DEC 2009 Vol. 1, Issue 1
PC to Mac How and why you should make the change. (p.11)
Staff weighs in on the vampire obsession that has affected American culture. (p.14)
Plus: Pirating DVDs (p.06) Creative ways to wrap your gifts on a budget (p.10) New legislation on fliming Texas (p.18) Local teen band H1N1 (p.26)
Itâ€™s Second Nature Up close and personal with Austin director and producer Kat Candler (p.20)
Music Editor Layout Editor Photoshop Editor Culture Editor
Will D. Jenna L. Ian M. Persis R.
front page design by Photoshop: Ian M. Layout: Jenna L.
a special thanks goes to Kat Candler, Alina V., May S., Paul M., Band H1N1 and of course Mrs. Young, who without, this magazine would not be what it is today. We thank you all so much for your contribution.
photos courtesy of Kat Candler, Will D., James D., Chris F., Persis R., Jenna L., apple.com, themaclawyer.com and flickr.com Go to www.modculturemag.blogspot.com for more information about our magazine. Plus, tune it to listen to a podcast on the places we suggest you visit next time your in Austin, TX.
02 DEC 2009
Dear EDGE readers,
Let us introduce ourselves; weâ€™re a group of high school students that were all thrown together and asked to make a magazine in 18 weeks. This end product was something that we had deemed . But, as the days and weeks went on our confidence in ourselves grew. We saw our magazine bloom out in front of us as we labored over it. Like a flower , EDGE turned from a bud of ideas to a beautiful collection of layouts and expression. The first step of creating EDGE was choosing a color scheme and mapping out which stories we wanted to write. We each choose our and worked off of them and each others, for example, Jenna did a lot of the InDeisgn Formatting, and Ian did a lot of the Graphic Design. First we wrote our Opinion Pieces, then our Feature Stories, and then our Alternate Story Forms, or ASFâ€™s. After all of our stories were written, and we commenced the next step of the process. We a table of contents and a cover that represented what our magazine is. Then we went to work on making our InDesign layouts flow as a whole; wanting to be completely sure that all of our individual designs went , without taking away our personality. We added our headers for each of the three sections and a folio with and end sign that matched, using Wired and our Inspiration Magazine. We in how everything started to look professional, and when we were satisfied by that, we knew that our magazine was a success. What we hope you, as the reader, take away from our magazine is something about the current culture of the sophisticated world, a little bit of local culture, and have a wider horizon on the topic of music. We went into this hoping for an audience who appreciated knew stances on in a sophisticated and accessible way. EDGE is a magazine that is for the modern person in our modern culture. We sincerely hope you enjoy what we have put together and find all the articles to your liking,
DEC 2009 03
Culture 07 District 9 Staff writer believes movie deserves Oscar nod.
08 Pirating DVDs Copying increases popularity despite being illegal.
10 Combat Arms: Hacked Find out how to rise to the top in the Combat Arms online game.
12 Wrapping with Style Tips on ways to wrap your gifts on a budget this year.
13 PC to Mac: The Inevitable Change Staff writer gives reasons to switch to a Mac computer today.
14 Greatest Literary Heroes and Villains The heroes you love and the villains you love to hate.
16 Blood Lust Vampireâ€™s affect on culture is explored through stafferâ€™s eyes.
contents 04 DEC 2009
Local 18 Home Sweet Cinema Alamo Draft House is a great movie seeing experience.
20 Mission: Filming New Texas legislation brings more filming to the state.
22 Itâ€™s Second Nature Profile of local Austin film producer and director Kat Candler.
Music 28 Metal in Denial Staffer advocates for the positives of the Death Metal genre.
30 To Band or Not to Band? Austin teen band H1N1 enjoys how far they have gone.
DEC 2009 05
Will D. Will is a 15 year old boy. He enjoys playing video games and playing in his rock band, H1N1, with whom he wants to play gigs with all around Austin by the end of the year. He wishes his brother was E.T. and that one day flaming waffles will enslave us all. For this magazine, he wrote stories on his band, death metal and the game Combat Arms. Will likes to spend his time curled up in a corner slowly rotting. His deepest, darkest secret is he is irrationally in love with a wall and it is his only companion through life. His advice to everyone is to practice safe lunch and use condiments. In the future he hopes to work the drive through at Taco Bell and live a long, healthy life with his wall.
Jenna L. Jenna is a 14, going on 15 year-old girl. She enjoys reading a whole book in one night, procrastinating on homework, online shopping and dissing people who like Twilight, she even wrote about it for this magazine. She wishes that she lived in San Francisco, Seattle, New York or Canterbury and for world peace. She spends her time in her jim-jams, at the bookstore or eating Pad Thai and being with family or friends. Her deepest, darkest secret is that in a past life she was a unicorn and hopes to be one again soon. Jenna’s advice to everyone is that life’s tough, get a helmet. In the future she hopes to graduate college to go live in a homey cottage while writing and reading all day long.
Ian M. Ian is a 14 year old boy, who was born in the year of the pig. That symbolizes that he likes money. He enjoys graphic design. In his spare time he is usually thinking about doing his homework, but sadly he never gets around to it. On the internet, he uses the alias of Ivan McDougall so 50 year old men don’t stalk him. His favorite video game is Battlefield 2142. His favorite fast food restaurant is Schlotzky’s, and his favorite meal is a poppy seed bagel toasted with plain cream cheese from Einstein’s Bagels. His deepest darkest secret is that he likes to eat Doritos on his bagels, and in the future he wants to get an MBA and grow old and rich by bossing people around in an office building.
Persis is a 14 year old girl who worked very hard and contributed a lot for this magazine. She enjoys watching anime and playing with her adorable kittens, Aslan and Audace. She wishes she could work at Amy’s Ice Cream and get a dog. Persis spends her time dancing, playing piano and wrapping gifts. Her deepest, darkest secret is that she can’t say pacific or specific. Her advice to everyone is to eat healthy. In the future, she hopes to be a doctor. She wrote stories for this issue of EDGE on the Alamo Draft House, a local Austin film producer Kat Candler and how to wrap gifts in new, innovative ways. Persis hopes you enjoy our magazine and that you will learn something new from it.
06 DEC 2009
“District 9 proves that genre films, besides being a hell of a lot of fun, can say things you hadn’t considered and show stuff you haven’t seen.” — Times
Can it Conquer the Oscars?
