Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Talk Derby to Me
If you've followed roller derby in Denver, you know the saga of the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls and the subsequent birth of the Denver Roller Dolls. (Read about some of the drama here:::). Now it's all on film. Frank X. Hogan's film "Talk Derby to Me" shows April 4 at the Gothic.
In Frank's own words: "Talk Derby To Me" features wicked fast skating, backroom brawling, and a roll-the-dice attitude that leads 15 women to risk everything for the chance to create something invaluable, a place where they can truly be themselves.
Tix are $10 in advance or $14 at the door. Frank gamely agreed to talk with us about the film.
Check out the Q&A!
What angle did you decide to take with your documentary?
Frank: I like character driven stories and was immediately drawn to Rockett, Brenda Scarr, Kitty Kaos, Ankle Bitin' Annie and Dita Destroyer -- the superstar, the klutz, artist, wild one, the college student. Even though the original group split, and that resulted in much drama, I wanted to keep the personal stories in focus throughout.
Any favorite moments that you weren't able to get into the final film?
I wasn't able to get Dita's tatto session into the doc. She has two amazing tattoos, flying roller skates on each hip, and I shot when she was getting them colored in, very interesting, but ultimately left out of the story.
Have any of the skaters seen the movie yet?
None of skaters have seen the entire doc. Some of them have seen parts of it, early versions, and they always comment on how much the skating has improved and strategy of the game has evolved.
You also did a movie on women's soccer -- Is there anything particular about female athletes that you think makes their stories more interesting to you?
I have three very athletic daughters and have watched hours and hours of them playing soccer, basketball, softball etc. When I did "Uncommon Goals," the story of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team's quest to win the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, I was conscious of there not being many female role models in sports and thought my involvement would be a good thing for my family. Women sports stories can be just as inspiring as men's. There just aren't that many of them. Yet. Brenda Scarr's story is pretty amazing. She can't even stand up on roller skates when she starts. You think, there's no way, no matter how long she practices that this woman is ever going to be a derby girl.
What kind of work over the past two years did it take to get the film made?
I shot practices, bouts, meetings, dinners, skating on the streets downtown. About 70 hours of footage for a 54-minute doc. But I also had Rockett shooting on roller skates, Heather Domko from Channel 12 did a great job shooting inside the locker rooms. Roll O Rama, where the derby girls originally practiced, had carpet with so many cokes and slurpees spilled on it over the years that your feet kinda stuck when you walked around outside of the rink. The derby girls got lots of attention from Denver's media when they were starting out so they were used to having cameras around.
How supportive is the Denver area in general for filmmakers?
Denver has a lot of talent, editors, shooters, sound, makeup, etc. And CU's got a very good filmmaking program. So, it's a very positive atmosphere, dynamic community.
Anything else you'd like to add?
The Denver Roller Dolls are a class act. They couldn't have been more cooperative.