask us to change anything or do anything. It feels like we’re part of the family now with all them, but it seems like it worked out pretty well on that project. I’m working on another project that’s a little more challenging with another band. It just seems like all the stars aligned. They have a happy story in the end, so that helps. With a lot of bands or a lot of stories, that’s not the case. I can see how maybe the relationship with the filmmakers and the subject don’t work out great in the end, but I think because of that, because they left… The story ended right when they were taking back off. Bill just, at first he was a little weird I think with that stuff about his dad and all that, but at the end of the day, I think he just realized that he had to… I think everybody told him, “Man, you should let that be in there because that’s a big part of the story.”
Justin Wilson (00:53:17):
… and the music.
Deedle Lacour (00:53:18):
Justin Wilson (00:53:19):
It affects the music, so it actually is relevant.
Dan Napoli (00:53:23):
Yeah, absolutely. I think something too that gives it a… You start talking about relatability and connection that like, “Okay, I don’t have to be a super hardcore kid or a super Descendants kid from a certain period of time.” There’s a lot of folks that can relate to, I guess of all ages, but of that age and growing up in that time that maybe have some of those kinds of relationships with their parents. I thought it was…
Deedle Lacour (00:53:48):
Oh, yeah. Everything is daddy issues or parent issues in life, so many things.
Dan Napoli (00:53:57):
Anything from you? Any of those closing thoughts on what you guys ended up putting out there in the world?
Justin Wilson (00:54:04):
I’m super happy with it. I think that it is balanced a bit by the bonus cut that we made that tells the story through a different set of people, sometimes the same story, but some stories that got taken out of the original get told for the first time in the bonus. I think together it makes something a little bit more special than some bonus features on some docs or whatever. I’m really… Man, I love doing it.
Justin Wilson (00:54:44):
I was going to say earlier when you were like, “Man, I’ve seen some other docs, and they don’t quite do the same.” We had the ability to have a band that was getting back together and going on their upswing after these numerous health issues and side quest bands that didn’t work out so well. As much as we did try to do our best, it also was the fact that the band and us came together at the right time to make a documentary. As much as I’d love to toot our horn, it was a lot of just timing that we happened to get in there and be there right at the right moment when everything was… He survived, and we were elated, and we didn’t know if that was going to happen. We were filming at South By Southwest with a band that was covering Descendants just to try to grab anything and everything, trying to… The future was uncertain, and the fact that he became healthy, and didn’t have any issues, and then progressed as a musician, you can just turn the camera on, hit record, and you could make your doc like that, man.
Dan Napoli (00:55:55):
Yeah. There’s a certain amount, for any of our works, of serendipity that comes into it. You guys, not to take… You guys did a fantastic job. I love your film. Filmage, Filmage, I’m always going back and forth of where I put the emphasis. Where can people, because they absolutely should… Anybody who listens to our podcast, if you haven’t seen this, it’s an amazing documentary. It’s an amazing story on a bunch of levels. You should definitely check it out. Where can people watch it right now?
Deedle Lacour (00:56:27):
It’s on Amazon Prime is the easiest thing. It’s on Tubi and the other things, and it should be back on iTunes shortly. We actually have a new distributor, and it’s being re-released right now. Then if you go to FilmageMovie.com, you can always… There’s usually links to get it physically. You can get in on Amazon, if you want a physical copy, or Kings Road Merch, the band’s website if you want a Blu-ray DVD. Amazon Prime, Tubi, and then all of the normal digital outlets, whatever people prefer. It’s free if you’ve got Prime. I think Tubi is free. I don’t even know what that is.
Justin Wilson (00:57:14):
Most people that listen to this are going to want the bonus features, so you’re going to need to go to FilmageMovie.com in order to get that.
Dan Napoli (00:57:20):
Yeah, dude. That’s crazy. I didn’t know. I honestly just perused it again. I had bought mine in iTunes, so I didn’t know that. It’s still there, thank god, but so you can’t go buy it new if you haven’t already?
Justin Wilson (00:57:33):
Not at the moment, but you will soon.
Deedle Lacour (00:57:35):
Dan Napoli (00:57:37):
Deedle Lacour (00:57:38):
It’s just distributor crap, but it’ll be back up on iTunes soon.
Dan Napoli (00:57:46):
Hopefully, they get it up. If they’re smart, they get it up by Record Store Day…
Deedle Lacour (00:57:50):
Dan Napoli (00:57:51):
… because there’s that new Descendants…
Deedle Lacour (00:57:52):
Dan Napoli (00:57:53):
… coming out.
Deedle Lacour (00:57:55):
Yeah, the bonus stuff, you can actually through our website, we have where you can just get that stuff. If you already own the film or whatever, you can just get the bonus stuff as a little add on.
Dan Napoli (00:58:09):
Very cool. We’ll definitely link out to your stuff. Super quick, just because you mentioned it, do you guys want to mention what you’re currently working on right now if there’s anything that you can menton or you want to?
Justin Wilson (00:58:26):
I did the Fat Wreck documentary. You can check that out. It’s already out. It’s not coming out, but if you like punk rock documentaries.
Deedle Lacour (00:58:37):
Matt Riggle has been working on a doc on Scott Reynolds. It’s a little bit more of a music film, but that is in the works. Then I’ve been producing a doc on the band King’s X. That’s also still in the works, but it’ll probably be a while before any news on that one.
Dan Napoli (00:59:02):
Oh, wow. Am I remembering correctly, King’s X, it was a trio, right?
Deedle Lacour (00:59:07):
Dan Napoli (00:59:08):
Okay. Wow. That would be super interesting.
Justin Wilson (00:59:11):
You know, I was working on the Big Boys doc for a while, but that came to a halt, speaking of punk rock documentaries which I’d forgot for a minute.
Dan Napoli (00:59:22):
Is that totally… You’ve totally moved on? That’s not going to potentially come back on your radar?
Justin Wilson (00:59:30):
I don’t know. I have a cut of it, but there’s some other people that some of the producing responsibilities shifted, and then the person that was supposed to get it done, didn’t get it done. I’ve had a cut that I’ve been trying to get people to look at for a while. It’s a full on thing, just like Filmage or Fat Wreck. It’s a 90 minute full with interview.
Deedle Lacour (00:59:59):
I’ve actually seen a version of that cut, and it’s pretty fantastic, so I hope that y’all figure that out.
Justin Wilson (01:00:04):
Dan Napoli (01:00:04):
Yeah, hope the rest of the world gets to at some point.
Justin Wilson (01:00:10):
I’ll send it to you.
Dan Napoli (01:00:11):
Oh, that’d be amazing. Thank you. Thanks so much for stopping by, taking a little bit of your time to visit. Dude, that’s great to hear there’s a re-release. I hope more people get to jump on and check out the film.
Deedle Lacour (01:00:26):
Awesome, man. Appreciate it.
Justin Wilson (01:00:28):
Thanks a lot.
Deedle Lacour (01:00:36):
Take to easy.
Child Narrator (01:00:36):
A Hurrdat Media Production.