Twenty years later - Big Muddy: TravelinTrains
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Twenty years later - Big Muddy
I pulled out from my files, a letter from Dane Thompson, dated February 9, 1988, announcing that my film "Travelin' Trains" had won Best Narrative Short at the Big Muddy Film Festival. My first real film away from college, all funded by grants and personal income, and Big Muddy was my first win. I can't even explain how excited I was, it was proof that all the work and heartache was worth it. I am honored to be presenting "Travelin' Trains" again, twenty years later. This time with much improved audio (thank you, Tucker).

I remember the original submission letter, noting that all submissions can only be submitted as a 16mm film or 3/4 cassette. Remember, this was when the Sundance Festival was just a small festival in Park City called the USA Film Festival. And Big Muddy was already 10 years old. It was a film festival with a history and I was proud. Now there are film festivals in every city, sometimes on every block, but for me, winning Big Muddy meant that I was a filmmaker. I haven't stopped making and working on films since, sometimes for better or worse.

I issued the DVD of "Travelin Trains," with my own cash. last year because so many improvements have been made with audio and I always hated the small optical track that 16mm projection offered, especially when you make a movie about the blues. I also still believe the film to be the best example of my work as an artist and filmmaker. It is the only film that I have done which was completely my vision. I was that young man in search of the blues and my future. I knew that "hobo legends ain't the same as book legends," but sometimes even if we write it with that knowledge, we have to discover it for real, just to know it's true. Thank you, Big Muddy Film Festival for starting me on my journey and thank you for letting me return to the 30th Big Muddy Film Festival.


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