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Grunge hyped in new film

‘Hype’ charts the rise of the Seattle sound from its grass roots to its mega-popularity on music media everywhere, not reflecting favorably on the media’s attention on the northwest rock sound.The documentary about the ‘grunge’ music movement, will play at the Wexner Film and Video Theater this weekend.Started in 1992 right after the media caught on to these bands, director Doug Pray and producer Steve Helvey decided to document this music movement in response to the mainstream press it was receiving.’I thought it was the worst idea I’d ever heard,’ Pray said. ‘I knew how cynical that community was and how disgusted they were by all the media attention and all the craziness. Plus I assumed there had to be ten such films already in the works.’The idea for doing this documentary was not well received by the Northwest bands but Pray, through his contacts, decided to do the film.’To my astonishment, the response, though hardly enthusiastic, was mostly positive. People told me that there would be room for something that would be an alternative to the insane mass-media coverage, which everyone was sick of,’ Pray said. ‘Provided that the nature of the movie was such that it showed what their experience really was and had a sense of humor about it, they’d be willing to cooperate.’The bands and singers that Pray and Helvey did interviews with to make up their documentary were not too happy with the media’s focus on the Northwest rock scene.’The first thing we noticed when we came to do research was how incredibly angry everyone was with the way the media had come in and turned the town inside out with overblown, uninformed coverage,’ Helvey said. ‘We let them vent and in a sense, we let them dictate the story. For them, it was all about the hype and the media and the madness.’The team completed their research in 1992, returned to Seattle in the beginning of 1993 to shoot the documentary.In the end, when all the interviews were done, all the final edits made, the product ended up being a true to life documentary which gave a realistic portrayal of the Seattle and surrounding area music scene.’It’s all done in the words of the people who lived up there and who were part of the scene even before the hype. It is their story, in their voice, as told to our cameras. Nobody’s trying to interpret what they say or sum it up,’ Helvey said.The film plays at the Wexner Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

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