Rain Perry on “The Shopkeeper”

shopperOjai mmark-at-computerusician singer/songwriter Rain Perry’s foray into filmmaking has resulted in a thought provoking, fascinating look at the music industry and how it has evolved the past fifty years. The film highlights the career of musician/producer Mark Hallman of Congress House Studio out of Austin, Texas. To make the film, Perry teamed up with Micah Van Hove, Director of Photography, who taught her invaluable lessons on filmmaking. Perry was able to produce the film as a result of a successful Indiegogo campaign.

The Shopkeeper gives a better understanding of the struggles musicians face asking the question, “Everybody can make a record, but nobody can make a living. Is there a problem with that?” The film is an excellent platform for starting that dialogue not only with musicians, but with music lovers and our responsibility when it comes to supporting artists

This is a must see film for artists, would be artists, and music fans, especially those who incorrectly believe music is free.

Ventura Rocks:  How can someone be able to see your documentary after this weekend?

Rain Perry

Rain Perry

Rain Perry:  Two ways: I am building a grassroots tour with events much like the premiere last night – where local musicians perform and we screen the film and hold a question-and-answer session at the end to talk about the issues raised by the film.

I will also be releasing the movie on DVD and for rental through my own website. And then ultimately it will be available on iTunes and Hulu but that will be a little later.

VR: When did you start production?

Rain Perry:  We shot our first footage in May 2014. With a little bit of footage shot and our first couple of interviews, we created a pitch video for our crowdfunding campaign, which ran throughout the summer of 2014. When that was successful, we planned our filming for the weekend of the Congress house anniversary party – which was five days of pretty constant filming. And the rest has been intermittent trips here and there – to interview Ani DiFranco before a concert in Napa, for example, and to the east coast for a few interviews.

VR: Name a couple of highlights while working on The Shopkeeper.

Rain Perry:  In many ways this was a very easy movie to make because everyone loves Marc so much they were happy to talk about him. Another highlight was working with my director of photography, Micah Van Hove. His work ethic, humor, and eye really made the movie.

And, finally, I was able to license every single song I wanted for the movie, for which I am incredibly grateful to the musicians.

VR:  What do you hope people will take away from it?

Rain Perry:  After both screenings this premiere weekend, we had awesome spirited conversations about the issues raised in the film. I want to educate people who maybe haven’t thought about this what it takes to create great music. And I want to take the knowledge and expertise of working musicians to see if we can’t brainstorm some solutions that will actually work for artists and for listeners.

VR:  What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned about film making?

Rain Perry:  Every lesson was my biggest lesson because I had no idea how to do this. Like, I figured out that I could transcribe all of my interviews using Siri. I would put on headphones and listen to the interview and dictate what the person was saying. That saved a lot of time. I created a massive database of every shot and every little sound clip so that I could search for, for example, everything everybody said about Spotify, or every piece of footage having to do with Tom Russell or whatever.

But mostly I really benefited from the expertise of Micah, who in addition to being a great camera man has been my own personal film school.

If you want to learn something frightening, read Perry’s blog on her calcuations on how much each spin earned her on Pandora and Spotify, Rhapsody and other services.


Official Trailer for The Shopkeeper

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze June 8 – June 21

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
“Music and the Arts”
by Pam Baumgardner

Good Vibrations: A Harmony of Art & Music at Very Ventura.

Good Vibrations: A Harmony of Art & Music at Very Ventura.

Very Ventura is one of the coolest stores in town featuring local vendors. It’s also where you’ll find the Ventura Rocks Music Listening Station which offers recorded music from local musicians. They have a gorgeous gallery towards the back of the store called Gallery V which will host a new exhibit called “Good Vibrations: A Harmony of Art & Music” on June 18th which will run through July 24. Xavier Montes will perform at the opening reception. I’m especially looking forward to seeing the works from one of my favorite rock photographers, Cliff Montgomery; you might have seen his work up at Bombay’s.

Surf Brewery will be celebrating their 5th anniversary with a party in the parking lot all day long featuring live music including Raging Arb and the Redheads, The Slider, Tom Loughman Band and more. Make your plans to join in the fun on Saturday, June 18; the music runs 2-7 pm. They’ll have several specials and are hoping to raise funds for the Notes for Notes program at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Ventura.

Reggae returns to the Tree House at Café Fiore on Sundays now through Labor Day. Catch bands like the Babylon Rockers, Jahmark & the Soulshakers, and Casey Jones & the Reggae Train. Music kicks off at 6 pm.

Watermark has extended their live music to include Thursday evenings 7-9 pm with more of an easy listening vibe including artists such as Karen Eden, Coso, Jade Hendrix and others.

The Ventura premiere of the Rachel Flowers documentary by Lorenzo DeStefano entitled, “Hearing is Believing” will be shown at the Century Theater on June 9; Rachel will be performing at Squashed Grapes on Saturday, June 18.

And speaking of locally produced documentaries, I caught Rain Perry’s new film, “The Shopkeeper”; it’s an amazing piece of work which gives a better understanding of the struggles musicians face. It’s evolves around the life of music producer Mark Hallman, but covers the more important aspect of the evolving music industry and asks the question, “Everybody can make a record, but nobody can make a living. Is there a problem with that?” The film is an excellent platform for starting that dialogue not only with musicians, but with music lovers and our responsibility when it comes to supporting artists. The film will be available eventually on iTunes and Hulu. You can find a Q&A with Rain Perry at VenturaRocks.com.

And finally, by the time we go to press the next episode of Ventura Rocks at CAPS Media featuring Shaky Feelin’ should be up and available on the Ventura Rocks and CAPS Media You Tube channels. The band was super fun to work with and I think an excellent representation of what Ventura’s music scene is all about.

Do you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.