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Brian Jenkins answers the camera's call

Another San Diego musician moves from the music studio to the movie studio

Riot House Records’ Jenkins says, “I think I’m done with music.”
Riot House Records’ Jenkins says, “I think I’m done with music.”

“I think I’m done with music. I’ve taken it as far as I can.” Riot House Records label owner and bassist/guitarist Brian Jenkins has joined the growing list of hometown musicians-turned-filmmakers with the release of his own social-justice documentary film project, Answering the Call.

Video:

Answering the Call

...official film trailer

...official film trailer

“I stepped away from making music in 2011, I think.” He says he’s worked other types of gigs, such as a sales rep for Coca-Cola, but that he always comes back to making art. He theorizes about the transition among some of the San Diego music community from making tunes to making movies: “Music is so accessible when you are young. And part of the experience of being a musician is that you make music videos, and you do interviews online.” That’s precisely where Jenkins’s own exposure to the film arts began.

“I made a music video for the super-group Empty Mansions,” he tells me by phone, “when they were on my Riot House label. I had no idea what I was doing. I had just the basic editing software and a basic camera.” But despite his entry-level skills, Jenkins says the video got good reviews from Rolling Stone.

Jenkins is 30, lives with his family in Oceanside. Earlier, he co-produced a documentary called Records Collecting Dust made by a couple of locals, musician Jason Blackmore and vinyl dealer Eric Howarth.

Movie

Answering the Call *

thumbnail

If ever a filmmaker’s heart was in the right place, it’s local documentarian Brian Jenkins’s. John Witek, Jenkins’s uncle, was a student at the University of Virginia when he joined Martin Luther King’s march on Selma. Alas, the road to insightful documentary filmmaking is not paved with good intentions. But as if that chapter in Witek’s life were not enough to justify a 75-minute feature — what with with so many millennials questioning the point of voting — Jenkins decides to share the spotlight with a topical plea for voter’s rights. The director uses basic animation to circumvent the talking heads formula (blue uniforms drawn against newsprint works, a toy car moving across a wrinkled roadmap doesn’t), but the two-camera ping pong intercutting of the interview subjects in this voter recruitment piece packs all the visual pizazz of the 5 o’clock news. Worth seeing if for no other reason than to support one of our own.

Find showtimes

Answering the Call is the first feature in which I’ve done it all — producing, directing, writing.” Jenkins says he made the documentary for $10,000, $7000 of which he fundraised. The balance, he says, came out of his own pocket.

“The hard part about documentaries is that there isn’t a lot of money to be made. The plan, he says, “is to do this for the next 10 to 15 years, and build up a catalog of documentaries that I own the rights to.”

Answering the Call premiers October 21 at the Digital Gym in North Park.

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Riot House Records’ Jenkins says, “I think I’m done with music.”
Riot House Records’ Jenkins says, “I think I’m done with music.”

“I think I’m done with music. I’ve taken it as far as I can.” Riot House Records label owner and bassist/guitarist Brian Jenkins has joined the growing list of hometown musicians-turned-filmmakers with the release of his own social-justice documentary film project, Answering the Call.

Video:

Answering the Call

...official film trailer

...official film trailer

“I stepped away from making music in 2011, I think.” He says he’s worked other types of gigs, such as a sales rep for Coca-Cola, but that he always comes back to making art. He theorizes about the transition among some of the San Diego music community from making tunes to making movies: “Music is so accessible when you are young. And part of the experience of being a musician is that you make music videos, and you do interviews online.” That’s precisely where Jenkins’s own exposure to the film arts began.

“I made a music video for the super-group Empty Mansions,” he tells me by phone, “when they were on my Riot House label. I had no idea what I was doing. I had just the basic editing software and a basic camera.” But despite his entry-level skills, Jenkins says the video got good reviews from Rolling Stone.

Jenkins is 30, lives with his family in Oceanside. Earlier, he co-produced a documentary called Records Collecting Dust made by a couple of locals, musician Jason Blackmore and vinyl dealer Eric Howarth.

Movie

Answering the Call *

thumbnail

If ever a filmmaker’s heart was in the right place, it’s local documentarian Brian Jenkins’s. John Witek, Jenkins’s uncle, was a student at the University of Virginia when he joined Martin Luther King’s march on Selma. Alas, the road to insightful documentary filmmaking is not paved with good intentions. But as if that chapter in Witek’s life were not enough to justify a 75-minute feature — what with with so many millennials questioning the point of voting — Jenkins decides to share the spotlight with a topical plea for voter’s rights. The director uses basic animation to circumvent the talking heads formula (blue uniforms drawn against newsprint works, a toy car moving across a wrinkled roadmap doesn’t), but the two-camera ping pong intercutting of the interview subjects in this voter recruitment piece packs all the visual pizazz of the 5 o’clock news. Worth seeing if for no other reason than to support one of our own.

Find showtimes

Answering the Call is the first feature in which I’ve done it all — producing, directing, writing.” Jenkins says he made the documentary for $10,000, $7000 of which he fundraised. The balance, he says, came out of his own pocket.

“The hard part about documentaries is that there isn’t a lot of money to be made. The plan, he says, “is to do this for the next 10 to 15 years, and build up a catalog of documentaries that I own the rights to.”

Answering the Call premiers October 21 at the Digital Gym in North Park.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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