Monday, August 31, 2015

AntiCurrent Video Archives Vol 4: Hunter S. Thompson- The Crazy Never Die

Hunter S. Thompson in the 80's:
Hunter's San-Francisco 
Examiner Commercial
From 1985-1989 Hunter S. Thompson spent many of his days in San Francisco writing as a media critic for The Examiner (100 of these articles were pulled together to form his book "Generation of Swine"). During this time he also took on an assignment at the behest of Rob Fleder to write an article for Playboy about the rise of "couples pornography" and how the more feminist genre of porn was poised to be "the next big thing" in the industry. He agreed to it and as research, began spending many nights at the famed Mitchell Brothers' "O'Farrell Theater".

Hunter became enthralled with this new found adult playground and through his time there formed a close friendship with both Jim and Artie Mitchel. He became such a regular that he at times took tickets at the front door and dubbed himself "the night manager" even going as far as to make business cards for himself. Eventually this laid the groundwork for Hunter to re-purpose the Playboy article as a novel and he sold the rights to Random House Publishing.

O'Farrell Theater, Mitchell Brothers
Hunter S. Thompson:
Night Manager
This book "The Night Manager" was to chronicle Hunter's time working at the notorious theater. It's not publicly known how much of the book was actually written or whether or not it was completed. However, interestingly enough, another of Thompson's unreleased works* (also through Random House) titled "Polo Is My Life" appears to be a sequel in which the protagonist is forced to leave the sex club and flee into the mountains. Would he actually sequelize the book if the first one was incomplete? Normally I'd say that's too weird to be true, but seeing as how this is Hunter S. Thompson, weird is just the norm.

*I once asked Johnny Depp (who is custodian to Thompson's archive of unreleased papers) how much unreleased material existed and he just laughed and said "a lot". 

His Lectures:
High Quality Gonzo
Front Cover
Other than the Chronicle gig and the occasional book deal such as these, Thompson's main source of income was from performing speaking engagements at colleges around the United States. These performances were best characterized by Thompson showing up late (if at all), strangers offering him excessive amounts of drugs, and an adoring audience watching him lambaste anyone in his cross-hairs in the most hilarious and vicious way possible**. In 1988 he was about to embark on one of these tours and struck up a bargain with The Mitchell brothers to send along a camera crew to document the event. The film that resulted is the hard to find "The Crazy Never Die".

** For an idea of what his full lectures were like,, I previously released his entire performace at Boulder University in 1977 as Vol. 9 of the Audio Archives available HERE.

The Feature:
High Quality Gonzo
Back Cover
"The Crazy Never Die" is a 30 minute shot-on-video documentary that looks into the wild and perfomative side of Hunter's personality. The live footage consists of highlights of his engagements at both The University of Kansas and The 1st Congregational Church in Portland, Oregon. Most of the supplemental footage is from the previously mentioned O'Farrell Theater, his office at The Examiner, Survival Research Labs, and Tommy's Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco.

Intercut between these are both intimate moments of Thompson traveling and staged moments of Thompson creating havoc while occasionally hanging out with naked strippers. It's far from an exploration on the man he was, but it is very indicative of the wild Rock and Roll side of Thompson that he wished to publicly display during this time of his life.

This Release:
Previous version VS
Archives version
This flick was released via VHS in the late 80's, thus there is only so much I could do to salvage the quality without the original footage. For this release I purchased an original, un-viewed copy and ran it through video out (thanks for the help J.C. Reifenberg), capturing it at 720p while processing the footage through an HVX.

Once I had captured it, I brought it into Adobe Premiere, color corrected it, slightly sharpened it, de-interlaced it, brought the blacks to a reasonable level, and cropped the video on both the bottom and left side by 1% as it was only tape noise and not actual footage. I then output the audio into Adobe Audition and removed the tape hiss plaguing the video. The final output is a 720p version of the movie looking as good as it ever will unless the original footage is reprocessed.

Tell me this doesn't make you want
to purchase the sweatshirt
Final Thought:
This isn't a must see documentary for most people, but if you're a fan of The Good Doctor, it is a great little piece of history to behold. I hope one day that this flick gets rereleased and if it does, I'll break down the damn door to purchase one, until then, this will have to do.

However, even though you can't pay The Mitchell Brothers for a copy of this fine film, you can purchase shirts and sweatshirts from them with Ralph Steadman's original artwork for it HERE.

Download the compressed h264 version here.
Right click and choose "save as"

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Download the Score for Our Upcoming Short "The Mission"

Josh Roush, The Mission, Short Movie
"The Mission" is about a day in
the life of two Mormon brothers
experiencing the opposite
ends of their faith.
Apologies for my two month hiatus from the blog, it's been an insane time finishing post on our new short, dark-comedy, "The Mission". Wearing many hats in post-production doesn't exactly lend itself to an abundance of time to write. But to hell with all that, the flick is done and has already been submitted to the first of many film-festivals. As always, I'm unable to just sit idly by and watch the fruits of our labor, thus Liv and I are already prepping our next short "Dick Burrito" (co-written by Omid Ghaffarian and myself) for production. 

The only bummer of this ever-repeating cycle of making our short movies is that these flicks cannot even see the light of day until well after their film-festival run... so that got me thinking. Since I can't publicly share the movie for fear of ruining it's festival life (and the top-secret plan for afterwards), I began to think of things from the movie that I could share. Hence, the newest edition of the Archives!

Piss N' Blood
Cam and I at band practice
Though I haven't been an active participant in the Southern California Punk Rock Scene in a few years, for a good long while I was the bass player for the band Piss N' Blood. It was through that experience that I met some of the best friends I've had in my life. One of them being the guitar player for the band in question, a brilliant songwriter named Cameron Mosavian. During my time "in the trenches" with him both in the studio and in rehearsal, I noticed the dudes uncanny ability to perfectly capture the mood of any given moment and (often hilariously) put it to music. 

Josh Roush, The Mission, Cam Mosavian
Front Cover
About halfway through editing I began to get concerned with music for the project. I had temp music put in to maintain momentum, but it wasn't a good fit. I experimented with using existing scores and even Creative Commons domain music off of Free Audio Archive like we did for Rodney Redbottom, but nothing was working so I turned to my good friend. He watched the flick and described right away the audio-fueled emotions I was struggling to convey and had great ideas about the genres to use when emphasizing each beat.

Cam immediately set my mind at ease and I was able to worry about the whole of the project knowing that the score was in good hands. The files he would send back to me as I was editing put emphasis on the perfect moments, punch-lined the jokes, and created the exact atmosphere I was looking for. The score he turned in is so damn good, he makes me look like a better editor due to the choices his music helped inspire. I'll never not use him again.

Josh Roush, The Mission, Cam Mosavian
Back Cover
But enough about that asshole, let's get back to the point shall we? Since I can't show you a trailer, here is what I can do at the moment. I'm proud to introduce to you Cam's entire score for "The Mission". I've taken his original files, done some minor tweaking to make them flow better as an album and output them as both MP3's and FLAC's for free download via my website. 

I'm so proud of this little flick and I cannot wait to share it with you the second I can do so. Until then, here is the full, free download of the score to our new flick, "The Mission". 

Right click and choose "save link as".

1: Theme to The Mission
2: Mormons on the Run
3: Clothes Make the Man
4: Proselytization
5: To Come of Age
6: Confectionery Canaan