• Respecting Both Brilliance and Madness

    As documentarians, we are constantly towing the line of trying of telling the truth while also being compassionate to our subjects. It has always been our goal to go into these bars and tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. What happens when telling the truth means potentially embarrassing the dive bars, which have so lovingly opened their doors to us? In today’s world, documentary style episodic TV is filled with raunchy, dramatic cat fights.  Someone is always crying and anyone who is slightly eccentric is made to look like Looney Tune.

     

    The risk of a bar’s loving community being exposed to the world as some crazy freak show, have prompted a few bars to refuse to let us shoot there.  The bars, which we have been fortunate enough to film in, have exposed us to diverse array of personality types. We’ve heard stories about divorce and how going to the bar and seeing the same people everyday is the only thing that kept them sane. We’ve met with people who are self-admittedly “haywire” and as such walk a fine line between brilliance and madness.  We’ve heard stories of people sitting in nooks above the bar watching their best friend die (from alcohol poisoning) in their arms. Each story has been poignant and thoughtful. We are thankful and grateful for these people who felt comfortable enough to let us into their lives. With their vulnerability comes a great responsibility, on our end, to treat their stories with respect.

     

    In the end, our goal is not to exploit or make fun of any of the people we have been fortunate enough to meet. We just want to tell a good story about the community of the bar and the people who view that particular dive bar as their living room. Dirty Old Bar is our tribute to San Francisco as a whole.  It’s our ode to a beautiful, ever rapidly changing city, as seen through the people who have been here the longest. 

    -Brandy

  • The Audio Dilemma

    I think by now it's no shame to say our biggest struggle in Dirty Old Bar is the audio. We are in a loud bar with music blasting while trying to capture good audio, and every audio engineer gives me a "You're fucking crazy" look when I tell them about our issue.

    I think there is something to say about independent, one man band style filmmakers and video producers always having be ready. because the best moments come in unexpectedly. My style: I usually carry my zoom recorder in my purse, always ready to whip it out, with my camera in my hand. Needless to say, I'm not an audio engineer. The Dirty Old Bar four carries on that same style- "Where's the zoom!?" "I don't know.. oh god it's on the table covered in beer!" We grab it in the moment and shove it in our interviewees face, not even thinking how it looks on camera.

    After a few episodes we got used the idea and started to enjoy that style of the zoom carelessly being in the shot. However, we did not enjoy how it sounded. We just did our best with what we had as shooter and not so much as audio engineers. So we did as every filmmaker does and got a real, damn good audio girl. Her name is Rachel. She showed up the first time we met her with a full on boom, band new zoom recorder, wireless lavs and shot gun mic. It was love at first site. Rachel is also a badass babe and we're super happy she's along for the ride. 

    She has made us realize that even though our rennegade style and semi-drunken antics are part of Dirty Old Bar, it's all shit if you don't have decent sound. From the first episode to the last, vast improvements have been made, and we are extremely grateful for that.

  • 4561d335e60e34b7-IMG_6796.JPG

    DOB began our new project yesterday - a series of photogrpahs shot on film of the personalities and images we feel capture the beauty we see in our San Francisco bars. We spent the day hopping around our first neighborhood, talking to people and taking shots of the ones we couldn't let get away. Our hopes for this project is to share our finished works with the community in a gallery and to expand San Francisco's interest in Dirty Old Bar. 

  • Coo Coo Birds

    Coo Coo Birds

    Coo Coo Birds are a bad-ass San Francisco rock and roll band that we love, not only because they crush it out there, but because they don't give a shit about what's hip or cool or what people want to hear. They play us ROCK AND ROLL. They bring back the real meaning to the three words that have somehow developed fuss and acquired too much bullshit over the past twenty years. But it ain't over, at least not in San Francisco. 

    What's even cooler is that they let us use their sounds for our videos, and we couldn't think of a better match than Bukowski and Waits or PB and J or Fernet and a shitty beer. 

    http://coocoobirdsmusic.com/