HOW TO FAIL
LOOKING FOR THE SECRET TO SUCCESS
a film by lisa marr
preview the movie & bonus cd
As for the back story on the project, as you may know, I was in that band cub from 1992-1997... kind of (I now realize like a nostalgic old grandpa) the golden era for indie, diy-type music... we were constantly making records, touring and making videos to critical and popular acclaim. Almost like shooting fish in a barrel. Then I moved to LA, the 21st century threw us all into the supersonic future and suddenly it seemed like just making music and getting it out there was a whole lot tougher... millions of bands pumping out computer generated product; the economy in the dumper forcing customers to be less likely to shell out for new stuff and small labels to be more careful with dwindling funds for promotion and publicity; skyrocketing gas prices matched with a reluctance of promoters to offer guarantees making touring an expensive extravagance; Napster, MP3s, iTunes, dvd etc. bringing music directly into people’s homes and cutting down on traffic to live venues; the cold realities of keeping a band together as a 30-something (families! careers! in-fighting! finances! availability!) and the sickening feeling of pushing one's product on an indifferent marketplace...
years of futilely trying to get my current band, The Lisa Marr Experiment, on the road for a
national tour, it seemed as though the stars were finally aligning: everyone
had a small but sufficient amount of time off from work and other projects,
we'd saved up a little money from local shows, we had a brand new album
called American Jitters out on
Sympathy For The Record Industry,
and we had an eager new booker who assured me that the biggest problem
of the tour would be deciding whether we wanted to play one night or three
with Jonathan Richman in Austin, Texas. Two weeks before the tour, the
booker suddenly dropped off the radar...no phone calls, no emails. All
I had was a list of cities and venues. Frantically following up, I found
out that not only were there no shows confirmed, most of the club promoters
had never even heard of our so-called booker! With no time to make other
arrangements, the tour was called off. The band went back to their jobs
and their families. The window of opportunity was closed.
Putting the film together has given me the added bonus of combining another medium with music, taking it to another level and giving me fresh challenge... As someone who's just getting into filmmaking, I'm excited about making films and editing them in the same way I was excited about learning how to play bass 15 years ago. The documentary is certainly not a masterpiece of modern filmmaking but I think it's true and compelling in the way it represents a certain moment in time and reflects where I'm at in my life right now.
Whew! That's it!