1. What made you choose to create a documentary film? At what point
did you decide to make this film?
We started filming random weirdness
in my life many years ago while I was touring the country tattooing. I
have a vault of tapes that would kill an elephant. I was filming some
short YouTube stuff about abused pitbulls before the Vick case broke.
The project grew, the experiences got more intense, some of my friends
in LA wanted to be in the film, and presto, we found a real live movie
happening. The story is intense, definitely not Animal Planet type
2. What are your hopes and ambitions for this film?
I hope that the film is seen by people that are in some way changed or
motivated. Not to save dogs, but to do something. Something positive
in their lives and in the lives of those random weirdos that float in
and out of life like disposable ketchup packets. There is so much
happening around all of us so often that it becomes a blur, a lifeless
experience of stagnation. Stagnation is life on pause, as is
frustration. I hope that this film in some way kills that sh*t for
someone somewhere, and they do something awesome for someone or
something they don't know. Random awesomeness.
3. Do you have any formal education in film making?
I did some home porno in college. Does that count? I still have the footage.
4. Did you have an art direction when creating the footage or were
most of the scenes home movies that were edited together?
I had a very distinct direction while we were filming and while we
were editing. Much of the home movie stuff was added here and there,
and found its way into the story.
5. How did you decide what to include in this documentary?
With as many hundreds of hours as we had to argue about, it was really
more of a question of "what are we definitely NOT going to use"???
Much of the footage was not in any way related to the storyline and I
didn't want to include random weird shit from my life more than
necessary. Shock value debauchery was NOT something I wanted to
utilize at all, but of course everyone involved in editing kept
returning to that. It is an easy jump for people who don't really know
me personally to force feed that drunken gun shooting tattooed lunatic
portrait down the throats of the viewer. It was a difficult aspect of
the project for me.
6. How did you balance your time between creating a film and your businesses?
I didn't it ruined my life and it sucked. I took on way to many things
at one time. I learned a lot from that.
7. How did you find funding for the film? Was it self-funded?
I ran all my companies financially into the ground (not literally but
almost!) to complete this film, but they are back in full force baby.
My tattoo career, the studio in Atlanta (www.AllorNothingTattoo.com) ,
and my online retail company (www.Strangleholdmerch.com funded this
film 100%. No partners, or distractions. Most of it was filmed by my
friends and family. It is as independent a movie as any film ever made
in the history of earth. It was very difficult, a long expensive crazy
process. But that way we could make it any way we wanted to. I think
the "F" word is in the film about 200 times?
8. How do you believe your personality was portrayed in this film?
I don't like that part at all. No one can ever make anything about me
without using guns and money and adolescent behavior. It's limited
mostly to the beginning of the film, but it still bugs me. One of the
producers felt it was vital, and everything was late, so we left that
old footage in. Much of the footage is over 10 years old, filmed on a
slew of cheap ass cameras over the years. The most recent footage was
filmed by a production company, albeit small and ghetto, nonetheless
"real" cameras began showing up. This topic is actually even discussed
in the film itself.
9. Are there similarities and/or differences between tattooing and film making?
Mostly differences. In tattooing you are alone, by yourself as an
artist, creating artwork specifically for a person, it is extremely
permanent, efficient, and personal. Film making is for a broad
audience, to be viewed and judged by the anonymous masses, and is
reliant on a group effort. It is much more like creating music to me.
I was a musician prior to tattooing and in a band you are reliant on
the performance and creativity of others, where-as in tattooing it is
a solo thing. Many of the people involved in the film were exceptional
people, passionate, fiery, motherf*ckers. I think that translates to
the viewer in some way, but it is definitely not what it would have
been if I had created it myself. Filming an interview or experience,
or landscape is art just as much as any other medium. The technical
aspect of actually editing that art, is much like doing math in my
head. Frustrating. This is where opposing influence dilutes the
original art, and by the time it is digested by the viewer it has been
diluted and set to music and changed. Tattooing is not like that. It
is much more deliberate and beautiful... to me.
10. What was your favorite part of the process?
The premiere in Vegas, and in LA were fun. So I guess the END was the
best part! When the project was completed. Art is never really
complete, just abandoned.
11. How long did it take for you to create this work from start to finish?
Much of the footage is 10+ years old and is from my years of touring,
travelling, partying, so technically this project is the culmination
of a lot of destroyed video cameras and police reports. There is even
boobies. We cut out all pornographic material however. It is a damn
charity film after all. It doesn't view like one.
12. Do you have any advice for others who want to create a film?
Be careful who you work with 100%. Artistic collaboration is key. Be
careful. This is where I made my largest mistake. In the interest of
time and money, I brought in some folks I shouldn't have. Making a
film is very much like painting with multiple artists. In my tattoo
studio we do a lot of collaborative tattooing (more than one artist on
same client). If the artist I'm working with is a douche bag, well
it's not going to be any fun and the imagery and execution itself will
reveal that. Same with film.
13. Do you plan to continue to create documentaries?
I'm working on a secret project now. Not a documentary, but something
Thank you for the interview!