A Scott Shaw Zen Documentary.
People often ask Scott Shaw the question, "Just what is Zen Filmmaking?" To answer that question, Shaw created this documentary, Frogtown News.
Cameras rolled on Scott Shaw, Donald G. Jackson, Julie Strain, Kevin Eastman, and others, at the 1997 and 1998 American Film Markets. In this documentary, Scott Shaw present deep insight into Zen Filmmaking, from the words of people who have made Zen Films. Plus, there is never before released scenes from some of Scott Shaw's Zen Films.
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I didn't come to "Frogtown News" unprepared, as I have seen several Scott Shaw - Donald G. Jackson films, and they are universally entertaining though not necessarily in the way intended. I think. It's hard to be sure of anything in a Shaw - Jackson film. For a good preview of their work I recommend the startling "Guns of El Chupacabra" which is referenced here and must be seen to be believed.
"Frogtown News" is a documentary comprised of Shaw and Jackson film industry festival footage. It's interview-heavy but light on lucidity. They are the preeminent experts on Zen filmmaking and its only ardent adherents to my knowledge; though there are plenty of other improvisation-heavy filmmakers out there, few are as fluid and unstructured as these two. They explain at great length about their filmmaking techniques, and it's as baffling and confusing as it is interesting and offbeat.
I'm not down on Shaw and Jackson and actually do enjoy watching their films if for no other reason because of their totally unpredictable nature, but I will caution you that if you haven't seen any of their stream-of-consciousness works as a touchstone, this documentary will not make much sense, and even if you have your comprehension may not improve markedly.