Into my second year of high school and boredom was deeply settling in. This was the first time in over 5 years that I had absolutely no creative outlet. Help Wanted TV had just ended (as with all ties with Garden Hoe Productions), and so did Ultimate Wrestling Championship. What’s a teenaged boy to do?
We all drank.
To waste the time, and to try and get the opportunity to touch a female. One particularly foggy evening in November in Lunenburg, myself and Scott Bailey were drinking on a hill in front of Composites Atlantic (a Lunenburg trademark) before a “gig” (that’s cool-teenager-lingo for “rock concert”) when Scott pitched me the idea of a movie titled Mugshots.
He wanted to keep making the type of films we were making with Mike Nauss (and Garden Hoe Productions), but this time it would be on our own terms.
He proposed that since we knew fuck-all about HTML and internet-ing that we would just buy a camera, shoot a buttload of footage, and get it out to everyone in one glorious hour-long jam-packed VHS film.
I asked him what the title “Mugshots” meant. He said it was a double-entendre, that it could mean doing shots of booze with mugs, but it could also mean an actual mugshot (as if we were arrested). And I still think it’s a stupid fucking title.
Dumb title or not. I was drunk and I was psyched.
Soon thereafter, we entered the Pre-Production stages for Mugshots and after a few months, I purchased my first video camera, a Sony CCD-TRV108 Hi-8 CamCorder, and a whole bunch of tapes.
Summer came and we started shooting.
Half of us had our driver's licenses and none of us had a job, so we had a whole lot of spare time to kick around and film whatever. And boy, did we film a whole lot of "whatever".
This summer went on to be one of the randomest (not a word, I know), funnest summers I have ever had.
This was the first summer that we had, where we knew that the law couldn't touch us. Being under the age of 19, especially in a small town like Lunenburg, meant that the long arm of the law, was rather forgivable towards us, and our demographic.
Sporadic , is one way to describe that summer. Non-stop, random, and efficient all at once. It was a weird mixture of careless production.
The end of the summer was closing in, and we knew that we had some great footage on tape; but another thing we knew, was that we didn't have that "big" stunt. Scott called me one night and put forth the idea that he wanted to jump from the second floor of the Atlantic Super Store onto a check-out.
After some discussion, we planned out "the skit", and headed to the Super Store where Scott jumped from the second floor onto a check-out. Managers, cashiers, and other Super Store staff chased all around Bridgewater for about 3 hours in one of the greatest memories I will ever experience. I rendezvoused with Scott on the riverbed of the Lahave River then headed back to my Dad's where we played video games for a few hours until everything die down.
Principal photography on Mugshots was complete.Come November, I started telling people that Mugshots was coming late in November. Like an idiot, I left myself about 3 weeks to import, and edit an hour-long film. During these 3 weeks, I had school and exams, which are pretty stressful to begin with.
The editing was unbelievably frustrating on a PC that was already 3 years behind it's time.
I switched the release date to December 19th to allow myself to put the finishing touches on my baby.
Come the 19th, I had finished editing, and recording more than 50 copies of Mugshots, ready to be distributed.
Within the next year I had produced more than 150 copies of Mugshots (from San Fransisco to France) and everyone sincerely loved the film.
Everyone seemed to overlook some of the pacing issues I had with it (thanks to my time constraints), and really enjoyed the finished product.
Through the years, I have continually heard of people putting Mugshots on at parties, which has consistently brought a smile to my face.
Looking back now, Mugshots was our send-off to our innocent/devious teenage years. We knew the end of our immunity was forthcoming, I'm just glad we managed get some of it on film before it was uncerimoniously snatched away on our separate 19th birthdays.
Thanks to absolutely everyone involved in Mugshots. It was one of the most triumphant projects ever undertaken in my life. Thank you to everyone, everyone involved and everyone who watched it.
- ▼ March (4)