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Record Store Day Doc Sound It Out UK Tour
The Quietus , September 30th, 2011 07:33

The makers of Sound It Out, a film about Stockton's last remaining record shop, are searching for crowdsourcing to help fund a UK tour for the film

Given that our independent record shops have been vanishing at a rate of knots over the last decade, it's always good to find small shops that are resisting the tide. Sound It Out, a documentary directed by Jeanie Finlay about the last remaining record shop in Stockton-On-Tees, was one of our highlights of Branchage Film Festival last week, and is our favourite documentary so far this year. They're currently asking for help to raise funds to help take it on the road throughout the UK - they need to raise £6,500.

Where the idea of an independent record shop has so often shifted to encompass the High Fidelity stereotype - all elitism and snide indie one-upmanship - Sound It Out highlights the true nature and role of a record shop in 2011, as the centre of a community of like-minded people. As you'd expect, Sound It Out ends up being of secondary importance to the people who work or shop there. The story of each of several customers is told in a slowly unfolding, sensitive manner, revealing the actual necessity of such a focal point in any community, above and beyond simply selling Iron Maiden picture discs.

What's even more impressive - and again highlights the function of a record shop as the heart of a real group of people - is that Sound It Out has been made 100% independently, with its funds raised via crowd sourcing. The people behind the documentary currently working on raising money to fund a UK tour for the film - find out more about you can help here. Director Jeanie Finlay is also self-releasing an EP featuring Chapman Family and Saint Saviour as part of the project. Find out more below.

TRAILER: SOUND IT OUT - A documentary by Jeanie Finlay from Jeanie Finlay on Vimeo.

We also spoke to Jeanie about the making of Sound It Out, and how you can help take it on the road around the UK.

At the Quietus we're all big fans of the independent record shop. What is it about Sound It Out that gives it its unique character?

Jeanie Finlay: It has to be Tom, keeper of the vinyl at Sound It Out Records. He is passionately and whole heartedly addicted to music. The classic albums, the well loved (aka knackered) ones, the hard to find records, even the Makina. He says when he looks at a record "he can hear every single tune in his head, it's all memories - records hold memories". His gentle passion is infectious and his customers really value it.

I think it's what kept him going while the other record shops of my Teesside youth closed long ago. He's the last man standing.

If I was going into a record shop like Sound It Out, often it would be to look for a DIY, independent record. You've taken the DIY route yourself with this film. Can you tell us a bit about crowd funding and how it works?

JF: The film has been DIY from the start and has been made with blood, sweat, tears and the support of 315 wonderful people on crowdfunding website Indiegogo.

It's a very tricky kind of film to get commissioned by a broadcaster, so I decided I wanted to just get on and make it, no crew, no fuss, just me and a camera and lots of hanging around. After a year of filming I thought I had something good and needed to raise a budget to finish it so decided to crowdfund.

It's basically like a sponsored swim but you get a film at the end of it. Lots of people, (our "crowd") pledge a little or a lot and they get perks in exchange - 7" gatefold DVD, Tatty Devine vinyl jewellery, guided tour of the shop, baby blue vinyl EP. So far we have crowdfunded the shoot, the post production, the SXSW premiere and now we are trying to finish the story by distributing independently to 30 cinemas across the UK.

There are just 25 days left to bring SOUND IT OUT to your town.

And to celebrate the theme of the film, you're putting out a record yourself. Can you tell us how this came about?

JF: I've always had the secret fantasy of putting out a record, I am so excited that I'm finally going to do it. The first ever pressing on Glimmer!

The DVD is packaged like a 7" single, (complete with grooves and sleeve notes) and the mini soundtrack EP will slip in the other side of the gatefold. With so many digital opportunities to experience music and film I figure it's worth making something that is a beautiful thing. The EP will be baby blue and feature 4 tracks from the film, all by Teesside artists:

The Chapman Family - The Sound Of The Radio
Saint Saviour - I Like To Hide
Detective Instinct - Witches Birdies
Das Wanderlust - Pyramintro

The only way to get hold of this limited edition is to back the film on Indiegogo - it will have a wider release early next year.