I sat down in the movie theater, ready a more interesting and original story. for another “Action Jackson” film. The film as a whole only cost an Two hours later, I sat there stunned astonishing $40 Million to produce; and amazed by the phenomenal piece most action blockbuster films cost in of film making I had just experienced. excess of $100 Million, and in some From the astonishingly great acting of cases, even up to 250m. Neill Bloma first time performer, to the directorial kamp, the first time director of the film, accomplishments of the newcomer di- has recently stated that if he ever goes rector, to the amazing incorporation of over 45m on a budget for a film then it segregation and other political stances will no longer be a ‘Neill Blomkamp into the film, I was truly stunned. I’d film’, it will just be yet another blocknever seen a movie before that could buster moneymaker. The main actor, have me go from wanting to rip the also a new comer, has a similar stance guts out of aliens, to wanting to kill all on the issue. This position turns the of the humans for their crimes against film less into a blockbuster, and more humanity. A film that can successfully into an independent arts production. combine the majority of cinematic el- The film is based in the remote and ements, get positive reviews from almost all the mainstream reviewers, “Technically brilliant and count as independent and original and emotionally wrenchfilm, is a sure fire Oscar Candidate. ing, District 9 has acOf course some might argue that District 9 is a typical Peter Jackson tion, imagination, and Blockbuster film, but this isn’t true in all the elements of a the slightest. Some people might say that “Despite its creativity,” Roger thoroughly entertaining Ebert sates, “the film remains space opera and avoids the higher realms of science-fiction classic.” science-fiction.” However, I believe — Rotten Tomatoes that District 9 was right in its choice of avoiding the nitty-gritty aspects of the secluded area of Johannesburg, South alien’s lives. Going to into too much Africa, and it merges the popular ‘alien detail would in fact clutter the plot line. invasion’, idea, with the more controThis film is more about the Political versial subjects of racism and segregaeffect of the alien’s being here, and its tion. But it differs from the norm by doimpact on society, and talking about the ing so in reference to non-terrestrials. alien’s history, would be just veering It basically throws out the old outdated off topic. Sticking to the political as- alien invasion stereotypes, and begins pect of the aliens being here, makes this a new. They also have injected a large
amount of dark subject matter in the film, to make it come to life. Some of the subjects included were Nigerian gangs slaughtering the “prawns” for fun, and inter-species prostitution. Of course, to be an excellent film, you have to be reviewed as such, and it was: Roger Ebert praised the film for “giving us aliens to remind us not everyone who comes in a spaceship need be angelic, octopod or stainless steel,” And The New York Observer wrote, “District 9 is the most exciting science fiction movie to come along in ages; definitely the most thrilling film of the summer; and quite possibly the best film I’ve seen all year.” The Associated Press also commented on the soul searching aspect of the film, and said “District 9 has the aesthetic trappings of science fiction but it’s really more of a character drama, an examination of how a man responds when he’s forced to confront his identity during extraordinary circumstances.” The film also scored a 90 and 81 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic respectively, both very prominent film review sites. And if this group of critics think that a movie is good, then it has a pretty great chance of winning an Oscar. District 9 combines the cinematic elements of amazing direction, extraordinary acting, some political commentary, and a very original plot. These combined, make a sure fire pick for at least one Oscar, and hopefully many more. DEC 2009 07
Y DVDs Ian M.
Pirating Staff Writer
Copying DVD’s is the new craze sweeping across America, and even though it’s against the law, the Government’s turning a blind eye.
08 DEC 2009
Your neighbors do it. Your peers do it. Your parents do it. They copy DVD’s illegally. In this modern day and age, copying DVD’s has become the norm, not the exception, with around 37% of Austin families already copying DVD’s, and many more constantly starting their own electronic entertainment libraries according to a study of 38 Students of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy. University of Texas Professor Paul Macdonald started copying DVD’s for his family’s personal use approximately three years ago, and says that he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon. “I do believe that a large proportion of the population does something similar,” he said. Though 100% of those polled were aware of this, none planned on stopping their copying bonanza, and Macdonald
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thinks alike. But what people are unaware of is that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes it illegal for people to bypass any Anti-Pirating Protection Software on any Commercial DVD’s. This technically makes it illegal for people to even copy their own DVD’s if they happen to contain any anti-pirating software on them. Macdonald says that he found out about the possibility of creating an electronic library via the Internet a while back. The multitude of programs available to rip DVD’s these days, such as Handbrake and Rip-It, makes it fairly simple to copy DVD’s even without any prior experience. All of these programs are available for free, and are available readily over the Internet just a quick one minute download away. “Some we own, some are rentals,” Macdonald says regarding which DVD’s he copies. Many people even use such services as Netflix, and the Blockbuster Mailing System, to constantly be receiving an influx of DVD’s. Mr. Macdonald has a maximum of three DVD’s at home at once via his Netflix plan, so that he can be constantly getting DVD’s, copying them, and then sending them back. “I believe that the law is wrong,” he says. This isn’t just his opinion. Most people agree with certain parts of the DMCA, there are even entire web sites devoted to copying DVD’s, and the entire process, as well as how to acquire the semi-illegal software. There have been some legal cases where people have gotten in trouble for housing said programs on their sites. However, there aren’t any devoted to the darker aspects of the DMCA such as the Pirating of DVD’s for commercial gain. The laws main target is the people who pirate DVD’s for commercial gain. — Paul Macdonald However the law does have some accidental victims, such as Paul Macdonald, because of the inclusion of it being illegal top circumvent any DVD protection software. He isn’t selling illegally pirated DVDs on the black market, but this law is still affecting him. This isn’t what the law was supposed to do. “The law should be changed”, he states, and this is a widely felt sentiment. People from all over the US are knowingly disobeying the law, according to our survey of the students of LASA, and the government isn’t even cracking down on them. When it comes to that point, the Government should act and change the law accordingly instead of turning a blind eye to the thousands of illegal DVDs being copied every day.
I believe that the law is wrong... [it] should be changed.
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RipIt Rip-It is a program that can remove the protection software from DVD Files, allowing them to be copying to a hard drive for simplified viewing that takes less of a toll on the computer when played. It was developed by The Little App Factory specifically for the Mac OSX.
Handbrake is an open-source program that converts MPEG Video into other forms of digital media for more convenient viewing as well as a smaller disk size. It also has preset options for the iPod Touch, iPod Classic, and the iPod Nano media formats as well as for the QuickTime Player, and several options for other devices.
DVD Shrink is a freeware program available for Microsoft Windows, that shrinks the file sizes of commercial DVDs. This allows you to store more DVDs on your hard drive, as the average DVD can take up around 8 Gigabytes, and DVD Shrink can take it down to approximately 4 Gigabytes without a problem.
Mac The Ripper was the first DVD ripping application for the Mac OSX, and therefore was used solely by the Mac Community upon it’s release. It hacks the protection software on commercial DVDs, and also shrinks them in the process.
