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A sneak peek at this year’s Filmmakers Showcase lineup, including ‘Gateway Sound’

Justin Fisher’s documentary about the evolving recording industry screens at 4 p.m. Saturday as part of the 2018 St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio
Justin Fisher’s documentary about the evolving recording industry screens at 4 p.m. Saturday as part of the 2018 St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase.";

A treasure trove of St. Louis-based filmmaking talent will be in the spotlight throughout the next two weekends as Cinema St. Louis’ annual Filmmakers Showcase gets underway on Friday.

One of the locally driven films set to screen Saturday is “Gateway Sound,” which was produced and directed by Justin Fisher, an audio engineer and educator. The documentary explores the state of the recording industry in St. Louis and beyond.

Fisher joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh Wednesday for a conversation about the project and how recording professionals are adapting in an age of music streaming, slumping record sales and easily accessible recording technology.

The whole industry has undergone major technological change in recent years, Fisher noted, “from what medium we record onto – tape versus hard drive now – [to] even how we deliver materials.”

“In the old days you’d have to FedEx somebody or UPS somebody a big old box of tapes … now we use Dropbox and things like that,” he said. “So every aspect, from recording to actually getting it to the consumer is completely different.”

While the developments have involved a lot of growing pains for commercial studios, Fisher emphasized that many recording professionals are also finding new ways to survive and even thrive. As some revenue sources have shrunk with the advent of more accessible home-studio equipment, YouTube and other technologies, some new opportunities have opened up.

“There’s more people making music now,” Fisher noted.

Chris Clark, artistic director for Cinema St. Louis, also joined Wednesday’s show. He offered a preview of the multi-day Filmmakers Showcase, all of which will take place in Washington University’s Brown Hall Auditorium this year.

Chris Clark is artistic director for Cinema St. Louis.
Credit Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio
Chris Clark is artistic director for Cinema St. Louis.

A total of 107 films, nine of which are feature length, make up this year’s showcase, Clark said. When asked to name a few of the other projects he’s most excited about, he pointed first to the documentary “The Best of Us: 100 Years of Muny Magic” by HEC-TV’s Kathy Bratkowski.

“One of the crown jewels of the city itself is the Muny theater … [the film is] just a wonderful illustration of how it got there and why it’s important,” Clark said.

He then made mention of “An American Tragedy,” which is about a 1980s murder in St. Charles.

“So very polar opposites of storytelling,” Clark said, adding that the St. Louis region itself “is the star” that’s really in the spotlight throughout the entire showcase.

Related Event
What: Cinema St. Louis 2018 St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase Presents "Gateway Sound"
When: 4 p.m. Saturday, July 14, 2018
Where: Brown Hall Auditorium at Washington University (1 Brookings Dr., St. Louis, MO 63130)

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex HeuerEvie Hemphill and Caitlin Lally give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Evie was a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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