In 2008 a small group of friends gathered around a couch in a Royal Oak basement to film eight episodes of The Steve Barman Show. In the DIY talk show’s infantile stage the focus was primarily on music, the graphics were collages of public domain video footage and the questions were merely intended to solicit amusing responses. “Putting it together slapshod with some cameras that didn’t really commingle very well, running our footage through three programs that didn’t really complement each other to edit it… screaming at a computer that was a piece of shit…” Barman raves about the process.
This fall the crew (including Kevin Eckert, Aaron Timlin and Sydney Redigan) partnered with the CAID to shoot a pilot at the dilapidated Alger Theater featuring Elena Herrada of the DPS school board, visual artist Dan DeMaggio and musical guest Macramé Tiger. It took close to a year to organize and months of manpower to prepare. “We were all janitorial for a long time,” says Redigan, who handles research and PR. They each took a share of the dirtiest jobs necessary (electrical engineering, asbestos sweeping, etc.) to pull off the show, which from here on out will take place at the CAID before a live audience.
They plan to use their bi-weekly 30-minute show to target key issues, feature political and community activists and business leaders and promote local arts and music. “It’s time for people of Detroit to tell their own stories,” says Barman, “and have a cultural hub where people can learn more about what might be going on that they might not have access to otherwise—to produce it in such a way to where it’s entertaining… and thought provoking, and where people are able to say their opinion.”
“It’s something that showcases talent and views that I think a lot of people in Detroit hold or can identify with. There isn’t really a comprehensive video medium for those kinds of discussions,” director/editor Eckert explains. Currently the show is relying on the kindness of volunteers who believe in their vision. “There’s no budget right now… even though we have better equipment.”
“We’re looking for sponsors,” Redigan hints.
The official first season of The Steve Barman Show begins shooting January 9th at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit. For inquiry or info visit thestevebarmanshow.com or write firstname.lastname@example.org.
screen shots by Kevin Eckert