Vision Statement
- Antero Alli

November 2014, Berkeley CA. The Drivetime was made twenty years ago as a love letter to Seattle where I lived from 1988 to 1995 and passed my time as the editor of Talking Raven Quarterly, a rebel literary tabloid (distributed free on the streets every equinox and solstice). Seen today, this cyber-fi video looks like a throwback to another era, a time capsule of a vibrant subculture during the birth of the internet. At the time, I was kicking an opium habit in Port Townsend WA (where Papaver somniferum grows wild) and discussing a movie idea with my good friend Rob Brezsny, based in his concept of "the drivetime" -- a nonlocal corridor of images created in the overlap between daytime and dreamtime realities. Our idea was to make a movie that might somehow give the viewer their own drivetime experience.

Rob and I became close friends after meeting during one of my book tours in the mid-eighties that brought me to his hometown of Santa Cruz. Ours was a soul mate connection. We joked that if we were gay, we'd be lovers. Rob wrote and spoke all the voice-over narratives of his DRIVETIME character which we came to know as a dreamtime DJ who frequented the dreams of the other characters and their daytime situations delivering empathic prayers and warnings to their innermost selves. I wrote the encompassing screenplay of a time-travelling federal librarian from 2023 on a mission to retrieve politically sensitive video footage of police riots in Seattle, circa 1999.

 


Left; Seattle, 1994. photo: Mike Crow. Right; WTO riots, Seattle, 1999.

The real life police riot footage in THE DRIVETIME was obtained from Mike Crow, a video stringer who captured the Capitol Hill riots of September 10th 1994 after the police tore down a shanty village of the homeless. When I decided to set the riots of THE DRIVETIME in 1999 it came as a shock to me when - four years later (November 30, 1999) - the WTO riots broke out in Seattle. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my personal drivetime corridor was also infected by a prophecy meme.

Video and computer technology circa 1995 is clearly antiquated by today's standards, made obvious by the movie's production values and the various gadgets appearing in the story. None of the special effects were CGI-generated but produced manually with a consumer A/V mixing board and several SVHS decks. I created the offline rough cut using two Panasonic 1970 SVHS decks. The camera formats used in this project were BetaSP, Hi-8, VHS, C-VHS, Super-8 film and SVHS and then, mastered onto BetaSP. Rob's band World Entertainment War provided much of the soundtrack that was also enhanced by the musical wizardry of Contraband, Jules Beckman, and my future wife, Cyndia Pickering (aka Sylvi Alli).

 

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