Walt Mink

[February 2003 – PRESENT]


[status: ongoing]


In 2003, I had the wild idea to make a documentary about Walt Mink, a band from the Twin Cities that formed at Macalester College in 1989 and disbanded in New York City in 1997. As was the custom in the era before Soundcloud, Spotify, and the Internet, I’d been turned onto them by word of mouth. A feverish pitch, a cassette tape pressed into my hands. “Listen to this!”

At the time, I was enjoying the tumultuous emotional ride of my post college years in New York City, working as a paralegal and trying to keep my head out of my ass. I was a bit of a wreck, trying to figure things out and get out of my own way. I listened to those tapes in my shitty little car, but that was it.

While barely keeping my shit together toward the end of 1997, the same friend called and insisted that I come to Mercury Lounge on Saturday night, November the 1st. Walt Mink were breaking up and playing their last show ever. I’d never seen them perform. It was my last chance. As luck would have it, I was one of the people in the room that night when they ripped the paint off the walls and quit being a band.

Some years later, when my mind had stopped attacking itself, I had the idea to tell their story and get them back on stage. I was in no position to make a feature length documentary. I had no experience, no money, no clue. I thin my American Express was in collection, my motorcycle had been repossessed. I was barely making rent. But I was out of my mind with intention, utterly consumed by the idea of making a movie and changing the course of my life.

The making of the film is inextricably entangled with my efforts to battle anxiety, depression, my bad habits, and lack of faith in myself. The entire undertaking was defined by pendulous emotional swings from crushing self doubt and despair at one extreme to unshakeable confidence and boundless ambition at the other.

I succeeded. We brought the band back to Minneapolis for a pair of sold out shows, which we filmed on four 16mm cameras and recorded masterfully.

I failed. In the years following the concerts, I continually lost my way, restarted, lost my way again. Today, in 2020, four hundred and fifty thousand years later, the film is not done.

This page is on the internet because I have never stopped thinking about this project and how to finish it. It remains top of mind. Of all the things I need to complete, this film project remains at the top of the list. This page is on internet as a public pledge that I will complete the work.

This project is massive. I will update below as time permits and try to account for progress on my blog, being mindful that updating about the work is less important than the work itself.


[to come]