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First interview

I visited my old friend Don Harrison to record an interview about the doc. It’ll be broadcast Friday 10/26 on WRIR’s OpenSourceRVA. If you missed it, click on the site and you can hear a replay. That’s producer Krysti Albus below and yes, I had that Dirtwoman T-shirt made for the premiere!

I’ll be doing another interview Monday morning 11/18, 9am on Boomtown Richmond with Robyn Bentley and Jeff McKee (who’s also interviewed in the doc talking about the Song for Richmond).

BTW, tickets are still available for the Saturday 11/3 premiere at the Virginia Film Festival (click here for tickets). The show’s at 9pm at Vinegar Hill, so you could actually drive up and be home before midnite.

World Premiere!

The 31st Annual Virginia Film Festival will host the first public showing:

Saturday, November 3, 9pm

The Vinegar Hill Theatre (where I saw many great films when I lived in C’ville).

Interestingly, I was reviewing for CBS-6 when the FIRST festival happened in 1987 and covered it (complete with a Sissy Spacek interview, which I don’t still have).

Tickets go on sale Monday 10/8 at noon. I’ll be there for Q&A after the screening, so come on up!

First private screenings

A year ago today, Donnie left us for the big Hamaganza in the sky. Some of his friends and family recently had a chance to see a preview of the completed documentary.

Aimee and Alex Martin hosted some of the key crew for a lovely dinner and showing in their screening room. Thanks for their generous hospitality.

On 9/24, there was a private show for people who were featured in interviews, plus people who contributed their skills and talent or provided invaluable photos or video. Thanks to Ethan Ochis and Movieland at Boulevard Square for hosting us (and Kenny Bendheim’s yummy desserts).

Dean Owen, Debra Corker, Tammy Harris, Chris Dovi (me in the back in my Dirtwoman Tshirt).

The doc now goes to film festivals and the official RVA premiere will be announced soon.



Donnie’s own song

How many documentaries have their own theme song? Dirtwoman does!

I wanted “Oregon Hill” by the Cowboy Junkies to play under the neighborhood montage, but that didn’t work out. I was considering how to accompany several segments in the doc where I needed a song, so I proposed the idea to Barry Fitzgerald, my longtime friend and collaborator (we created 4 bands together in the 70s). A few days later, he sent me “Roses & Garlic.”

In collaboration with his band, Thing2, they created the finished arrangement. In addition to Barry on keys, it’s Johnny Hott on percussion and Jeremiah Shriver on bass.

We went to Sound of Music to record. They generously hosted the Dirtwoman Toast in 2017, so John Morand was thrilled to be involved with the project a year later! He did a great job of mixing the song (that’s him at work above).

This excerpt goes under the RVA montage early in the doc. There are additional verses for Oregon Hill and Grace Street, plus a full-length version under the closing credits (featuring Donnie dancing!).

Jeremiah Shriver

Barry Fitzgerald

Johnny Hott

Keeping Donnie on my toes!

I just got these custom socks today! Can’t wait to wear them to the premiere!

Speaking of: The first edit is done and I’m waiting for Matt Lively’s illustrations and the audio elements (sweetening, score and title song) to be completed. Hope to have all that done by August 1.

Random updates

Editing started last year, but it's been slow because I had to make a living too.

Since May 1, I've devoted most of my days to finalizing the cut. Last week, it was over 2 hours (which is just too long for a doc). As of today, it's down to 1:38 and there are 37 tight segments. They include everything from the Mayor race to the media coverage of Donnie's death and range from 16 seconds to more than 6 minutes.

Next, is determining their order. Some of it's logical and will follow a logical timeline, but there are other "wild cards" sequences that will add variety and surprises.

There's one more day to shoot additional supporting video (with Dave Park), which will happen next week. Then it's on to audio (updates soon).

This image is the back of the new card I had printed to promote this website.