Media Boomtown didn't set out to make a documentary.
The local production company accepted an assignment to shoot a reunion concert at 2010 Hampdenfest near Baltimore.
"It started out very innocently," said the company's co-owner Dan Almoney, 33, of York.
They weren't familiar with the Salisbury, Md., band Red Weasel, which had a decent local following during the days of grunge.
Benn Ray, a Salisbury transplant who owns Atomic Books in Baltimore, organized the reunion with a Facebook campaign. Former fans who followed the band during its 1990s heyday flocked to Hampdenfest.
Shooting the event sounded like a fun way to spend a Saturday, said Almoney. Grunge was before his time, but he remembers the days when local radio played local bands before the Internet was widely used.
"It wasn't a few clicks of the mouse to find people who were into the same music you were," Almoney said. "It was more . . . underground."
In 2007, he and Ed Fox started Media Boomtown as a side project. It went full-time in 2009. They operate the business out of their homes and spend a majority of their time filming weddings, concerts and corporate events.
"We love telling stories and to tell stories that revolve around music is even better," Almoney said. That's a big part of why they accepted Ray's assignment.
Since they had some extra time, a crew went down to capture the band's rehearsal. After the performance, they interviewed fans on the street and reconnected with the band, who offered old footage and concert photos.
When they scored an interview with Simon Jacobsen, they decided that they had a short documentary on their hands.
Jacobsen runs an architecture firm in Washington, D.C. During the grunge era, he was involved in the punk/hardcore scene and played music with Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye, who went on to found Dischord Records.
Jacobsen recorded Red Weasel's one and only EP.
Soon, Media Boomtown had 12 hours of tape. They decided to use one of the band's song titles in the title "Sweet Rock: The Red Weasel Story." They also got raw tapes from the band, which they remastered into an EP to be released with the documentary.
Almoney said the project had perfect timing. Grunge is enjoying a recent resurgence thanks to Cameron Crowe's documentary "Pearl Jam Twenty" and the 20th anniversary re-release Of Nirvana's "Nevermind."
But after a year of working on the film and $25,000, Media Boomtown needed more funds to keep it going.
They learned a lot from their first short documentary project "The Secrets of Comic Creation," which won accolades at the 2010 Prometheus Film Festival at York Little Theatre.
"One of the hardest parts was the marketing on the back end," Almoney said of the comic documentary.
He and Fox decided to use the crowd-funding site Kickstarter.com to raise an additional money for packaging, marketing and festival submissions, which Almoney said can really add up. They are hoping to raise $5,000 by the middle of November.
"A lot of times, you see all these (Kickstarter) projects, and they are looking to get off the ground," Almoney said. "All of the production aspects (are) done (for "Sweet Rock"). We think it's an important story."
Like most small bands, Red Weasel eventually broke up and the members went their separate ways. Almoney said two of the guys are still involved in music. One is trying to open a brewery in Atlanta.
"One of the problems with Red Weasel is that they never went on tour," Almoney said. "We're hoping we can take them on tour."
- Erin McCracken, FlipSide staff
Media Boomtown: www.mediaboomtown.com
"Sweet Rock: The Red Weasel Story": sweetrockdoc.com
Red Weasel: search the band name on Facebook
Kickstarter project: search "Sweet Rock" on www.kickstarter.com