Documentary Explores Demise of Small Record Stores
An award-winning documentary co-produced and directed by Alma
College instructional technologist Andrew Bare is airing on public
television stations throughout Michigan.
“Closing Doors: Demise of a Small Record Store” aired on WCMU in Mount Pleasant Sept. 24 and 29. It also is scheduled to air on other Michigan PBS stations and is being considered for airing on PBS stations nationally.
The half-hour documentary focuses primarily on The Sound Depot, an Alma record store now closed, and New Moon Records, a Mount Pleasant store that is struggling to survive.
documentary looks at the local impact of both stores while examining
the national phenomenon of record store closings,” says Bare. “The
impact of record company conglomeration, low prices at discount stores
and file sharing via the Internet have put a stranglehold on the
majority of small stores and even many large chains.
“Consumers are now faced with a decision that many probably never even recognize exists; they must either support the small record stores in their communities, or prepare for the extinction of an important part of American culture that many have taken for granted,” he says.
The documentary started as a class project with co-producer Tim O’Brien when both were graduate students at Michigan State University. It won “Best of Show” and “People’s Choice” awards at the MSU Digital Media Arts and Technology annual student showcase and awards event.
“When I was a college student in Mount Pleasant, there were four music stores in town,” he says. “All four now are gone. There is no place to go in Mount Pleasant to get a record unless you go to Walmart, Kmart or Meijer. Local record stores are dwindling everywhere. It is sweeping Los Angeles and New York. Well over half of the record stores that existed 10 years ago are now gone.”
Bare and O’Brien did all the research, production and post-production for the documentary, with Jay Shurtliff helping with graphics.
The documentary has been put on the PBS satellite and made available to every PBS station in the country, says Bare.
“A number of stations have taken an interest, including those in Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; Toledo; and New York,” he says. “To go from research to this point and seeing it scheduled on PBS stations for airing is very exciting. To actually see it in TV Guide is pretty amazing.”
In addition to WCMU, PBS stations in Flint, Grand Rapids and Lansing plan to air the documentary later in the year, says Bare.
Posted: Thu, October 11th, 2007 at 4:32PM