Documentary Blog #10 – Heading to San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge at Night

Golden Gate Bridge at Night

After working with and interviewing Carla Laemmle, I wanted to stay in California for a bit as to not completely exhaust my travel budget.  I know I want to get out to other parts of the country to tell the story so I started looking around other parts of California to see what I could get before leaving LA.  While conducting my research I learned about a guy in the San Francisco area who is a punk rock/thrash metal drummer by night and a meal deliverer by day.  More importantly, I learned he was young guy in his early 30s.  This intrigued me on a couple of levels.  One, how does a punk rock/thrash metal drummer get involved in meal delivery and, two, how is it that someone in his early 30s is caring about elderly and seniors.  Of course I had to learn more about this guy.

Working past my own shortcomings I picked up the phone and decided to call this guy.  His name is Victor Buick (yes, that’s his real name).  Initially, I was a little curious about this guy and many thoughts (judgments, I’m ashamed to admit) started racing around my head about who this person is and what he’s all about.  I started picturing what this guy would look or sound like, how serious could he be about being a thrash metal drummer or taking care of senior citizens and how intelligent he could or could not be.  Again, I apologize for making these judgments about a person who I know nothing about, have never met or with whom I have never had a conversation.  Yet, my idiotic, small-minded approach and thoughts were still getting the best of me.  (As a side note, I am working with a Life Coach to remedy this mental road block I have put upon myself and thusly enslaving me to my own prison of thoughts and judgments about people based on names, professions, education levels, living conditions and looks.  I know this is deplorable, reprehensible behavior and I am consciously working to remedy this behavior.)  Back to the story… I called Victor and was surprised to hear this deep, resounding, intimidating voice answer on the other end.  Immediately all my previous thoughts/judgments about this man were starting to become shattered.  He was articulate, friendly, knowledgeable and warm.  I was completely thrown off by what I was hearing on the other end of the line.  His voice also sent a shock wave, a warning if you will, through my body that if I piss this man off then not only will I have no chance of interviewing him but that he might take out his frustrations, anger or emotions on my head rather than the drum skins.  But, then again I was making my own judgments about a man I have never met or seen.  So, I decided to turn my brain off and just LISTEN to this man talk. Taking the time to just "Listen" I learned how passionate he is about both drumming and feeding the seniors.  I also learned that he operates out of Marin County, California and not San Francisco.  His family is extremely active in San Francisco but he runs the Meals on Wheels program in Marin County.  Marin County is the area just north of SF across the Golden Gate Bridge.  It is home to Sausalito, Tiburon and other REALLY, REALLY wealthy cities in America.  In fact, I learned that Marin County is one of the wealthiest counties in America (and from what I have found that it is the wealthiest county – per capita - in the country).  My conversation with Victor was one of the most informative, friendly and inspiring conversations I have had regarding this documentary.  Although his voice was still so deep and powerful that I had to remind myself to keep my brain turned off or this man (based on the tenor of his voice) could pummel me rendering my brain inoperative…permanently.
San Fransisco, Marin County, Golden Gate Bridge

The view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Marin County

We wrapped up the conversation by exchanging email addresses and with a commitment to talking more about this project.  I informed him that I wanted to come to Marin and interview him, ride around with him and see his band play.  He told me that his organization had been burned in interviews before so he would have get it approved by the board but he would get back with me and let me know their thoughts.  He didn’t think it would be a problem considering what I was producing and creating with the documentary but he had to get approval.
Fog and Mount Tamapais at Sunset in Marin County

Fog and Mount Tamapais at Sunset in Marin County

Two weeks passed and I finally heard back from Victor.  I was informed we had approval to shoot and we set the dates for the ride along, interview and band performance.  I was excited about this opportunity and looking forward to meeting the man I had wrongly stereotyped and categorized.  And, more importantly, my conversation with Victor created a direction for the documentary.  When he mentioned something about Marin County being one of the wealthiest it got me thinking about what hunger in seniors must be like in the poorest places in America.  Before I received Victor’s confirmation email I had begun researching poor areas in America as to juxtapose two areas of the country and show hunger is not defined by geography or money.  So, thank you Victor. Moral The moral of this story is this kids… Don’t judge a book by its cover and don’t be an overly judgmental, myopic, categorizing douche bag like me.  The Life Coach lessons are already paying off! My time with Victor is tomorrow.    

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  1. Heather Dismore says:

    Seth- Images are truly stunning. Interesting to hear how this whole process is affecting your personally. I’m sure you can’t go through this research without self reflection. Thanks for sharing it so honestly. Looking forward to seeing the finished project. -h

    Reply
    • Seth Hancock says:

      Thanks, Heather. I couldn’t help but be, well, um, er myself when it comes to being honest. Like you said, I don’t know how you can work on a project like this without being affected. I had to show how this process is taking place and why it’s important. Thanks for your support.

      Reply