From the Ground Up Episode 2 : Plainview Kiet

This was not supposed to happen the way it did. It felt like this episode would never finish. I went in thinking this would be the shortest episode to come from the “From the Ground Up” series because of the lack of content. When we shot with Plainview he was dealing with a lot of personal things which were documented in the episode but it meant musically there wouldn’t be a lot of the rich b-roll that was captured with other artists. I told Carla this would maybe be 20 minutes.  Recognizing there would be a struggle to get to half an hour I thought of ways to have a creative edit that could push the episode to 30 minutes.  As I started breaking down the segments I soon realized maybe there is far more here than I thought.  Plainview was very slow to open up. I could tell he came in wanting to be open but has never been put in a position where he would be on the record to express the things that truly troubled him. As I reviewed content from each session I realized he was giving more and more each session.  He was less guarded as we spent more time together. Which actually made the editing process harder. I no longer could breakdown segments into themes on a subject matter, I had to treat the segments more like peeling the layers of onions.  Plainview would give me explanations through his guard and then on another day give me a little bit more with a new context that served as a vehicle to a larger revelation that I discovered. Plainview Kiet actually suffers from a crap ton of inner turmoil and trauma.
 After a session of shooting when Plainview was shooting a music video Carla said to me “…I find it interesting that he said he grew up without his parents…” I initially blew it off as this is a very common theme amongst artist in this genre who come out of broken homes. It was not until I was more than half done with the scene arrangement that I realized that that notion would be almost the driving force behind a lot of Plainview’s personal makeup as a person. I knew that I had to balance that across the episode and this grew to make this one of the most complicated edits I had to make. The people want music music music but as a creator, I know the long lasting impression comes from the story and it is my job to balance what people want with the story I need to tell. The initial cut of Episode two came in at 47 minutes. Which was far too long I knew cuts needed to be made. This audience will not have the patience for 47 minutes of talking no action. I had to make some major cuts and I had a nice flow to where things were headed and the next thing you know the MacBook charger committed suicide. The damn thing just stopped working with 30 percent battery left. This would be the second charger to go within a year and I was surely not going to pay 100 bucks for a new one from Apple. 9 days later thanks to Amazon I received my replacement. That was a painful thing because I do so much of my creativity on the Macbook and I was stuck.
Boom I am back at it and lost all momentum but now after time away from it, I realized many of the cuts didn’t make sense and the flow was blah.  43 minutes is the total time and I think maybe if I re-edit the final scene  I could cut about 4 minutes off of it. So I rework it and boom 42 minutes…not enough… maybe if I cut this conversation and rework the middle scene I would save 4 minutes… nope  41 minutes. Maybe if I make this scene last and move this to the middle I can save 4 minutes.. blah blah blah. I had become obsessed with getting this once 20-minute episode that ballooned into 45 minutes down to 30 and I just couldn’t do it.  It was frustrating because now I am finishing Plainviews lines and actually having conversations with the screen and just going delirious about this one episode that should have been done a month ago but the god complex of directors make you obsess over small things that the big picture wouldn’t see. I had finally had enough and became content with the final runtime. The people have waited long enough and the stories were so pivotal that the need to be longer so that context would stay intact. 
There is one scene I wanted to keep but used it as a tradeoff to keep a story I felt was more important about his relationship with Space Station  Not Human owner Tevin Jacques.  I will use that deleted portion for bonus content later and it is about his use of the N-word in his music as an Asian artist. Heads will roll but its the conversation fans wanted me to have with him to justify his reasoning.  Another more obsessive nature of the edit occurred after I submitted to being done I watched it over and over and said to myself “lets back the early half with even more b-roll to keep energy high going into the second half when things get more serious. There is one beautifully emotional moment where we get to share the reuniting of Plainview and his mother for the first time in over a decade.
Episode 2 of From the Ground Up drops on Facebook and YouTube or the official website March 30th, 2019 at 5pm. I hope everyone enjoys it please let me know what you think.
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From the Ground Up Debut Episode

We are happy to announce Feb 7th at 6pm we will be releasing the first installment of the five-part series on the Wichita urban music scene. In collaboration with Carla Ayala’s Ayala Live Prod. to develop From the Ground Up and tonight live on YouTube and Facebook you can see the first episode on local rap artist YBM Smoove.

Official Website: http://groundupict.com or visit the facebook page http://facebook.com/groundupict

Tip Jar: http://cash.me/$roweikf/

More than a win at Doc Sunback Film Festival

doc sunback wifi at rock bottom 2016 award

Sooooooo I am more than happy to say that it feels pretty good to win an award especially one that was of the people! Doc Sunback Film Festival and Art Crawl in Mulvane, Ks was such an incredible experience. Having been to other film festivals I can  say this one may be one of my favorites outside of obvious reasons. The interaction was just genuine and felt like a town full of love and not just this class structure of pretentiousness that can rear its ugly head in any event involving the arts. It felt like all those days in school where a random moment in making art turned into a discussion of moments.

Wifi at Rock Bottom : Something About Meth and Evolve or Die both played at this festival and both I believe hit their marks in places I intended and both had Continue reading

Official Selection at Doc Sunback Film Festival

doc_sunback arowe_films screening

Much love to all the people at the Doc Sunback Film Festival of Mulvane Kansas for choosing not one but two of our films for its event. With multiple screenings, I hope many of you locals in the Mulvane area can make time to catch one! Wifi at Bottom : Something About Meth has been met with so much praise by those it has connected with and Evolve or Die is one of the best in the David Rickels timeline. To make it easy we provided a graphic to let you know the screening times and locations if you can make it! As the norm for an aRowe Films films screening I attend there will be all kinds of goodies for  those in attendance and maybe even a surprise appearance from one of the two subjects! Hope to see you there!

Details at http://www.docsunbackfilmfest.com

Evolve or Die #EOD : David Rickels

arowe films presents evolve or die david rickels 7

David Rickels had a chance at greatness at Bellator 97 and in 44 seconds that chance would become more elusive due to a loss to midwest rival Micheal Chandler. More than a year later the man who robbed Rickels of winning the Bellator Lightweight Title now stands in the way. November 6 at Bellator 145 in Missouri, David Rickels will seek vengeance against Chandler to show everyone who is the best in the mid-west and make the  next step in his evolution. Training like never before and better than he has ever been, David Rickels is looking to smash another opponent and make his way to the Bellator top spot for the title against Will Brooks.#EOD

Click Here to watch Evolve or Die #EOD : David Rickels