DEC 2009 09
Comabt Arms is a popular online FPS that is free to play (except the hacks). In this game you can buy wicked guns, play capture the flag, and get nutshots. This is how to hack the system and rise to the top.
10 08 DEC 2009
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The best way is to buy the hacks. At www.myfpscheats.com you can purchase VIP access to secret forums, and the most recent CA (Combat Arms) hacks. The most recently updated hack was coded by De.Bug, a popular hacker. The hack is called TKO, Tactical Knock Out. This hack comes with many different options. Why should you pay for this when you can get free hacks? First, TKO is un-
HOW TO DOWNLOAD TKO: Go to www.myfpscheats.com and register on the web site. Then go to the combat arms hacks section, and click buy. Login, and either purchase De.Bug CA for 20 dollars for 4 weeks, or 50 dollars for 12 weeks. This is vital because it will give you access to the VIP forums where you can download TKO. Now, go to the CA VIP forum and click on De.Bug download hack here. Proceed to download the hack, further instructions are underneath. How to configure TKO: It is confusing at first, but easy to configure afterwards. You should play around with the settings a bit to find what works for you. Details on what each thing does can be found in the forums. Basically, you should set the targeting mode to
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detected by ALL hack preventing programs. Free hacks are targeted by Punk-Buster, so you can lose your account if you’re caught. On the other hand, Punk-Buster can not detect TKO. AFK bot: This has just been recently discovered, and can be downloaded in the CA glitches forum section. This basically plays CA for you while you’re away, so you rank up and get more gp faster.
tele-kill if you want easy kills and XHAIR for a more realistic look, and try to stay away from the settings that confuse you. All that’s left is to own noobs.
DEC 2009 11
g n i p p Wra
e l y t S h t i w
3 Use recycled decorative boxes such as cookie tin boxes and Quaker Oats Oatmeal boxes.
5 Use glossy magazine pages and tape the pages together for a wrapping paper. Pages with text can also be used.
Some Ideas Not Shown: 12 DEC 2009
During the holiday season, learn to wrap presents with creativity. This winter it will be possible to present gifts elegantly and eco-friendly. Cut an extra large piece of cellophane, twist it around the gift, and staple shut. Add ribbon feathers or streamers for dĂŠcor.
How to make an...
Find a dollar of less purse at a garage sale and place the gift inside the purse. Note: Buy a purse with the size of the gift in mind.
Wrap small gifts such as jewlery and gift cards in an aluminum foil bird.
Materials Small Gift Aluminum Foil
Directions Find a cheap indian scarf. Place the gift in the center of the scarf and tie a knot around the gift.
4 11. Cut an 8 by 14 inch piece of foil. Place the small gift at the top of the piece of foil. 2 Wrap the foil around the gift. 6
Use tissue paper and wrap a gift. Use cellophane to wrap the gift again and folded tightly over.
33. Bend the aluminum foil on either side of the gift up. On one side craft a tail. On the other side make a head and a beak for the bird.
Put nature items such as shells and leaves on packages Put items in department store bags Use paper wallets to give giftcards PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF
M Ian M.
PC to Mac: The Inevitable Change
Most people usually scoff at Macs, saying such things as “it’s too expensive,” or “the price doesn’t justify the means.” Well here are the reasons those accusations aren’t true. The price does justify the means because the computer comes with not only the aesthetics, but everything a computer can offer, literally. There’s a reason that Macs hold over 90 percent of the market’s share in ‘Pro Computers’ ($1000+ in price). Apple’s computers are made of quality. Unlike Dell computers, Apple isn’t trying to make a quick buck. Buying a Mac saves a customer hundreds of dollars in software where as in a PC (Personal Computer), the customer must pay big excess fees for the software. Of course, now even hard-core PC
Gamers have the option to buy a Mac. With the new boot-camp software, the customer can run Windows on his Mac, and be able to play PC games while still enjoying all of the advantages a Mac has to offer. People might also say that Macs can’t do the actual work that PCs do, but foiled again! Macs have two options for word processing on a Mac: Microsoft Office as used on PC’s or Apple’s own software iWork. Either option costs less then on a PC. What to take away from this article; buy a Mac. If you still aren’t sure about whether to officially make the switch, check out www. apple.com, where there is an in-depth FAQ on switching from a PC to a Mac and why it is the right decision.
ease of use
When buying a mac, everything is included in the package! Applications for work personal use are incompassed. With a PC the consumer must spend several hundred dollars just to have the software installed. The consumer must also spend an even larger amount of money for viral protection.
Ever had your applications just randomly quit? In PC’s, this instance can be quite common and result in lossing hours of work. Macs are the most reliable computers out their with 24/7 customer support. Mac’s user interface is also the best in the market, using the computer is a reward, not a task, when going mac.
PCs have over 114,000 know viruses, and Macs have none. With a mac, a consumer doesn’t need to spend lots of dollars on programs like virus protection software where as Macs are completly safe of viruses. On top of that, Apple is constantly fixing any new virus attempts as they surface.
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Most people always scoff at the relatively high cost of the Mac, but what they never take into account is what they get with a mac. With a mac, the consumer doesn’t need to buy virus protection, doesn’t need to buy iLife, doesn’t need to buy a new OS (operating system) every time one comes out, or the repair service costs. If the consumer totals it out, we can find the effective ‘PC Cost’, of the 13’ MacBook. MacBook: $1000 -- iLife: $70 -- Virus: $100 -- iWork: $200 -- Repair: $150 --------------------MacBook: $480 Nows thats a Deal!
DEC 2009 13
PROFESSOR ALBUS DUMBLEDORE “Harry Potter”
the greatest literary
“The Wizard of Oz”
In J. K. Rowling’s popular series, the beloved Professor Dumbledore uses his wits and resources to fight against the evil Lord Voldemort. Although the protagonist of the story is Harry Potter, Dumbledore reigns supreme as a hero among all the people who have sought Voldemort’s demise.
In Homer’s epic poem of a hero’s return home, Odysseus overcomes many obstacles sent by the god of the sea, Poseidon. Odysseus longs to return home to his family and save his wife from her countless suitors. Through many trials on sea and land, Odysseus conquers all and returns to where he belongs.
The classic story by L. Frank Baum, made into the even more classic movie, surrounds a girl named Dorothy who gets swept up to the Land of Oz. With the help of unlikely friends, she must find her way to the Wizard for a way home, while staying away from the Wicked Witch of the West.
