Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Rock School at Sundance!

So since I know Rock School is currently being shown at the Sundance Film Festival, I've been trawling Google for articles. I found a good one which I've pasted below!

Oh, and by the way, the above is the official poster for the movie, and if you squint real hard, you can see my son, Eric, and I do believe daughter Julie is in there somewhere as well but this computer monitor sucks and I can't see it. Hahaha - of course that's both Julie and Eric to whom the reporter refers when he says "immensely talented kids"...as well as the other Rock School All-Stars of course.

And for the record, the Jack Black film totally ripped off Paul and his Rock School, but that'll all come out when the movie premiers in April. And guess what? There is going to be a big Philadelphia premier! I don't live in fantasy world after all!

I see this has already been reported on, so I'll say that I agree with everything the reviewer, Castor, stated on this one. This is one of those wildly entertaining documentaries, easy to watch with plenty of laughs and engaging characters.
I?m sure the filmmakers wanted to name this School of Rock? (It IS about the Paul Green School of Rock, whose website is www.schoolofrock.com) but of course there was the Jack Black film that stole the title and even the concept. I got the impression during the Q&A that the filmmakers were more than a little annoyed about that, but I personally think it will only help the film since people are now acquainted with the idea of rock-n-roll instruction for kids; the marketing campaign will practically write itself.
One of the biggest challenges for the filmmakers was getting the rights to use the rock songs in the movie. As it turned out, Eddie Van Halen was a real jerk and wouldn't let them use a smokin riff that CJ (the prolific 12-year-old guitarist) performed while, at the other end of the spectrum, Black Sabbath was awesome and gave them free reign on their whole discography. In the end, song accessibility helped shaped the direction the movie took and, I think, made it a lot more interesting by not having the most obvious bands or songs highlighted (ie AC-DC, Aerosmith). I'd never heard a Frank Zappa song in my life, but the concert in Germany was a huge highlight of the film. These kids are immensely talented and it will be very interesting to see what happens to them after they get out into the real world.
There are plans to open more Rock Schools nationwide: right now there are a cluster of them in Pennsylvania/New Jersey, one in San Francisco, and a branch will be opening next month here in Salt Lake City, of all places!