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Years of dedication and hard work, not to mention fun, paid off for directors Kris Curry and Rich Fox, whose rock ’n’ roll documentary, Tribute,was an audience favorite at SXSW. Roxanne Bogucka spoke to the directors right after a screening where the audience just about went nuts.

RB: ... the producers and directors of Tribute, Rich Fox and Kris Curry. Welcome to Austin.

KC: We’re having an awesome time.

RB: That’s good to hear. Your film Tribute was wonderful. There was a crowd that was going wild in there. How long did you work on the film?

KC: Well from start to finish shooting, it was about four and a half years. It’s been about six years now since we first thought of doing it, so we’re, I guess we’re starting year six. It’s a long time.

RB: Were you working on other projects while Tribute work was going on?

RF: Yeah, in that five or six years it’s been breaks when we haven’t been working on it. We both have been doing a lot of day jobs. We work in television in Los Angeles, and we basically made the movie on our own credit cards, so it’s been a lot of having to stop to work, to make more money to keep making the film. So it’s been an on and off thing.

RB: How did y’all identify the tribute bands and hook up with them?

KC: We cast a pretty wide net and then we wanted to, story was more important than the actual band they were a tribute to. So we met and talked with a lot of people and ended up selecting the subjects for the film based on what was going on in their life and what we could try and foresee would happen that could happen on camera for the next couple of years. So that was the biggest criterion.

RB: Did you find that there were certain bands who have a whole lot more tribute bands and cover bands to them. I mean, I would guess that Kiss would be very popular.

RF: Kiss is popular, but because it takes so much money and work to do the costumes and everything, there’s actually not as many of them. Beatles bands are the number one tribute act, but we couldn’t follow the Beatles because the music is so un-clearable. So Beatles, Rolling Stones, there’s a lot of Grateful Dead and the Doors.

RB: That was my next question, about the music, because you’ve got music of Judas Priest and Queen and the Monkees, and it sounds like money.

KC: It is a lot of money, and frankly without Steven Soderbergh s help, we probably wouldn’t be able to get this film out there. It was his patronage that made a lot of this possible. And he hooked us up with his music supervisor from Traffic and Ocean’s Eleven, who’s been helping us out.

RB: So what is the Steven Soderbergh connection?

RF: I went to film school with Stephen Mirrione. He’s Steven Soderbergh’s editor on Traffic and Ocean’s Eleven. And Stephen Mirrione helped us out editing the film and kind of mentored us through the editing process. And he showed a rough cut to Steven Soderbergh, who by just complete coincidence was a fan of tribute bands, and a Rolling Stones tribute band in particular. And he just loved the movie and wanted to help us get it done and get it out there.

RB: That’s awesome. So where’s the movie go now?

KC: That’s a real good question. We’ve got probably another year of festivals. For us that’s sort of the reward we get for having spent so much time. Because going to festivals is such a treat, and you get to see a ton of good movies. So we’re going to just focus for the next year on going to as many festivals as possible. And building a fan base. And we’re talking to some distributors.

RF: We have a sales rep who works at ICM and he’s been talking to a lot of people about buying the movie.

RB: That’s great. Thank you both very much for this wonderful documentary, Tribute, rock ’n’ roll cover bands.

RF: Tribute bands!

RB: Tribute bands. [all laugh] My bad.


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