“To Kill a Mockingbird”
Told through the eyes of a young girl called Scout, Harper Lee tells of a trial in the sleepy Alabama town of Maycomb. Scout’s father, Atticus chooses to represent in law a black man accused by a white man and daughter. Atticus struggles to prove the truth and shows great heroism through character. 14 DEC 2009
Charlotte Brontë’s tale of a young orphan who is sent away by her aunt is one for the ages. Jane Eyre has to suffer a lot before rewards for her strength, kindness, endurance and courage come through. She does get the fairy tale ending, with her prince and a true family who loves and appreciates her.
The English folklore of Robin Hood and his Merry Men who steel from the rich and give to the poor has survived lifetimes. Not agreeing with the current power, the outlaw has to overcome the greedy authority figures, namely the Sheriff of Nottingham, and win the fine Maid Marian’s heart. PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF
and their greatest
THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST “The Wizard of Oz”
Transformed from Tom Riddle, J. K. Rowling’s main villain in “Harry Potter” causes much strife for the hero in Dumbldore and Harry in his hunger for power. Voldemort stops at nothing for power and shows no mercy until his final demise by the hand of Harry, with the help of his friends and allies.
In Homer’s epic, Poseidon is portrayed as the true villain for his relentless prevention against Odysseus’ return home. Poseidon gets agitated with Odysseus when he blinds his son the Cyclops and prevents the trip even further. However, Odysseus does return home to his family despite the god’s trials.
Over the years, L. Frank Baum’s villain, the Wicked Witch of the West has become an iconic pop culture figure. She rides around on a broomstick seeking revenge for her sister’s death by Dorothy’s flying house. She even spurred her own legend, staring in the book and musical “Wicked” as Elphaba.
“To Kill a Mockingbird”
THE SHERIFF OF NOTTINGHAM
In the story, Bob Ewell accuses Atticus Finch’s defendant of bad deeds against his daughter. Although, through the story, Bob’s antics are shown as seriously flawed as he searches for punishment. In a great struggle at the end of Harper Lee’s novel, Atticus has to face Bob and his terrorizing. PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF
Charlotte Brontë’s character of Mrs. Reed, the protagonists Jane’s aunt, is portrayed as a resentful and spiteful women. She sends Jane off to school to get rid of the girl, and starts Jane’s journey of selfdiscovery. In the end, Mrs. Reed has to beg for Jane’s forgiveness to finally achieve peace.
In the folklore, Robin Hood and his Merry Men are often mainly fighting the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. The Sheriff is a greedy character whose goal is to follow the King’s orders and get a little cut of the money for himself. Robin often overcomes the Sheriff and finds favoritism in Nottingham. DEC 2009 15
IT STARTED WITH a teenage girl and her friends. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the first vampire entertainment to earn a cult following. Now, a couple years later the obsession has spread to Twilight and True Blood.
Name: Edward Cullen Age: 102 Where you’ve seen him: Twilight, New Moon
Name: Bill Compton Age: 173 Where you’ve seen him: True Blood
Name: Vlad Dracula Age: 435 Where you’ve seen him: Bram Stocker’s Dracula
Vampires’ affect on culture still goes strong as days go by
They overrule our television and prevail in the books that lay in our stores. They have even snuck their undead bodies into our theaters. Unless you have been living under a rock the past couple of years, then you should have noticed that the good, the bad, and the thirsty have been among us more than ever. Vampires haunt the dreams and realities of pubescent teens everywhere. Those obsessed show their love the only way they know how through billions of shrines to those of the like of Edward Cullen, and twice as many fan fictions about their undying infatuation. Perhaps instead of condemning the phenomenon, we should follow in suit of the millions lined up to see the sequel to the movie Twilight, New Moon and embrace our supernatural cousins. They see the use, no, the need of vampires in the modern day world.
16 DEC 2009
They could be useful around the house, using their supernatural abilities to fly up and fix the shingles. Or they could take on the role of tutor and help the children with their lifetime of knowledge on the history of the world. Think about it, dads, you would never again have to experience the humiliation of causing injury to your person while playing Mr. Fix-it. And moms, you could forget about pretending to have paid attention in AP history so you can and focus on more important things like how to get the kids to school and still make it in time for The View, or how to sufficiently hide that online Marc Jacobs order from your husband. Vampire House guests might well, drain your blood if they get a little hungry. But that is only a minor detail, really. A solution could be a “Housetraining Your Vampire” seminar. Get people off the streets and teaching these classes would solve the economic crisis as well as a domestic one; two birds with one stone. Another perfectly logical resolution is to have the population as a whole accept vampires into society. They have been a positive influence on
Vampires haunt the dreams and realities of pubescent teens everywhere.
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the illiterate, making them pick up books and actually read them. It is funny how some can tear through a Sookie Stackhouse book (what True Blood is based on), but with the mention of Dickens or Brontë. And although they have also encouraged laziness through the guise of TV and movies, that’s just a happy coincidence. Really, books such as Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight saga are the first big thing among teens since J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter (R.I.P.) Not only are vampires stimulating our minds to their utmost potential, but also our karma. Not give an old lady your seat on the bus this morning? No worries, make your moral compass point north again by giving blood. Go to the American Red Cross. There new campaign is “Starve a Vampire, Give Blood.” Ignore the cheesy part of it, and take a hint from Nike and just do it! So now all you vampire haters have a place to be on Saturday night, instead of watching those vampire shows on TiVo like everyone else, “deny” vampires and give blood. That would of course be admitting you believe, but we can keep a secret. The new craze has also helped teens grasp onto a more lucid future reality better. This may seem to be odd considering that most young adults have a pretty rational future set up for themselves in the first place. What with a world full of notions of perfect Prince Charmings and good always conquering evil, it’s hard not to. For example, let’s take the Twilight series, which albeit stole its thunder from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but who are we to judge? Twilight essentially started the whole shenanigan, not only being important in its entertainment values but also in life lessons. Of course when you move to a new, obscure city the most unattainable guy there will fall inexplicably in love with you and save you from all the mean vampires that are hunting you. You will live happily ever after with him, your vampire baby and your werewolf best friend only wandering out to haunt the night, because, well sunlight would be, you know, deathly or whatever. Because that is the stuff dreams are made of. We could try to tell the vampire fanatics that no, this isn’t the way life is. But why bother? I don’t think anyone would listen or care what people who have, I don’t know, the logic of science on their side. It is a constant, teens loving vampires, like you know the sun will always come out tomorrow you know that there will be people reminiscing about what could PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF
Anatomy of a Vampire
2 1. Crazy hair, all the better to distract you with, my dear. 2. A serious face, to let you know that he means business, even though he does look a little bit like Christian Slater here. 3. Tight jeans, to give you the air of mystery whether he is gay or not, or maybe he just likes to look pretty.
