Elliott Smith, Rose Parade, and Making Something from Nothing

“I think that the easier someone’s life gets in a financial way, you have more people that expect you to answer to them. Whether you do or not is kind of your choice. But, definitely if you have nothing, you have nothing to lose, and you’re very free in that way." - ES

This fall marks the ten year anniversary of Elliott Smith's departure.  Almost a decade ago, when I was jobless and pretty broke, I somehow scraped together enough resources to make a tribute.  It was a music video for Rose Parade, which never had one,  and we shot on 16mm film (pre-DSLR revolution), using the Atlanta landscape and the time and resources of many wonderful friends.  The transfer is a little rocky and it's steeped in newb but it's something I'm really proud of, because it demonstrates what's possible with nothing, and also because his family was kind enough to allow me to use the song.  So many fans and friends pitched in.   It was the first thing I did out of film school.

Elliott had so few resources---a cobbled-together home recording studio--but he had the heart of a poet and a vast knowledge of pop music.  He took what he had and made these intense, multi-layered dreamscapes that continue to touch us all.  There aren't words to convey my appreciation.