Scene 6, July 31: Closing night
Tapes shot: 75 Artown, 15 Sonic Youth
It's the last night of Artown, and Charlie is sitting at a table outside of Dreamers Coffeehouse, waiting for the other Moonshiners to show up. By now, the members of the project have gotten to see for themselves what Artown is about.
"I had a preconceived bias because a lot of the PCs [project coordinators] thought Artown was going away from the local and getting more commercial," says Charlie. "I don't think it's accurate that it's commercial or corrupt. I see faults but also benefits. I think the problems--there are a few that could be avoided with a more diverse, younger board. They have well-known people in the community [both artists and business people], but they don't have the local guy who knows what's going on in the youth scene. Other things are only going to be fixed by doing this year after year."
The project has changed some of Charlie's views of Reno: "I used to see this town as having nothing progressive--nothing happening but drugs and prostitution and gambling. That culture's still happening. But there's a new wave happening, and people are getting behind it. It's a counterculture without so much of the rebellion."
The rest of the group shows up, and they gather their cameras to shoot Artown's closing act, DBR and the Mission.
Ben, an obsessive movie buff with long, curly black hair and an intense expression, is also feeling reflective. "I went into this not knowing anything," he says. "By doing, you get better. That's part of what Mike's trying to teach us--to just go out there and try it."
Scene 7, Aug. 22:
Sonic Youth approves giving the soundboard to Project Moonshine, which in essence, is a go-ahead to do the concert documentary.
Scene 8, Sept. 7: Wrapping it up
Hours of footage: +100
Tapes shot: 94 of Artown, 15 of Sonic Youth, 6 more expected for Holland project
Albright has only a couple weeks to finish editing before he begins his masters program in filmmaking at UCLA. He's been having doubts about grad school. He wants to finish the Artown and Sonic Youth documentaries, the Holland promo, as well as work on a film all his own, documenting San Francisco-based singer/songwriter Sonny Smith. "Why go to school for something you're already doing?" is one tempting rationale. But he's going.
He's still not sure what the final cut of the Artown documentary will look like, but it will likely be as much--or more--about Reno as it is about Artown. The Moonshiners are bound to make appearances, as will people they've met on the street. There will be backstage and onstage footage of Artown events.
"Overall, I think it's going to be a really weird film, "says Albright.
He's not sure what will happen when the film comes out, or when exactly that will be, though he's aiming for late December. At a bare minimum, there will be a premiere at the Nevada Museum of Art. He'll submit it to film festivals and educational workshops.
"But realistically, it's hard to get it out there," he says. "I don't know if it will have the muscle to make big waves, but if it does, we'll be ready for it."
He has tentative plans to film a musical festival in Portland for Project Moonshine next summer. But his real goal, he says, is to send the kids to the moon, though it may be in 60 years or so--after all, he's a practical man.
"I'm actually sort of serious about that," he says. "But that would be the last film. That would be Project Moonshine."