I stole this photo from Invisible Oranges.

I wasn’t a big fan of last year’s Maryland Deathfest: The Movie. But I haven’t seen Maryland Deathfest: The Movie II, so for all I know, filmmaker David Hall knocked the ball out of the park the second go-round. And one way or the other, I respect that Hall is trying to do something different from most metal concert films, and I respect that Hall is working with some very cool bands (he’s also directed films for Today is the Day and Fuck the Facts) for what I’m assuming is pretty much no money. If your goal is to be a wealthy man, you don’t make documentaries about death metal festivals. Clearly, Hall loves his subject matter.

So I was pretty bummed to read “Don’t Be a Dick: A Tale of Indie Filmmaking, Extortion and MDF,” a guest post he wrote for The Deciblog today in which he tells the completely awful and depressing story of why the footage he shot at last month’s Maryland Deathfest 9 will never see the light of day.

I’m not gonna try and re-create the whole story here; having not experienced it first hand, I’d never be able to tell with as much verve as Hall does anyway. The short version is that Hall got completely screwed over by an ex-business partner and that partner’s associates, who held much of the footage they shot at MDF hostage, and, by now, may have very well deleted it altogether.

Think about that for a second. Hall says that among the lost footage was “Cathedral’s last North American performance. Neurosis playing in a lightning storm. Voivod completely ruling.” And we’ll never get to see any of that, all because some dickhead decided it was more important that they he be paid money he wasn’t owed. And that’s on top of the fact that the bands are now all fucked out of what was some potentially great promotional footage, and a lot of people worked really hard to make that footage happen, and now all that work is for naught.

What a crock of shit.

The silver lining is that Hall says he’s going to try and make “the third and final MDF film” at next year’s fest, which will mark MDF’s tenth anniversary and, presumably, will therefore be that much more exciting. But even that fact doesn’t really make this story any less frustrating.

Read Hall’s entire account of the fiasco here. And then let’s get him to give us these doucheturds’ real names, so we can track them down and string them up by their genitals.


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