7 Questions with David Lipke, Director of Slow Southern Steel
1. Are you an Arkansas Native? If so where are you from? If not, How did you get here?
I see myself as a “southern yankee”. I moved to Arkansas from New Jersey in 1983 when I was 12 years old. I just recently turned 40… so I’ve been living in Arkansas for 28 years. I consider myself a true Arkansan!
2. What is the inspiration for your film?
The inspiration for Slow Southern Steel is to shine a light on the underground southern metal community and let the viewer experience the hardships along with the trial & tribulations that these bands go through as a result of being from the south.
3. Can you give us a brief synopsis of your film?
Slow Southern Steel is a film about heavy music in the modern American South, as told by
the very people who have created this music during the last two decades. Shot in back alleys, parking lots, and the seedy green rooms of the dirtiest clubs that the Bible Belt failed to snuff out, these diehard musicians discuss their love of music and the south, as well as the difficulties, contradictions, and insanity that haunt every southern artist. There are no illusions here, no apologies, no distractions – only the straight truth as told by those who would know the difference. Narrated by the notorious Dixie Dave Collins (Weedeater, Buzzov-en, Bongzilla), Slow Southern Steel is an authentic and honest and thorough look at one of the most remarkable music communities ever spawned on the continent.
4. What were the biggest challenges and successes you faced on set?
The biggest challenges would be the way in which we filmed a lot of the
interviews and live performances. We did a lot of it very “run & gun”.
Half of the interviews were shot either before or after the band was
about to play on stage. Finding an area that was out of the way and quiet
enough to conduct an interview was challenging. Not all of the interviews
were conducted in that fashion, just the ones we filmed in the initial first
few months of filming.
5. What is the festival strategy for your film?
We really do not have a strategy for the film. Considering it is our first documentary AND
it’s the first time we’ve had anything shown at a Film Festival, we are very very “green”.
We’ve been working on this film for over 2 1/2 years and have been promoting it since day 1. We have built up a lot of buzz in regards to the movie and we’ve received much positive feedback. There have been so many people getting in contact with us wanting to know what other film festivals we will be showing the movie at, if we will be showing it internationally, is it coming out on DVD, etc.
6. Does your film have a Arkansas/Southern theme?
It definitely has a “southern” theme. The whole movie is 100% southern.
That is the entire basis of the movie… underground “southern” metal bands.
We ended up focusing more on the individuals in the bands than the actual
music that the bands play; what it was like growing up in the south, how the south changed their lives, living in the “bible belt”, racism, family, etc. We focused on just the southern states and just southern bands. We didn’t shoot anything above the Mason Dixon Line.
7. What changes have you seen in the local film community in the five years since the LRFF was launched?
I have seen an upswelling of more and more incredible talent. I’ve always knew there was
creative and innovating film makers in Arkansas, and now (because of the LRFF) the rest of the country is becoming aware of that.
If you have a project, film news, or any rumors on film you would like to mention email me at David@littlerockfilmfestival.org