John Monteagudo spent four years and $10,000 on ...at the street level, a documentary of San Diego's music scene between 1996 and 2000. The interviews and performances feature P.O.D., Sprung Monkey, the Dragons, Buck-O-Nine, Ghoulspoon, Greyboy Allstars, Deadbolt, and a few other bands.

"I sent a copy to [organizers of Austin's South By Southwest music festival] hoping they would show it," says Monteagudo. "They didn't send me back a rejection letter; they sent me back everything -- the tape, the press kit, and the floppy disc shredded into pieces.... I heard [such a harsh rejection] might have been because I interviewed [FM 94.9 DJ] Mike Halloran. I heard that he was controversial. Or it might have been a San Diego-versus-Austin thing."

Monteagudo says most of the bands in the 90-minute video are not together anymore and that he knew the project was doomed when none of the bands would play for a local premiere.

"I wanted to show it at the Ken theater and have the bands play next door at the Ken Club. None of them would do it. Some wouldn't even return my phone calls. Some didn't want to do it because P.O.D. was in it and they preached too much....

"There is a good quote in [the film] from someone in Cindy Lee Berryhill's band; he said that the San Diego music scene is like the story of San Diego crabs. He said if you go fishing for crabs you don't have to cover the bucket because if one of them tries to get out, the others will pull him back down....

"I made none of my money back, but it was my calling card into making movies. I went to Colón, Cuba, to research my father's history after he died. I have ten hours of footage I shot in people's homes. I'm now talking to some people in L.A. to see if I can get distribution for the documentary showing the day-to-day life of Cuba." Monteagudo says he'll sell video copies of ...at the street level for $7.99 via www.prozacproductions.com.

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