4. A belt buckle, to prove his manliness and redeem his really, super tight jeans. 5. Cowboy boots, for when he is sick of being all medieval and ready to discover those southern roots he never knew he had.
have roamed the night before. It should be comforting that there will always be romantic sci-fi lovers who clap their hands because they believe. Believe in vampires. So to all vampires, come! We are ready for you! A thousand shrieking girls, and a few boys, are ready to greet you at a drop of a dark fantasy book. What are you waiting for? DEC 2009 17
HOME SWEET CINEMA With full meals and comfortable seating, the Alamo Drafthouse is the best place to enjoy a movie.
The lights dim. The cartoons stop. The only thing audible is the shuffle of the waitersâ€™ footsteps as they bring people their meals. The fragrance of Boeuf Bourguignon filled the theater. The screen lights up as everyone gets comfortable for a one of a kind movie experience. It is time: Julie & Julia, the story of the famous cook, Julia Child, begins. The Alamo Drafthouse is unique part of Austin. It was founded in 1997, and has become increasingly popular. It is the only cinema franchise where people can enjoy a meal and a movie at the same time. There are five branches in Austin. The Alamo Drafthouse is unique because of the food, the size, and the entertainment.
18 DEC 2009
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The idea behind the Alamo Drafthouse was to provide people with a unique cinema experience. I love watching a movie at home with a delicious piece of pizza, but the 15’’ screen just doesn’t cut it. The Alamo Drafthouse fuses the experiences of a restaurant and a theater together. The menu includes appetizers such as chips and salsa or Buffalo wings, and full meals from hamburgers and spaghetti to Caesar salads. The Alamo Drafthouse comes up with a menu themed around the premiere of a movie. For example, The Alamo chose to feature a beef stew that was described in one of the more significant scenes of Julie & Julia. From the reviews of yelp.com, most people gave thumbs up to the food. Although the waiters and waitresses are bringing food into the theater during the movie, they do so quietly. Each theater’s screen is full-sized. A person can definitely see every
movement in the film. Each theater is small and cozy with excellent sound. The small size of the theaters makes you feel like you are inside the movie. While the screen isn’t as big as Regal Crown Cinema theaters, the viewer does not have to strain his neck to view the characters’ faces. From the reviews on yelp.com, the Alamo Drafthouse got 4.5 stars but Regal Crown Cinemas received only 3 stars. The days where tall people block Brad Pitt’s face are over. The Alamo Drafthouse shows local, independent, and foreign films unlike other movie theaters that only show Hollywood Movies. There are also showings of old classic movies like Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Before the feature is played, the Alamo Drafthouse runs vintage TV footage. For example, funny Japanese game
“” The days where tall people block Brad Pitt’s face are over.
shows and 1950s TV commercials are played. There are also clips relating to the movie about to be played. Going back to my experience to watching Julie & Julia there, the audience reruns of Julia Child cooking shows and parodies of these cooking shows made by Saturday Night Live. The Alamo Drafthouse theaters have movie entertainment in a unique setting. Smaller theaters create a cozier feel, and a full menu with an attentive group of waiters makes the moviegoer feel like they are actually at restaurant. This is great way of watching a movie because its original. The Alamo Drafthouse is an Austin landmark and has become a tourist site. It is the only place in town where you can have a real restaurant meal while you watch an entertaining movie. The personnel are friendly and often dressed in funky, funny looking attire with 60s tie-die shirts and 80s orange hair. The locations are clean and tidy, and the experience is overall light-hearted and fun. All told, the Alamo Drafthouse is doing its part to “Keep Austin Weird.”
FACTS ABOUT THE ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE 1. The Alamo Drafthouse was founded in 1997 2. Menu is original with food options titled after movie such as: the Philly Cheesesteak, The Godfather pizza, and the Five Dollar Milkshake 3. Locations: the Ritz (downtown, the Village (Anderson Lane), South Lamar, and Lake Creek (Research Blvd) 4. The Alamo Drafthouse has signature events such as: Master Pancake (Comedy), Sing-Alongs, and Music Mondays 5. The Alamo offers a service to bring the theater to a customer called the Rolling Roadshow. PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF
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LEGISLATION is affecting the texas filming community.
IMPACTING local businesses, who are ATTRACTING more attention. fans of shows filmed locally, like friday night lights, are EXCITED. and it is proving to be a POSITIVE improvement on texas’ media output.
We’ve been Dazed and Confused, had a few Spy Kids and remembered The Alamo. Now, there is a football team stealing the spotlight in Austin, Texas. And because of a new legislation, it is likely to stay that way. Thanks to House Bill 873, new incentives will bring more media production to the Lone Star State. The legislation created the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program which grants incentives for film, television and video production companies. Basically, more mainstream media is coming to Austin, and many people in the community are giving them a big Texas welcome. Austinites May S. and Alina V. have reasons for supporting the new incentives. May S. is an avid watcher of Friday Night Lights, and has developed a personal relationship with the show, mostly due to the filming locations. “They have filmed a couple of scenes at Frans in the past,” May S. said, “and I live five minutes away so it’s pretty cool.” More filming rights in Texas not only affects viewers, who get a thrill out of seeing their local hangout
20 DEC 2009
on television, but also local filming companies. T-Minus, the company Alina’s dad works at with his business partner, is one of them. At T-Minus they work mainly in commercial, and have contributed to projects on short films and documentaries. “[The bill] affects him hugely. Just like anyone in the film industry, he has long periods without work, and those are very monetarily challenging,” Alina said. “Even though commercial work can be a relief when there isn’t a film shooting in Austin, movies are the big ways that the bills get paid.” More and more big budget films have been brought to Austin, which has been called the Hollywood of Texas because of them. T-Minus has worked on some of these films like Predators, Bandslam, Grindhouse (Planet Terror and Death Proof), Shorts, Spy Kids II and III, Sin City, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Sometimes Alina got to be on set and see what happens behind the scenes. “Usually, [my dad] only lets me visit on kid-friendly movie sets, because the crew usually isn’t too mindful about their swearing and stuff,” Alina explained. “But when there are kids, they’re forced to watch their mouths.”
