"Out of Focus" started off as an account of the making of an album, "the Spade," from start to finish. In the middle of all of this, a narrative thread is found, and the audience is drawn into Butch Walker's world.
If you're thinking "I don't even know who Butch Walker is!" Yes, you do. You've heard his music or something he's had his hand in, even if you don't realize it. Take a minute and look him up on Wikipedia and YouTube. Like the filmmakers said during the Q&A - if someone doesn't know Butch, once they discover him, they become a fan. Even my mom's heard a song or two and I'm pretty sure she digs 'em.
If you're still reading and you don't know Butch Walker and you didn't just look him up, that's ok. You'd still like this documentary. I promise. It's well-done and beautifully filmed. The studio scenes are all filmed in black and white, which gives the recording process this really cool, retro, somehow cozy feeling. There are moments that will make you crack up followed by scenes that will make you tear up.
I went to the documentary with my friend Kate - we met when we were both band photographers, the only girls in a world of guys. But we hit it off because we're both silly and awesome and hilarious. Despite losing touch for... four years? after only hanging out thrice at shows, we got back in touch and had a blast at the film fest. Her boyfriend's brother got us into the VIP tent afterwards, where we pretended to be very important and incredibly cool, like the people around us.
Until Jason Marsden walked in.
"That's the guy who tried to date Dana on Step-by-Step!" I said. Kate discovered he had also played similar roles on Full House and Boy Meets World. Needless to say, we were impressed. I knew I had to have my photo taken with him, and not just because he's 5'1" (to be fair, some websites say 5'3"...). We lurked creepily until we were introduced. I said, "I don't want to embarrass you in the VIP room, but is it ok if I take a picture with you?" He said, "Sure, I love Amazon women. Do you like short white guys?"
Right before the flash, I whispered "Pretend that we're in love." Uh-mazing.
After the VIP tent, I decided to go to a bar where the directors were hosting an after-party. I figured if it was awkward or slammed, then at least I gave it a shot and had a drink in a bar alone. Instead, I chatted with Shane Valdes for quite a bit. He's done some awesome music videos for Butch, including my favorite, Synthesizers. We talked about the documentary and how he filmed it and the story they found, and it was incredibly inspiring. He's really passionate about his work, and mentioned writing a film script in a month - talk about a kick in the butt!
When I was ready to make my exit, I said I wanted to give him my cards in hopes I could help promote some of his stuff on my blog. I reached into my bag and grabbed two cards - one for my website, and... my room key. Embarrassing! I joked it off and Shane laughed and pretended to take it. I finally found my blog card, which he inspected and said "I look forward to re-tweeting you."
And you know what? He did. Gotta love a man of his word.