I just spent the weekend filming with the Yarn Dawgz of San Antonio and I am filled with filmmaking adrenalin. I even called John on Friday night at like 3:30 am which means it was technically Saturday morning and said “I LOVE DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING! I want to do this FOREVER” on his voicemail. I vaguely remember this, he had to remind me.
One rule of documentary filmmaking is that nothing ever goes as planned so be prepared.
The plan was:
* Friday night film B Roll of the Yarn Dawgz, shoot Dino and Billy doing stuff for JumpStart at First Friday.
* Saturday film the installation at Blue Star and shoot one interview.
* Sunday film the other interview and get pick up shots. If time get scenic B Roll of San Antonio
I was a little nervous about the Friday shoot because I would be filming on my own in a very crowded area. John is in Portugal, Spencer is busy with school and Taylor is working. First Friday is an awesome San Antonio South Town tradition where all the art galleries and local shops open their doors to the city and have a big party on the First Friday of the month. It was going to be hard to be a one woman crew but I was up for the challenge.
I got to Jump Start around 4pm because of all the traffic on I-35 from Austin, thankfully before all crowds showed up on South Alamo Street in the Blue Star Art complex. I put mics on Dino and Billy and just started filming them in their natural element. Jump Start was preparing for a window performance of a graffiti artist taggin’ a boxcar. I wasn’t really sure what I was in for but was excited by whatever it was going to be. The guys also took me around the complex to show me an old installation that they wanted to take down. It was great to see the decay of an installation. It was faded and kind of gross, (which is awesome). I’m starting to think that the rot of an old installation can somehow be an ending to the documentary itself. I shot the guys deinstalling the piece before getting swallowed by the twilight Blue Star crowd.
The guys got back to work while I absorbed the environment. When it was show time everyone in Jump Star was running around like crazy. Thankfully they were doing two shows so that I should get different shots of the performance. I was blown away by the show. It starred Cros, the other initial Yarn Dawg (who actually lives next door to Billy and Dino). It was about a graffiti artist sneaking around and tagging a boxcar and then being chased by the cops, only to have one of the cops tag a bench herself. It was really beautiful and powerful. I love live performances and theater. Nothing I could write or film could really capture just being there.
After a crazy long day I was exhausted but my adrenaline was still pumping through my veins. Billy and Dino invited me out to the Strip. Now I’m from San Antonio but I haven’t lived there for 8 years so I didn’t know what the Strip was. There’s a delightful area of Main Street in San Antonio, called the Strip, that has become populated by gay clubs. It was awesome. I’ll leave out the details of the night but it included some food at Luther’s Cafe accompanied by a Drag Queen singing Adele (actually better than Adele sings), some drinks and dancing at a place everyone refers to as Gay Bennigans. I was feeling good. I logged my footage and was in bed by 4am.
Saturday I met up with Dino and Billy at Blue Star to shoot their installation. I suited up (put my equipment on) and the guys got ready. As we’re filming, Billy and Dino notice that their knitted pieces don’t fit the poles like they thought. They discussed the options. They looked around the complex to see if their pieces could fit anywhere else. In the end it started to rain and they decided that they would not do a project that they didn’t feel 100% proud of. I went back to the guy’s place which turned out to be a yarn bombed sanctuary. Billy even walked me down their street to show me all the stop sign posts he’s done. We were running out of time because Dino and Billy were going to perform a song for their friend’s birthday later that night. We called it a day and planned to meet on Sunday.
On Sunday I got a call from the guys who had to cancel because of family stuff. I was feeling so good from the stuff I got on Friday and Saturday that I didn’t even feel sad about it. I could always get their interviews another time. Plus I can come back to shoot the finished installation.