“10 Questions with LA Film Fest Filmmaker Spotlights” is a series of posts to help you get to know our Festival filmmakers and their films just a little bit better. In this installment, we feature Jeff Broadway, director of the music doc Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton (This Is Stones Throw Records).
Before he was an internationally acclaimed DJ and the founder of a legendary Los Angeles record label, Peanut Butter Wolf, a.k.a. Chris Manak, was a young San Jose hip hop producer on the rise with his best friend and partner Charizma. Only a few years later, and in the wake of tragedy, Stones Throw Records was born. Almost twenty years later, Stones Throw is regarded as one of the most influential and groundbreaking labels in the industry.
Deftly weaving together rare archival footage, rousing live performances from visionary artists including J Dilla, Madlib, Mayer Hawthorne and Dam-Funk, and intimate interviews with the enigmatic Wolf and the Stones Throw family, filmmaker Jeff Broadway constructs a riveting tribute that reveals an unexpected history of heartbreak and triumph.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Jeff Broadway. I am a 26 year-old documentary filmmaker living in Los Angeles. My film, Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton (This Is Stones Throw Records), is premiering on June 21st at the LA Film Fest and I couldn’t be more excited!
2. Tell us about your film in 140 characters or less.
OVWAT‘s subject is avant-garde, LA-based Stones Throw Records. The film explores the label’s enigmatic artists, history and culture.
3. Who were your early filmmaking mentors or inspirations?
Mentor: Jon Taplin – producer of The Last Waltz and Mean Streets. Jon was a professor of mine at USC, and is someone I will always look up to. Inspiration: Rob Bralver – the film’s editor and my business partner. If I had not met Rob in college, I doubt I’d be doing what I am today.
4. What inspired you to make this film?
My passion for Stones Throw’s music and the spirit of the label’s – and Peanut Butter Wolf’s – independence inspired me to make this film.
5. Who or what influenced the creative decisions for this film?
The aesthetic and tradition of the label informed the creative decisions made in making the film.
6. What challenges did you face while making this film?
The story involves so many influential characters, so much amazing music, and two decades of history (not to mention the present and future of the label). Picking focal points and presenting this story in the format of a 100-minute film was our biggest challenge in making this film.
7. What’s been the coolest experience so far with the film?
There have been a lot of cool experiences, but the coolest – making a lifelong friend in Wolf. Hands down.
8. Are you a film festival newbie or have you done the circuit before?
The first film I produced out of school was also a music doc – Cure for Pain: The Mark Sandman Story. I did the festival circuit with it in 2011. So I wouldn’t exactly call myself a veteran, but this ain’t my first rodeo, either.
9. How are you preparing for the festival and/or getting the word out about your film?
I’m working with the good people of Stones Throw Records and Daniel Gill at Force Field PR to get the word out. Stones Throw is also putting on what is sure to be an amazing concert at Exchange LA the night before the premiere.
10. Lastly, what are you most excited to do and/or see at this year’s LA Film Fest?
I’m most excited to meet new people, see a bunch of great films, and celebrate with everyone who made Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton a reality.
Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton Screenings at the LA Film Fest
- Friday, June 21st 8:00pm [Rush Line]
- Saturday, June 22nd 4:30pm [Rush Line]