A film about our lost collective music experience told through the insane but true story of Rhino Records, the maverick store and label
"Go to Rhino Records on Westwood Boulevard…” – Wild Man Fischer.
“Rhino Resurrected” is the iconoclastic story of a ramshackle little record store that became a hub of hardcore music misfits, a launching pad for influential music careers, and a groundbreaking and irreverent record label revered by music lovers worldwide. The inspiration for the film came in spring of 2010 when the founder of Rhino, Richard Foos, opened a “pop-up” record store that aimed to re-create the “Rhino” vibe and quickly turned into a celebration of and elegy for a music culture that’s all but lost.
Walking into that Rhino pop-Up store, after the record business finally and completely imploded, I felt an urgent sense of longing for the music community we all once shared so jadedly and passionately at our local record stores. As I interviewed and observed all the energized patrons - some famous music and film folk, many just classic record geeks returning to their roots, not only did a story of a lost collective music culture emerge but an “incredibly strange” yarn about a dirty cluttered record store that became one of the most beloved record labels of all time and launched hundreds of careers blew my mind. Following this two-week extravaganza, I recruited very skeptical ex-Rhino Sam Epstein to join me on a quest to interview all the magical people you’ll see in the film. With no budget, I’ve utilized every skill in my arsenal to make this film happen (including the kindness of many talented people including YOU) and I can’t wait for the world to hear the once in a lifetime, stranger than fiction legend of the beautifully warped Rhino Records.
The completely independent feature documentary features a bizarre treasure trove of unearthed archive footage, blazing live performances, and funny and surprising new interviews from all the colorful record maniacs and musicians who made Rhino the special place it was. Including Dr. Demento, Richard Thompson, Nels Cline, William Stout, Peter Case, Little Willie G and thee Midnighters, Temple City Kazoo Orchestra and so much more! The film has been enthusiatically received at Allison Anders "Don't Knock the Rock!" Festival, the 2012 Santa Barbara Int'l Film Festival, won Best Feature Documentary at the 2012 Oxford Film Festival and there's a lot of exciting stuff coming up if we can make this Kickstarter happen!
WHY AM I ASKING FOR YOUR HARD EARNED DOUGH?
Because this project is so close to being released it hurts! I need a budget to pay for the remaining music and footage, original score, mix and color correct. That's it! But an expensive "it", so I need your help and appreciate anything you can give. This film was fueled by the passion of the amazing people I met through the Rhino pop-up store and I hope to share that passion with music lovers everywhere. These rewards all relate to the "Rhino" ethos in fun ways - I can't wait to give them away. Please remember this $22,000 is the bare minimum I need to make this happen, the more funding we get the more music I can keep in the film and the more great elements can be added in the finishing process. STAY TUNED FOR MORE GREAT AND UNIQUE REWARDS AND VIDEO AS THE CAMPAIGN CONTINUES!!
THE DIRECTOR/EDITOR SPEAKS!
I heard about the pending Rhino Records “pop-up” store on a tip from a musician friend and stopped by soon after to see what was happening. From the second I walked into the chaotic half empty box-filled dirty grey-carpeted space, I knew there was a story to tell! I immediately borrowed a friend’s camera and asked permission of the dogged “architect” of the whole affair, Sam Epstein, if I could start filming. Little did I know how interesting the story actually was… Growing up in Pittsburgh Los Angeles felt like a very foreign place, but my friends and I were all avid listeners and tape traders of the immortal Dr. Demento show broadcast from under the smogberry trees in Southern California. My impressionable 13 year old mind listened to the Doctor speak of an entity called Rhino Records that seemed to be responsible for many of the twisted songs I was hearing: Fisheads, Pencil Neck Geek, My Name is Larry, and I always had a soft spot in my heart for it. When I finally moved, sight unseen, to this mythical land of Ed Wood films and fractured dreams in the late 90s – I was very pleased to discover there was a REAL Rhino Records operating (quite busily) right here on Westwood Blvd steps from my apartment! I became a customer, was sad to see it go in the mid 2000s, and owned many of the stellar compellations and re-issues on their booming record label - but who knew the amazing history and people behind such an endeavor.
DIRECTOR/EDITOR/CO-CINEMATOGRAPHER, KEITH SHAPIRO doesn’t like to take NO for an answer so he continues to make the films that he wants to see on passion fueled budgets. A lifetime lover of music and film, he decided it would be best to combine the two. Growing up under the grey but nurturing skies of Pittsburgh, PA he went west to Los Angeles in the booming late 90s and liked what he saw. He’s worked steadily as a director, editor, writer, and producer on just about every imaginable genre since. An incredible love of music and history bleeds through each frame of his second feature, "Rhino Resurrected", a film that will surprise and delight audiences worldwide
PRODUCER/CO-CINEMATOGRAPHER, SAM EPSTEIN has traversed the radio, concert, print, film, video and digital mediums. He has worked within multi-million dollar budgets to guerilla independents. Highlights include assisting Robert Altman and John Schlesinger, the Emmy-winning Hill Street Blues, LA Law and Tracy Takes On television series, and Grammy-winning Michael Jackson videos. Sam also played a key role in reviving the legendary Ashgrove club and he created Retrospecs “DVD Docu-Cards” blending history, art and commerce. His self-shot ‘89 video of Nirvana: No Autographs, No Encores – Live at Rhino is a classic time capsule of band on the brink of super-stardom and he is still active directing, producing, and shooting docs, music videos and films.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, BILL FISHMAN created Fallout Entertainment in 1984 as an independent production company set up to produce his own music videos and later feature films, and ever since has been dedicated to challenging the great James Brown for the rights to the epithet, “the hardest working man in show business.” He directed the cult classic "Tapeheads" starring John Cusack and Tim Robbins and has directed 100s of your favorite music videos. Bill’s last feature “My Dinner With Jimi”, a film about a particularly raucous night during 1967 spent in London with The Turtles, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles won best feature film at the Asheville Film Festival.
Don't take it from me I'm a bit biased, here are some additional links and reviews for the film:
The Ramones in front of Rhino photo was taken by Jenny Lens. Visit her amazing site at www.jennylens.net