Local music documentary ‘Playing Nightly’ to air on PBS June 12Written by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Chase Will, Toledo Free Press Staff Writer
Following its recent DVD release, the documentary “Playing Nightly” will air at 8 p.m. June 12 on PBS, WBGUTV. There will be a viewing party at Ye Olde Cock n’ Bull, 9 N. Huron St., followed by live music from a few of the bands featured.
The movie premiered at a sold-out screening last year at the Maumee Indoor Theatre, where it received a positive reception from the audience. Through live concert footage, in-depth interviews with local musicians and an analysis of Toledo’s music scene, “Playing Nightly” is meant to empower anyone who’s ever aspired to make a living from their art.
“The movie is about musicians in the city doing it as a trade,” said Jeff Stewart, an artist featured in the film. “There’s a lot of folk who have different stigmas about who musicians are, what they’re like and how their lives are run. The film gives an insight to what we do on a daily and nightly basis.”
According to Stewart, the documentary showcases the love between local musicians and Toledo audiences.
“There’s a ton of work to be had,” said Stewart. “There’s so many people who believe and so many musicians who are writing great stuff. I see a lot of my friends who are becoming full-time musicians and this city is supporting that, affording us the opportunity to make a living doing what we’re here for.”
Jason Hamilton, the director, has always wanted to make a film about professional musicians. To realize this goal, he teamed up with Mike Malone, whom he’d previously worked with on “The Toledo Conspiracy,” the first 35mm film shot entirely in Toledo.
“I really enjoyed working with Jason. He and I formed a good team,” said Malone, director of photography and editor. “What I liked about this movie is we have a lot of little episode throughout it. We’d go to a club, we’d go to The Blarney, we’d go to Stella’s. It was really exploring the nightlife music scene in Toledo, which was great to me from a musical standpoint, too, because I play the guitar, harmonica and mandolin.”
“We got through the winter and put the DVD together. For the PBS premiere, we had to cut it down from 72 minutes to 58 minutes, which is a considerable amount of time for storytelling,” said Hamilton, director of the film.
With money from the premiere, Hamilton and his crew took “Playing Nightly” to several film festivals. Among many honorable mentions, the movie won Best Documentary at the Great Lakes International Film Festival.
The DVD is a must-have for artists seeking inspiration or those who may feel underrepresented. The film proves a musician doesn’t need to be world-famous or rich to have a blast on stage and make a living with their craft.
“Sitting down with Jason interviewing you and asking some bold and personal questions and exploring some things you don’t know about yourself, it really helped put things in perspective for me,” said Stewart. “You’re out there on the grind every day, and to hear it as a collective, it’s pretty empowering. It lets you know you’re not alone out there doing it. There’s a pretty nice story to be told about what we’re doing out here.”
“Playing Nightly” is available for $19.99 as either a digital download or DVD. For more information visit www.leatafilms.com.