The movie sets Alina has been on include Bandslam, Shorts, and both the Spy Kids movies. Each has been a unique experience. “It’s usually a fun experience, but there are times when there’s absolutely nothing going on,” Alina V. said. “When this happens, I either watch the proceedings from behind the camera—there are so many people who go into making a movie that you don’t see, so sometimes it can get really crowded—or I wander around the location or sit with the guys in the Craft Services van, which is essentially the snack van.” Because of her close proximity to the sets and actors, she has had some unique chance encounters. One of them was this summer at McCallum High School, where some of the movie Bandslam was filmed. “I was sitting on the coolers by the Craft Service van talking to the guy who ran it, when, lo and behold, Ms. Vanessa Hudgens walks up with her tiny little dog. She bent over to take something from the cooler opposite where I was sitting, and I instinctively reached down to pet the dog.” Alina says her instinct was to pet it. However, the situation didn’t go like
that due to Hudgens reaction. “But she just turned around and gave me this look that was actually quite scary — she’s pretty in a really, really scary way — and then picked up her dog and left without getting anything,” Alina said. “I had a pretty good laugh about that once I got over the fact that I had just been totally dissed by this girl who was probably just as bored as I was.” May S. has also had some celebrity sightings, which make seeing the actors on television have a more familiar feel. “I though I saw Landry [a character on the show] once at Highland Mall, and it could have been him because he, like many of the other Friday Night Lights actors, lives in Austin,” May S. said. “Also, my dad was on a plane ride with Adrian Padelecki who
dad spent about a month in Louisiana to shoot a movie, and has traveled to locations like New York City, the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, desert California, Costa Rica, and Belgium. And although the Austin film community is still pretty young in terms of the big picture, it is a fastgrowing industry of hopefuls and hard-workers. It has already brought more than $1.2 billion to Texas in the past 10 years “I don’t know it too well, really. There are so many people in the Austin industry, and I only know a fraction through my dad,” Alina V. said. “For the most part everyone’s really nice and cool, and though they have a good time doing their job, it’s not all fun and games, and they realize that. When they come to set, they are there to work, because contradicting
THE CREW FILM a scene for Friday Night Lights on a local football feild. Cast members stood by waiting for direction as the camera caught the shot. KYLE CHANDLER, who plays Coach Taylor on the show reads over his lines at Smitty’s BBQ for a scene.
“FOR THE MOST PART REALLY NICE AND COOL AND THOUGH THEY HAVE A GOOD TIME DOING THEIR JOB, IT’S NOT ALL FUN AND GAMES, AND THEY THAT” — Alina V.
played Tyra on the show. I think that seeing them makes it really special when you watch the show.” There are many big names migrating to Austin because the new legislation. T-minus has filmed for many Hollywood directors such as the Austin director Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Terantino, Todd Graff and Rupert Wainwright, to name a few. “My dad’s work makes him travel — he’s currently in the Hawaii jungle for five weeks shooting for Predators — and recently took a trip to Italy to shoot a commercial,” Alina said. T-Minus not only films in and around the Austin area, but out of the state as well. Alina says that her PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF
what people think, making movies is a very serious and sometimes stressful job.”
STARS OF THE MOVIE Bandslam, Vanessa Hudgens and Gaelan Connell. Alina V. saw them while they filmed at McCallum High School in Austin, TX. DEC 2009 21
22 DEC 2009
SECOND NATURE Persis R.
LOCAL 24 DEC 2009
Sitting in a corner next to the door of Central Market Cafe, Kat Candler is working on a screenplay. She wears a green hoodie, a white scarf with orange leaves on gray trees, and jeans. She sips her coffee as she scribbles on one of her numerous drafts of The Spider in the Bathtub. This will be her first big budget film and her first filmed out of the country. Candler, originally from Florida, moved to Austin in 1996. She has been producing films for over ten years, receiving 27 awards and a cover story on the Austin Chronicle. Although Candler has made eleven films, two of which were features, she didn’t start out with all of these successes. Candler’s interest began when she was a child. “My dad took me and my brother to movies when we were little,” says Candler. “I always try to make my movies have the same feel to them like the ones I saw as a kid.” Constantly being surrounded by movies showed Candler that making them could be quite fun, and she worked in a movie theater from age 15 till her sophomore year of college. “I think what [was] inspiring about working in a movie theater was for so many years I was able to see so many movies,” reflects Candler.
When Candler wasn’t working, she’d be in the dark theater, watching a movie. She still prefers a movie to a DVD at home. Her movie atmosphere persuaded Candler to be interested in movies. Although Candler’s major was Creative Writing and not filming at Florida State University, most of her friends were in the film department. Candler took a screenwriter’s workshop with persuasion from her friends and was also a script supervisor. She has written all of her films and has written six other screenplays. It took Candler nine months and seven drafts to reach her goal with Captain Dynamo. “When I got the idea, I talked it out loud to myself in the car. I’d try and tell myself the story in as few sentences as possible so I could get to the heart of what I was trying to tell,” explains Candler. “I’m a big fan of talking things out to myself in my car even though I probably look like a complete nut to other drivers.” Once Candler had an idea, she did character sketches and wrote down themes and scene ideas. After she developed the basic story she started writing the film. “I just sat down and wrote the first draft in a few months last spring,” adds Candler. After I wrote the first draft, I printed it out and read it in coffee shops over and over and made notes
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DEC 2009 25
and jotted down new ideas or revisions. This is pretty much what I do with every draft.” Candler printed out a hard copy that she could write all over. After about two or three drafts, Candler started handing them out to some trusted friends that she knew would give her good feedback. “Not the ‘I love it, it’s awesome!’ kind of feedback,” said Candler, “but good constructive criticism of what didn’t make sense, what was weak, what character needed more development or themes could be drawn out more.” Candler used the criticism to revise the drafts again and gave herself a deadline by organizing a read through of the script with an audience and actors in mid July. Monday through Friday, nine to five, Candler forced herself to edit the screenplay over and over. Three months after the July read through, she finished revising her screenplay. “I love love love writing!” she exclaims. “It’s totally limitless. You can write about anything.” Candler takes long walks to help her ‘get in the zone’ and organize her story in her mind, going back and forth between a story and her music. Writing a story that is compelling is very difficult. The author may have an idea of where the story will go or what type of story it will be, but the story can turn out to be completely different. “The genre doesn’t matter, the story does,” stated Candler. There are five key essential roles in producing a film: the writer, the producer, the director, the actors and actresses, and the editor. The person with the most jobs is the producer. “The best ones [producers] 26 DEC 2009
The Motion Pictures Candler
has produced many films. Her most recent short, Love Bug, was shown at the Austin Film Festival. Candler’s Quarter to Noon was also shown at the festival.
1 The Set of Jumping Off Bridges: Candler (looking into the camera) was the director of Jumping Off Bridges. Behind the set, many indiviuals work to copmlete the film such as the boom operator (holds a microphone) or director of photograophy (in charge of camera movement).
Bryan Chafin from Jumping Off Bridges: This movie was Candler’s second feature film. Candler adresses suicide and how people deal with depression. The film received many awards including the Heroes in the Fight Award.
