Brick Box unveils ‘Grove Mountain State’

Having a gastrointestinal disorder sucks hardcore.The long awaited premiere of the Video Documentary Class film, ‘Groove Mountain State’ made me really nervous.

It is never a good thing when I become nervous, I experience extreme stomach discomfort that makes me run to the nearest restroom. Yet, this night it was definitely worth going through the agony.

There were many reasons why I was nervous walking into the Brick Box, the new lounge located at the Paramount Theatre on Feb 22.

First, I didn’t know what to expect. I had never been to the Brick Box before and more importantly this was our first premiere. What if people didn’t like the film?

Director Adrian Hill was very excited.

“This is going to be cool, saw it on the big screen tuning the color, going to be f***king awesome,” Hill said.

It was great having our film premiered at such a great place. One moviegoer who brought his guitar was playing music as we sat waiting for the film to begin. He also, happens to be a fan of the film.

“Let’s all watch Adrian’s movie, it’s great. I watch it at least once a week,” Ed Young said as he gave up trying to play Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish you were here.’

I love how the Brick Box is designed. The screen is huge. It takes up the majority of the back wall and the room fits probably 75 people. Also, the tables were great. They had the warm glow of candlelight and a small bowl of popcorn.

These tables made me feel a sense of nostalgia. The chic, black cabaret tables had a striking resemblance to the tables I helped construct in my technical theatre class in high school for the Havana scene in ‘Guys and Dolls.’

Eric Mallette, a fellow Otter Valley Theatre alumnus, runs the Brick Box, whose movie series will continue every other Thursday starting March 22.

“What a great way to kick start what is sure to be an exciting new addition to the already wildly popular Brick Box schedule,” said Mallette, project manager at the Paramount Theatre.

The documentary is a film about the Rutland county music scene focusing on two major concepts: Is Rutland living in the shadow of Burlington? And is there a need for more venues in Rutland?

‘Groove Mountain State’ features music from artists Jeff Poremski, Casey Grant, the Jim Gilmour Band, Jonathan Lorentz, Rip Jackson, DownPlay, Duane Carleton, The Dubois and Twiddle.

Jeff Poremski and Casey Grant are two musicians who have been playing in the Rutland area for about 20 years and work at Be Music. These two are like the hired guns of the Rutland music scene. They are not in any certain band, per say, but have an open invitation to play with anyone.

Jim Gilmour and his band would easily be classified under the folk, folk-rock category of music. Jim Gilmour is also the owner of South View Arts recording studio in Middletown Springs, Vt.

Jonathan Lorentz is a jazz musician who plays often at the Iron Lantern in Castleton and is a professor of music here at Castleton.

“I just want to help get this ball rolling and get people excited about going out and seeing live music,” Lorentz said referring to music played at the Iron Lantern.

Rip Jackson is a harpsichordist and conductor at Grace Congregational Church. Jackson performs all forms of music, but has a passion for classical and Broadway.

DownPlay is a struggling up and coming metal band out of Wallingford. CJ’s voice is brutal, Fred is a crazy drummer, Josh and Lucien are lightning fast guitarists and Chris can drop some seriously badass bass lines. Really this band kicks it.

“This was awesome; I didn’t know this place existed.” CJ said of the Brick Box. “Maybe, we can play a show here.”

Duane Carleton is a legend in his own right. Carleton has been playing music locally for about 30 years. He lays Americana, but his music also has elements of folk and country.

“Some of the bands I’ve been in over the years are Tin Pan Alley, The Huge Members, The Sander Wright Band and currently my own band, Duane Carleton and the Backwoods Messiahs,” he said.

The Dubois’ are quite obscure. You can only really judge the band after you hear them. Their songs will make you laugh and the may even make you cry.

“I took a hundred shits today and is my ass tender, like veal, I took a hundred shits today,” as an example.

The documentary concludes with Castleton’s own Twiddle. Twiddle is a progressive funk reggae band. That’s right, they are not a jam band.

“No, I don’t think we’re a jam band. Calling yourself a jam band is like shooting yourself in the foot,” said Mihali Savoulidis, vocalist for Twiddle.

I learned a lot helping to produce ‘Groove Mountain State,’ this past fall. Making this film definitely helped better my camera and editing skills.

I remember Hill and myself being immersed in the editing process. For about two weeks straight we would enter the TV Studio around 4 p.m. and finish working around 3 a.m.

I also learned that producing and directing a documentary really isn’t all that hard to do. The job requires primarily the same set of skills used in constructing a newspaper story.

You start by deciding what the story is going to be about and whom you’re going to interview. After that you go out and interview various sources asking the five W’s: who, what, when, where, why and sometimes how.

The primary difference between documentary filmmaking and writing a newspaper story is the equipment used to record events. When filming documentary you have a video camera, which makes it easier to document what happened.

“Once you press the record button you never stop, the tape is always rolling, if not you might miss something,” Hill said at the DownPlay shoot.

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