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An Interview with Dan M. Kinem, Co-Director of Adjust your Tracking: The Untold Story of the VHS Collector

by Mike Haberfelner

May 2014

Films directed by Dan M. Kinem on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Adjust Your Tracking - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Movie love and obsession.

 

What were your inspirations when dreaming up Adjust Your Tracking? And related to that, are you a VHS-collector yourself, and what do you find so fascinating about the format/subject?

 

My inspiration was really just loving the format and wanting to capture this VHS culture/resurgance and do something on the subject that was actually made by people who are apart of this subculture. I didn't want to be one of the people just solely capitalizing on VHS and not actually loving it. Who better to make a movie about the people who still love and cherish VHS than the guy who travels the country buying VHS? I also soon realized that it was an important enough and enjoyable enough topic to appeal to VHS collectors and non-collectors alike. I love the format because I love movies. There are so many weird and interesting things that you will only find on VHS. You also can find different versions, unique cover art, weird companies, etc. VHS is just a great thing.

 

What can you tell us about your co-director Levi Peretic, and what was your collaboration like? Oh, and how did you two hook up in the first place?

 

Working with him was great. We met in college and he was actually taking film, whereas I was taking journalism. It worked perfectly because he had the equipment and was able to shoot, light, etc. exactly what I wanted to get while I was able to do the interviews, come up with questions, etc.

 

Do talk about your interviewees for a bit, and how did you find them?

 

We interviewed over 100 while making the film. The initial group of people I met through collecting, but then the rest were met either through word of mouth (someone recommending we talk to someone else) or through reaching out to us via the internet. It really was an organic process of how each person we interviewed came to be in the film.

 

It seems most of the VHS-collectors in your movie are also die-hard horror fans - any explanation for that?

 

I think the horror movie obsession for a lot of VHS collectors comes from the fact that those titles were very memorable and unique on VHS. You got a lot of horror/cult content with crazy covers that were burned into their minds so now they want to buy and collect horror films. But, another reason is because a lot of the obscure horror movies that were made are still only on VHS so it makes sense that they would try to track those down.

 

Adjust Your Tracking mentions the obscure movie Tales from the Quadead Zone as the ultimate in VHS collecting - you just have to talk about that movie for a bit, and how it became such a cult item!

 

Well, it's a very strange film that many people didn't even believe actually existed or was released for the longest time. It was so rare and uncommon that when one finally did pop up on eBay it went crazy and all kinds of people were talking about it and after it. It's the second and as of now, last film by Chester Turner, who also directed Black Devil Doll from Hell. The cult status of that film and the absurdity of it made everyone really want to see and own his second movie.

 

Any VHS-anecdotes you'd like to share that didn't make it into the movie?

 

Man, there are so many. A lot of them are on the DVD so I'm not going to spoil too much, but we talked with the guy who directed Faces of Death, we learned all about the NYC shady video underbelly, visited some of the best video stores in the country, etc., etc. Definitely pick up the DVD and check all that out!

 

Do talk about the shoots as such for a bit, and how long did it take to compile all the material?

 

The shooting of the film was insane. We did so many interviews in so few days and traveled the entire country shooting. It was hectic, but the most fun experience I've ever had (besides maybe touring the country screening the movie). We did about 70 interviews in 21 days, and then 30 others here and there. We had over 1000 hours of footage that we had to go through, which was a very hard task. Me and Levi would watch through it all and take detailed notes on every single thing we saw. We filled multiple notebooks. It was a very crazy process (especially considering we were both full-time college students at the time), but it all worked out in the end.

 

What can you tell us about audience and critical reception of your movie so far?

 

The reception has been insane. We did the entire movie and promotion ourselves. I set up all the interviews, the whole tour of the film, etc. and to see all the love the movie is getting is really great. Whether it's the Time Magazine article or all the festivals that we were able to screen at for free it is truly an amazing feeling. I'm just glad and appreciative that people have responded so well and done all they can to support DIY film. I never thought it would have been possible, but for anyone else reading this that made a movie or wants to, just look at what we were able to do with literally no budget. It was really a great way to get the movie out there, and if we were able to have a successful, oftentimes sold out, screening tour, then anyone can!

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

We haven't 100% decided what our next movie is going to be, whether it's another documentary or a horror movie, but we will let everyone know by the end of the year. Besides that, I have a release coming out with Wild Eye Releasing of a long-lost documentary called Invasion of the Scream Queens. It was directed by Donald Farmer and is well worth picking up. It is released the same day as Adjust Your Tracking in stores and on Amazon! Go check it out!

 

What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?

 

I have always loved movies but I never took any film classes. I was completely self-taught just by watching a lot of film. I would say Criterion as a very young kid was a huge help in making me want to make movies. I also think the Eerie Horror Fest in my hometown was a huge help. I would get to meet other directors and ask them questions and stuff. It made me want to make my own movies.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Adjust Your Tracking?

 

This was my first finished film actually (feature or short). I had always messed around making short films and helping other people out, but nothing really came of it. This was the first movie that I was passionate about enough to actually finish.

 

How would you describe yourself as a director?

 

I am a very fast director and have a specific thing in mind a lot of the time. But overall, I would say I'm half a marketer and half a director. I'm always thinking about ways to get word out there about something or how to sell something.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

Feeling lucky ?
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at the amazons ...

USA  amazon.com

Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)  amazon.co.uk

Germany (East AND West)  amazon.de

Looking for imports ?
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Thailand  eThaiCD.com
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Something naughty ?
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x-rated  find Dan M. Kinem at adultvideouniverse.com

Well, the ones who inspire me and my favorite ones are much different. My favorites are Cassavetes, Bergman, and Bunuel. The ones who inspire me are people like Lloyd Kaufman, Corman [Roger Corman bio - click here], etc. mostly for their marketing skills and their ability to get their movie seen by people.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Fanny and Alexander, Basket Case, Dazed and Confused.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

Boondock Saints, Million Dollar Baby.

 

Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

http://www.adjustyourtracking.com

http://www.facebook.com/adjustyourtracking

 

Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

Please go buy the movie and support DIY, independent filmmaking. You can get it at most major retailers (Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, FYE, etc.), through Amazon, or directly from us through our website.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

Jetzt kaufen bei
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