3 Reese Merritt from Love Bug: The short is Candler’s latest about a nine year old boy turtle thompson who has to work up the nerve to ask his best friend maddy to a spring fling dance.The film will be shown at Little Ripper Film Fest Melbourne, Australia
Candler’s Top Ten Movies Up! Drag Me To Hell Bright Star Moon Where the Wild Things Are 6. Whippet 7. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 8. Ponyo 9. E.T. 10.The Goonies 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
are the ones who get the film done, from start to finish and the ones who don’t let the director take over,” explained Candler. The producer is in charge of everything that goes on in preproduction, production, and post-production. The producer oversees everything on the set. To make an analogy, the producer is the king of the film. “I would never want to be a producer,” asserts Candler, “because of feeding 350 people three meals a day!” Candler shook her head. “Not fun if you ask me.” The director is the king’s most trusted advisor and manages the creative aspect of the film. The director is the person who makes the movie interesting. “The director is my favorite job,” says Candler. “I love being in control of a world. From the color of the paint on the walls, to the costume that an actor wears, to how the light falls from a window to whether an actor should improvise a line. It’s like when you were a kid and played with Barbies or matchbox cars and you could create the world that they existed in.” The director chooses and hires the actors and actresses. To continue the metaphor, the actors are the servants and act as they are told. The actors also contribute to a movie depending on their talent. “Acting is definitely not my favorite role [in film-making],” Candler says emphasizing “not”. “Being an actor is very difficult because you’re always under a lot of pressure.” In high school, Candler was an actress on the stage. The breaking point of Candler’s acting interests was in her freshman year of college. Candler PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF
had been accepted to a theater program in Boston and had an acting class. “Every morning it was like going to therapy and working through bad stuff from your life,” grimaces Candler. “I hated it and wasn’t emotionally in a place I could really deal with it.” Candler felt a little crushed and lost after her experience in Boston so she moved back to Florida. Kat enrolled at Florida State University and got into the writing program there. “I loved acting in high school, but I’m a control freak and I liked the fact that writing and directing was something I could create myself,” says Candler. “I didn’t have to rely on someone else to tell me I was pretty enough or tall enough or had the right eye color to play a role. The last job is the editor. The editor works with the director to produce the finished product. Being an editor is a whole other spectrum to the film world. Candler usually does not take part in editing them unless the films are short. Because Candler works independently, she is often both a writer and a director. This allows Candler to make more decisions in her films. As a teacher of filming, Candler can learn what ideas will work and which ones will not. Candler has been teaching at UT for three semesters and has acquired a lot of inspiration from the experience. “I get a lot of my ideas from friends and my students,” says Candler. Shoving an idea into the trash because it sounds a little difficult is what most adults default to in Candler’s opinion. Candler, on the other hand, doesn’t limit herself. If Candler has an idea, she writes it down whether or not the idea goes through seven drafts. Her ideas do not have a common link, though, PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF
and when asked Candler could not think of a theme that ties them all together. “I want to let the audience escape, even if it’s for five minutes,” muses Candler. With successes, there are failures and sometimes, projects fall through. Usually, the idea of a story goes only through the writing process. Only a handful of ideas make it on to paper and onto a screen. For an example, Candler has five screenplays sitting on the sidelines. The biggest propeller of projects going downhill is the one common challenge amongst filmmakers: “Money,” says Candler bluntly. “Getting it is the biggest challenge.” In the film industry as a whole, the producers search for donors and use incentives. In Candler’s case the funding also comes from friends of friends of relatives. One year the Austin Film Society gave Candler a $5,000 grant for making films. Short films are easier to make because they are cheaper and require less planning than a feature. “I had planned on making many more films ten years ago then I actually did,” says Candler. “But money
“It’s like when you were a kid and played with Barbies or matchbox cars and you could create the world that they existed in.”
and time have slowed the process down.” However, some of her films did get completed such as her two features Cicadas and Jumping Off Bridges. When the premiere night of each movie arrives. Candler gets really nervous. “I’m very distracted and stressed because I want the audience to cry and laugh at all the right times,” admits Candler. Still, Candler’s anxieties are usually relieved. “When people laugh [at my films] it’s the best thing ever,” says Candler joyfully. “People laugh at my recent short Love Bug wish was really great.” Candler said her parents always encouraged her to do what she wanted to do. “The moment I’m most proud is when I’m sitting at a movie theater with parents on premiere night,” remarks Candler. “I wouldn’t trade their support for the world.” Candler plans on making more films and experimenting with them while continuing to teach at UT and practicing her artistic and entertaining hobby outside her job. “My advice for someone who is thinking about making a film: it’s important in telling a good story, make a ton of stuff that will keep the film going, don’t hesitate to make so don’t limit yourself, be okay in making mistakes because everyone does,” she says. “Most importantly, do what you love.” DEC 2009 27
Metal Denial In
Death metal is listened to less than any other genre of mu- Lady Gaga, M&M, and 50 Cent. sic. Is there a reason stations don’t play this kind of music? Most d.m. (death metal), songs conWhy don’t people have an open mind towards it? Death tain complex guitars while including metal is an outcast in our society today, and I want to do a main beat which is emphasized to something about it. make the song sound amazing. Take I believe that death metal is a very moving and emo- the guitar from the song Finite, and tional genre of music that should be more widely accepted. you will see how fast and hard the First of all, it requires a lot of skill and focus to play the music is to play, making you appreinstruments. Secondly, it has really good melody and beat, ciate death metal a lot more than you did before. letting you really enjoy and rock out to a song. Lastly, I come to face why death metal is frowned Death metal is very fast, upon: the screaming and lyrquick paced, and won’t lull ics mainly. I have interviewed you to sleep like some other my family, peers, and neighsongs. Pick any death metal bors on their thoughts on d.m., song from my list of top ten and the main response was: It (next page), and listen to sounds like a bunch of trash and the drums. If you hear a rescreaming monkeys; no talent ally fast, low beat; that is the whatsoever. OK, listen to the drummer’s feet banging on a song “backbone” by Gojira, and drum. Imagine the skill, timjust listen to the instruments. ing, and concentration the It sounds beautiful; everything drummer has to maintain. has a purpose and each instruFor example, Legion of the ment complements each other, Damned is a good band that causing you to enjoy the song. uses double base pedals in When I first heard d.m., I said their songs; just like pretty to myself,” Who would listen to much all death metal bands listen to this stuff? The screamout there. It takes a lot of ing is annoying.” But later, I reskill whether you agree or alized that if they sang sweetly, not; this is unlike some rap and didn’t put on makeup and Death Metal Band Krisiun and hip-hop, where it can costumes, their music would be sometimes be just a very simple beat and a singer, like laughed at. Try to imagine heavy instrumentals and then a
28 DEC 2009
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TOP 10 SONGS
eaming isn’t to sound good; it’s to
ack up the instruments and add to the effects.
