Dirt Road to Psychedelia: Austin Texas during the 1960s Interview with Scott Conn

July 8, 2011

Dirt Road to Psychedelia: Austin Texas during the 1960s Interview with Scott Conn

1. Hi Scott! How are you?
Since we are gonna discuss about your new film called Dirt Road to Psychedelia: Austin Texas during the 1960s, I would like to ask you what did inspire you to do this kind of project?

I have been working on films as a lighting technician since ’92 but, having gone to film school I wanted to make films.  I had made some short films on super-8 and and 16mm, then I decided to do the story of the Vulcan Gas Company, which was the main psychedelic venue in Austin and much of Texas during the late ’60s.  As I asked people about it, they would tell me that to really understand it I would have to go farther back in time, then farther back again until I was in the folk era.  So in reverse I was shown the thread of how Austin counter culture and music developed. It drew me in.  As I worked on it, it became more and more important to finish it and to tell the stories as best I could. 

2. What can you tell me about archival footage. Where did you find them and how long did it took to get in contact with musicians that are in the film?

The some of the footage at the park was from police surveillance films.  Apparently they were just out in the open shooting film of the people enjoying themselves at an outdoor show.  It was a different time.  Video copies had been circulating around town for a while, but it took some digging to find.  Other film of other outdoor shows were from a super-8 project from a student at the time.

Finding and contacting the people in the film was easy for some and difficult for others.  Many were in town and I found them in the phone book.  Others required more persistence.  Still others weren’t interested in contributing.  

3. I’m really happy to talk with you and I also think you did a very important job for history of psychedelic movement! Will you do any other projects similar to this in the future?

At the moment I’m starting up on a similar documentary on the Austin and Texas punk rock scene, 1977-1990. 

4. You were involved with the movie called Slacker in the 90’s, since I’ really like that film, I would like if you could share what do you remember from being a part of it?

Slacker was one of the first films for me to work on.  I was credited as ‘key grip’, but that was mostly because I was helping out enough that when credits were being claimed I asked, and they said okay.  I helped out with the lighting mostly and later helped log footage and separate takes in the early stages of editing.  I worked with Rick this past October on his latest film, ‘Bernie’.  

5. How long did you record the whole film?

Dirt Road premiered at the Austin Film Fest, Oct. ’07.  It took ten years to complete. Several times I was pulled away with work and did nothing with it for 4-6 months, and other times I wasn’t sure that I was going to finish.  Tracking down persons and traveling to them took time as well.  It was a solo operation, so there was no dividing tasks. Way too long, I know, but a lot of factors added up to a long-ass time.  

6. So what are some of your future plans, Scott?

A good future plan for me would be to complete the punk rock documentary by 2013.  I don’t want it to drag out like the other one.

8. Thanks for taking your time! Would you like to share anything else perhaps?

I’ll let you know if I come up with other bits or stories. I hope that you can do something with these answers. Feel free to follow up.

Thank you for being so into my film that you would do this.

Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2011
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/ 2011
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