Short films matter. Vimeo wants you to know it. So do we. That’s why we’ll be taking a weekly look at some of Vimeo’s best and brightest. This week, we bring you Nick Cavalier’s vinyl-centric doc, Gotta Groove Records.
The Plot: A Cleveland based vinyl pressing plant takes a personal approach to the medium.
The Film: There’s a documentary about pretty much everything these days. With the vinyl renaissance in full swing, it’s high time we got one about how records are made. So Nick Cavalier gave us one.
Why Press Play?
I love records. I spend a lot of time – maybe too much time – obsessing about artists and albums and their vinyl releases. I spend a fair amount of money on those vinyl releases too. But I don’t spend much time thinking about how they’re made. Turns out, that process is pretty interesting. Gotta Groove Records captures that process with a lot of affection and with a keen eye for detail. Those of you who have wondered what exactly records are made out of might be a bit surprised to see your precious wax in its rawest form – little more than a bucket full of granular pellets. You’ll be even more surprised by how those fancy colored variants are produced. You may never look at a color splattered disc the same. But you’ll have a blast watching them take form. And you’ll see those records from their raw beginnings all the way through to their sound grading and packaging.
With so much focus on process, Gotta Groove Records could easily be qualified as an industrial video … if a slickly produced one. But it never falls into the tedium of that industrial format. That’s because Cavalier and DOP John Pope lens the action with such obvious affection. Every moment of this film is meticulously constructed and flawlessly executed – including a dynamite tracking shot that unfolds over the final few minutes. If nothing else, Gotta Groove Records is a gorgeous film to look at.
But Cavalier has more than just looks in mind. He further tempers the film’s industrial nature by keeping the human element front and center. It’s humans running the machines. It’s humans enjoying the music on all of those gorgeous discs too. And Gotta Groove Records is a company based around the human musical experience. Many of the company’s employees are working musicians on the Cleveland scene. Throughout the film, Cavalier shows us glimpses of who they are, where they’re from and why they love records. The more we get to know, the more Gotta Groove Records becomes a compelling narrative about human passions and shared human experiences. It’s a damn informative one at that. And yeah, with music from the likes of Suzuki Junzo, Lemon Sky and Hazard Adams, it’s gotta killer soundtrack to boot.
Meet The Crew:
Directed & Edited by: Nick Cavalier Director of Photography: John Pope
I hope you enjoy Gotta Groove Records! And I hope you’re taking note of the man behind it, ’cause he’s fast becoming a documentarian to watch. If you don’t believe me, then you should check out his award winning feature-length effort, Forced Perspective (2015). That film is now available to rent – for about $5.00 – via iTunes, Amazon and right here at Vimeo On Demand. If you’re curious, you can check out the trailer over at Cavalier’s Vimeo Page. While you’re looking around, be sure to have a look at a few of the thousands of short films – animated, live action and documentary – the kind souls at Vimeo have made available for your viewing pleasure (via desktop or mobile device – SWEET!). You’re sure to find something interesting and you may just stumble across the next great filmmaker.