Friday, April 15, 2011

When The Documentary Began

OHH at one of the overlooks on his property.

In recent weeks, it’s been very active at The Skeptics’ headquarters, located in Frederick, Maryland. For the last several months their manager, Ol’ Hole Heels (OHH), conducted fierce negotiations with executives of several major U.S. film distributors who were anxious to get my documentary, The Skeptics In A World Of Their Own, into their catalogs. Fortunately, OHH’s corporate experience and razor sharp negotiating skills came in handy during these talks with the "suits". OHH’s entrepreneurial spirit served him well during these tough negotiations and is a testament of his ability to handle such serious affairs.

After countless hours on the telephone, trips to California, New York, Georgia, and other states, OHH chose to collaborate with a company that understood his philosophy and eclectic ways. He decided it was best to offer the documentary to Film Baby , a company out of Portland, Oregon. OHH was pleased by their grass roots approach and lack of big business attitude, of which greatly appealed to his management style.

With Film Baby now on-board as distributor, I received a telephone call from OHH. He informed me of a new promotions campaign he was starting and wanted me involved. His idea was to begin posting some of the extra footage we had collected while making the documentary. Over the course of three years, I was given complete access to OHH, each of the band members, and their extensive archives collected during the band’s reign.

I liked OHH's idea. It was exciting to think I'd work with him again, but I was very apprehensive. There was plenty of footage that could be used, but that would require much time in the editing room. I wasn't sure I could commit to such a time consuming project.  OHH said no problem. He said he'd make it worth my time. He asked me to temporarily move in with him at his spacious home and offered me a lucrative deal as one of his key staff members. He anticipated we had much work ahead and it was important to give it full-time attention. I was reluctant at first, but soon agreed.

Though we keep different schedules, OHH comes in during the night and sifts through footage, approving what is releasable, and during the day I come in and begin editing. This schedule works quite well and reminds me of  what George Lucas and Walter Murch did during the making of Lucas's THX11-38.

In the summer of 2007, OHH had convinced the boys it was time to get back together and “make that magic happen all over again”. The following clip reveals that historical summer day when the band members arrived at one of OHH's secret locations for the first time to begin filming. Included in this clip are shots from their performance at the Cultural Arts Center in Frederick, Maryland, one of the venues the band performed during a rash of surprise performances over the course of making the film. Appropriately, their song, Three Miles To The Exit, was used. It was a song the boys used  to like playing while traveling to gigs during their last couple years together.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Film Baby, Summer, & Surf

I just received the following email from Ol' Hole Heels. He asked me to post:

Hello Fans of The Skeptics,

Well, I just got home from a long walk. I'm a bit excited about summer heading our way. A little soon, I know, but with all the critters soundin' off down behind the tool shed, I couldn't help but git inspired.  That got me a thinkin'. 

I feel it's time to begin a new effort in promotion of The Skeptics' newly released documentary on DVD, The Skeptics In A World Of Their Own (Film Baby). Therefore, I'm considering utilizing my expert skills by hitting the road on a speaking tour - I guess one might call it a power talk.

Now, some of you know all about The Skeptics. Some of you may have already seen the film's screening in Frederick, Baltimore, and San Diego. Some of you might already have a copy of their story on DVD. But there's a mighty many a you who are just discovering The Skeptics. If you're visiting Keith Chester's Blog for first time that means there's bit to discover about this group of boys from Frederick, Maryland. 

So, as their long-time manager, I feel it's my duty to continue spreading the word about the band. I'd like to visit some of my favorite spots we visited and played over the years to let people know, not only about the boy's newly released documentary, but also to continuing gettin' the word out there about the boys and the magical tunes they created back in the 1980s. 

Today, I scouted a couple of the finer local venues, places where we previously performed. I'm considering these venues as being a stop on my tour.  The attached picture [above] shows me here today at the famous club, Henry's Smoke Stack. It's still a gittin' after 33 years. I'd forgotten what great times we mustered here. It wasn't long before a crowd started gathering, once word got out I was in the area. To their surprise, I treated the attentive crowd to a special reading right there on the spot. I had carried with me the original handwritten lyrics  - a gift from the boys - from one of my favorite tunes of theirs: Legend Of The Headless Surfer.  I carry the lyrics around for continued inspiration. 

Fortunately, I had my cameraman on-hand, so this spontaneous event  - and it was a hit, I might add - was video recorded. I'd like to share this moment with you:

So, If I can get my European affairs in order, and can block off a few weeks for a Power-Talk tour, just maybe I'll be stoppin' by a town near you. If so, hope to see you there!

The Skeptics
April 13, 2011

Below is a photo of a surprise visitor on stage with the boys while they were performing The Legend of the Headless Surfer during the 2010 Weinberg Center film premiere. While The Skeptics Northeast Office does not have a copy of the Weinberg performance at present time (but we know boot leg copies of this performance survive), the following recording is from the boy's first full-length cassette, Worry Beads (1985):

(Photograph by Nancy Chester)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Skeptics Documentary Has Arrived!

Hello Skeptics Fans! Me and the boys wanted to inform you that Keith Chester's documentary, The Skeptics In A World Of Their Own, is now available to all.  Utilizing my expert management skills, I was able to get the boys a bit more exposure.

I'd like to thank the fans of The Skeptics for their long support of this band. The boys can be trouble, now and again, and I've had a challenging time keeping them focused, but its been worth it and I'm proud to have been associated with these fine musicians.

Well, I'm a fixin' to get in here and have a bite. But before I go, just want to remind you all to get your own copy of this fine film and enjoy seeing and hearing about a moment in time when Frederick, Maryland was host to a special musical treasure.

Get The Skeptics In A World Of Their Own as a  DVD or as a Download at  Film Baby .