What happens to punks when they grow old? Do their ideals go in the attic with their Damned records and ripped jeans or is there something more to the culture? This is what the upcoming independent documentary All Grown Up looks to answer. All Grown Up is a documentary about older punks in the punk scene and how, contrary to popular belief, it’s not just a phase! I briefly chatted with executive producer Andrea Witting of the film to find out a little more about it.
Rock and Roll Report: How do you define punk since to a lot of people it is a stereotype that is not always favourable. What is a punk and how does punk culture differ from more mainstream culture?
Andrea Witting: This is a hard question because for me there is no definition of a feeling – and that’s just what it is. How would you define being in love? For everybody it’s different – it’s the same thing with punk. It’s not what you look like, where you shop, or what you do for work – it’s what’s in your heart. It’s something that you feel everyday that you can’t explain but it’s always there and it never goes away. To be a punk you don’t have to listen to punk music or have a Mohawk or be outrageous – you just have that feeling. Punk isn’t something that started in the 70s, it’s something that started in the beginning of mankind – it just wasn’t labeled punk until the 70s. The media portrays it as something negative because if they did news segments or articles on what it’s really about then people wouldn’t care because they just want to see controversy. I think the difference between being into punk as opposed to the mainstream is that we think more about things (not to say that there aren’t people who think the same way we do who aren’t into punk). We don’t believe everything we’re told and we don’t take life for granted. Most of the punks I know have fun living their lives for them and not for somebody else whether it’s a boss, government, or any type of authority.
RRR: Your film is about older punks and how they have not abandoned the ideals of punk. For some people punk is a phase but for others it obviously lasts a lifetime. What is the appeal in the punk culture? Is it the music, the cloths or something deeper?
AW: For me it’s definitely something deeper. I agree there are people that get into it and then drop out but I don’t think those people were ever punks in the first place. Sometimes people try new things and it doesn’t work for them (and that’s totally fine), but punk isn’t something that you can grow out of. It’s who you are – it’s what’s inside of you and nobody could ever possibly grow out of that. You may stop listening to the music for a while, dress differently, and change who you hang around with – but once a punk always a punk. I think the reason why it appeals to so many people is because it’s a place where finally people can be themselves and not be scared of what others will think of them. Here you don’t need approval from anyone else but yourself – it gives you confidence, self belief and independence. If that’s not appealing then I don’t know what is!
RRR: This film is indie in the true sense of the word. How have you approached making this film?
AW: I think this can be answered in a couple different ways. For funding I worked 80 hours a week for the past two years to save up enough money for equipment, travel, and other necessary expenses. Everyone involved with the movie has been extremely supportive and devoted their time because of their love for the cause. For the European interviews I found friends of friends of friends who were interested and I consequently traveled around Europe for 3 months bouncing to and from everyone’s houses. Since it’s such a tight-knit family it was easy for me to find people.
RRR: When is “All Grown Up” scheduled to be released? How do you plan on distributing it?
AW: The release will be in the beginning of December of this year. I’ll be distributing it with my company, Psyko Punk Productions and it will be available for purchase directly from me through the website. I’ll also be sending it out to tons of different punk shops all over the world so that we can reach the farthest corners of nowhere with it! I already have some connections with places in South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, and Russia to name a few outside of the US.
RRR: Anything else that you would like to add?
AW: Yes! Thank you so much for the opportunity to spread the word about this even further! I hope that you guys all enjoy the movie and if anybody ever has any questions or comments please feel free to send them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org! Thanks again
You can get more information on the film at http://www.allgrownupthemovie.com. They also have a MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/allgrownupthemovie
Here’s the trailer for a bit more of a sense of what the film is about.