Dallas Filmmakers Premiere Descendents Documentary at Texas Theatre

Last year, the teaser trailer for Filmage debuted to much acclaim. Looking back at the career of The Descendents (including the formation of All when frontman Milo Aukerman left the band), local filmmakers Matt Riggle, Deedle LaCour, Justin Wilson and James Rayburn have documented something that many punk rock fans have longed for. It's one thing to chart the development of a scene, but The Descendents are an incredibly important story on their own.

The first Dallas screening will take place at 7 p.m. this Thursday, July 25 at the Texas Theatre. We talked with Justin Wilson and James Rayburn about the making of the film and his hopes for what will come next.

Is this the first public screening of the film?

No.Filmage premiered last month at NXNE in Toronto. It was a wonderful experience, with about 260 people in attendance.

Other than the primary band members, who all did you get to interview?

The list is pretty long, but some of the notable interviews in the film are; Dave Grohl, Mark Hoppus, Mike Watt, Fat Mike, Brett Gurewitz, Daniel "Bug" Snow.

How did you get Dave Grohl onboard?

We knew Dave Grohl was a big fan. We tried several different paths to get to him without success. Finally, Bill Stevenson offered to help. He was able to get in touch with Dave directly, and help make the connection for us.

What's the plan after this Texas Theatre screening? More screenings? A DVD?

We have several film festivals that have accepted the film, and we will be announcing them when we can on our Facebook page. Other than that we are working on a screening in Fort Collins, Colorado (Bill Stevenson's hometown), as well as a possible LA screening. We hope to announce more information on these soon. DVDs will be available at some point as well.

Knowing you guys are big fans of the Descendents/All, was there anything new that you learned about them by making this film?

One thing that surprised me was how they looked at Milo joining the band as just one incarnation of their musical lives. As fans, we look at that record as a seminal mark on punk rock, but they didn't look at it that way. They thought Milo Goes To College was going to be that one record they did with Milo and that would be it. It was totally acceptable to them that Milo left the band to pursue his academic career because they never thought that record would amount to anything more than any other of their musical outputs. Lucky for all of us, he came back.

How long have you guys worked on this?

Around three years, although it feels like it's been longer. We've been fortunate to have several other talented people jump on board to help us finish it up.

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Eric Grubbs is a Dallas-based writer who has published two books, Post: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore 1985-2007 and When We Were the Kids. His writing has been featured in Punk Planet, Popdose, Fort Worth Weekly, The Dentonite and LA Weekly. He supports Manchester City and will never root for Manchester United.
Contact: Eric Grubbs