Old pal to the festival Steven Shea is out with his latest doc and tribute to Mom & Pop Arts
Dir. Steven Shea
Running an event is like giving childbirth…If someone remembers the pain, they would never do it again.
Founder: Sandy Martin
We couldn’t agree more! But we, and many others out there, come back year after year to birth yet another creation. This documentary is a testament to the chaos behind the scenes being worth every vein bursting out of our foreheads during the conception and execution of these events.
Filmed at 2018 Supercon in Ft. Lauderdale, the doc allows the viewer to experience the perspective of a crew member beyond the tumultuous curtain. The camera is an observer of the contrast between the fans and attendees’ experience of the convention juxtaposed to the crew putting out fires as they pop up. My blood pressure especially rose when the security crew the venue insisted upon having was late and not trained for an event this size. I almost blew a gasket when the tech they paid approx 1000$ for to stream a live event wasn’t working. And finally I don’t even know how Sandy didn’t maim someone when the expensive metal detectors provided couldn’t even detect a real gun. Her words of wisdom (paraphrased) explain the willingness to put up with such nonsense rings true: Don’t confuse passion with obsession. Passion doesn’t make you work 14-hour days, obsession moves mountains.
Her Gen X husband and co-founder, Mike Broder, compared his show to the Muppet Show. An amalgamation of a motley crew running helter skelter off stage, but they pull it off somehow and much to the delight of the audience. You got Fozzie off doing his thing, Sam the Eagle his, Gonzo doing who knows what…however, this is what gives the show its distinct flavor and keeps people coming back for more.
As a mom and pop festival…well, just mom…we at Zeitgeist appreciate all that this film represents. It reflected our greatest joys and calmed our future fears of growing to a size that the “entourage” (our community term) feeling we provide gets lost in the mix. It seems to this date that Mike and Sandy found a way to grow and keep the “feel” that made it a success in the first place. That is the key to a mom and pop of any fare. It starts off with a small intimate quality, which attracts people to it in the first place. Sometimes when the small event grows, it can lose much of that charm and become what it originally set out to be the antithesis to. We have seen this happen to many festivals in the last decade, so it is relieving to see an artistic team pull off the secret to success: keeping your passion and being true to the fans and still have room to grow and evolve.