1. BACKBONE — GOJIRA 2. UNDEAD STILLBORN — LEGION OF THE DAMNED 3. LIVING SIN — AEON 4. LEGIONS UNLEASHED — GRAVEWORM 5. IN SHADOWS AND DUST — KATAKLYSM 6. DEAD EYES SEE NO FUTURE — ARCH ENEMY 7. THE PROMISE OF NEVER — ARSIS 8. THE SWEET SOUND OF VIOLENCE — BURNING SKIES 9. FINITE — ORIGIN 10. FUNERAL INCEPTION — SUFFOCATION
Death Metal Band Cradle of Filth
soft singer and nice personalities. It’s like having a mix of classical music and rap not natural. So the screaming isn’t to sound sweet; it’s to back up all of the instruments and add to the full effects. To prove that the singers can actually sing well if they wanted, listen to “bound dead” by Cryptopsy. At the beginning he is screaming, but then towards the middle he starts singing normally, and it sounds really cool after the beginning. Granted, some death metal songs do sound bad, but most have a universal beat, that sounds like real music. Also, many people think that it is loud and disturbing, all I
The key to learning to like death metal is by tuning out the screaming until you can appreciate the complexity of the instrumentals.
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have to say is “Turn it down,” it’s that easy. But the key to learning to like death metal is by tuning out the screaming until you can appreciate the complexity of the instrumentals. After that, then you can start to enjoy screaming, because when I started listening to it, I focused mainly on the instruments, and then the screaming, (which I now love). Listening to d.m. is like trying to build up tolerance to poison; you have to start slow before you can be able to withhold the entirety of the song. So try it out, but really focus on the instrumentals before you take in everything. What if you don’t like it? IT’S OK. I have listened to rap and can listen to it if someone else is listening to it, but I don’t necessarily like rap. I want everyone to feel the same about death metal. I guarantee that over 30% of you will learn to really love death metal. Not because you like death and destruction, but for what the song provides emotionally for YOU. Everyone has a song that really speaks to them. Personally, my top 10 death metal songs all speak to me in a way that I can’t describe. It’s like somehow this emotion is triggered when I listen to it, but I don’t know what it is; it’s not anger, nor sadness, nor happiness. It’s the feeling of harmony I think. The instruments coexist in a way that creates a sense of harmony and musical rhythm and it feels awesome. DEC 2009 29
To band, or not to band?
Adrenaline pumping, head banging, crowd screaming. H1N1 was making some noise at Antone’s. They didn’t care how they played, neither did the crowd; they were just having fun as band. Starting a band is hard. How do you even meet someone who’s good at playing music, and then be in a band with them? The teen members of the future band H1N1 were clueless, and that’s when they saw the rock camp poster.
What happened was that we were in a band in rock camp, and then that’s how we meet, however we’re not the same band anymore cause we play different things now.” That was Ethan L., the guitarist and vocalist of H1N1. Rock camp, (at Straight Music over the summer) is a great way to be in a band, in a productive and fun way. Rock camp is where musicians are assigned into bands where they learn 4 songs over two weeks under an instructor. They then perform at Antone’s in front of five to six hundred people. In the beginning, everyone was nervous being in a band with kids they’d never seen before, but as the camp progressed they started to make more jokes and realized that they had so much in common with each other. Then the day came when they would be playing at Antone’s. “Rock camp really helps you out if you’re afraid of crowds and have stage fright,” says Forrest, the lead guitarist. Rock camp is a great way to conquer your fears of playing on stage. It also helps you get a sense of how a band works and whether or not being in one is right for you.
30 DEC 2009
A Performance from Rock Camp PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF
The teen band H1N1 in their natural habitat. “More of what was happening backstage was what brought us together when we were hanging out with the crew and just hanging out and what not,” Ethan says. He was the one who asked the other band members if they wanted to keep playing together as a band after the camp. Four of them agreed and said yes. They exchanged numbers and had their first real practice a few weeks later. H1N1 consisted of Ethan, Forrest, Will, and Julian. Practices happened every week or so, until Julian announced that he was quitting because he was too busy. “We don’t have the same members cause we had a base player but he quit, so now we’re just the three piece, and we’re just playing punk/metal/awesome,” exclaims
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Ethan. Currently, H1N1 practices at his house. They aren’t always making musical fusion at practice; they can also be found eating Pizza Hut, sharing music, or messing around. H1N1 is currently working on three songs: Speaker for the Dead, Playing for a Dime, and It’s OK. All they do is practice them over and over again. Currently they have three members: Ethan, Forrest, and me, Will. Practice usually happens on the weekends, at Ethan’s house. He has professional recording equipment, so after we write a song, we can record it right there in his house. I don’t personally recommend getting all of this equipment unless you’re rich and you really want good recordings. What are they expecting to achieve with their band? Not DEC 2009 31
much, but some cash would be nice. “I’m gonna book us a place at the parlor and some other places once we get enough songs together… I don’t wanna become famous, just sell a CD or two, make money, get the word out, and have fun playing music,” explains Ethan. The band plans to book some gigs at some local places to spread the word. H1N1 is influenced by punk, metal, and awesomeness. They play what ever anyone wants to play and listen even if they don’t like it personally. They go to shows with each other and have fun doing it. But, there is one thing that is hindering their progress… “I want to get away from my parents so we can play more together and maybe get an apartment,” says Forrest. Everyone else in the band pretty much agrees that their parents are getting on their nerves and that moving away later would be sweet. Bands take relationships with your friends farther than normal, everyday situations. Everyone feels like everyone else’s problems are their. Being in a band is an experience that no one should pass by, it truly is life changing.
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TIPS ANY SUCCESSFUL BAND SHOULD FOLLOW Write as much music as you can. When you meet up at practice everyone will have lots of material to choose from, so writing a good song will be easier. Have lots and lots of good recording equipment and mikes. This will enable you to record your songs at your home with out having to go to the trouble of going to a recording studio. And, chances are that they won’t let you anyway. Have lots of pizza and soda lying around, or everyone is sure to go insane. Talk about things in your life that make you mad; it can spark themes that go in your songs. PRACTICE A LOT. You will never get anywhere with your band if you don’t sound like pros. The minimum amount of time you sound spend on a song should be 10 hours total. As soon as you book gigs somewhere you will want to know every song by heart, or else you will become extremely embarrassed, and quick. If the crowd doesn’t like you it will rip your confidence apart. Before going to a gig, have your friends listen to you and ask how you sound. Have fun. This rule isn’t hard to follow since being in a band is possibly the most fun anyone could have.
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