Don’t Be a Dick: A Tale of Indie Filmmaking, Extortion and MDF

By: david.hall Posted in: featured On: Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

david hall

David Hall is the director of Disgorge, Mexico: The Movie, Axis of Eden: The Feature Film, Maryland Deathfest: The Movie and Maryland Deathfest: The Movie II. He attended Maryland Deathfest last May 26 – 29 with the intention of shooting the second sequel. Suffice it to say, things did not go as planned. Hunker down for the most brutal story you’ll read all day.

In medias res. It’s not just a popular convention for storytellers. It’s where we always find ourselves. In the middle. Smack dab. For better or worse, swinging it out, suffering, loving, struggling or flowing upstream. You’re never where you were or where you’re going, yet the past and the future hang on and loom—regret and anxiety, what was, what will be. To quote/paraphrase Exodus (book of the Bible, not the band) and Paul Thomas Anderson, “we may be through with the past, but it sure ain’t through with us.”

So, that’s where I find myself these days. Stuck in the middle. Seriously regretting a faulty decision I made, and dealing with a host of petty grievances fostered by a series of fools who wish to tarnish my reputation and extort monies from me. Where did this all begin? How did I get to this particular moment, so swollen with drama, in medias res-deluxe, surrounded by thieves (I’m trying to include as many extreme metal references as I can) and wishing for the total fucking destruction of my enemies? It all starts at the beginning… or at least, a few months back.

drums

Last year, I released my first film for sale. Maryland Deathfest: The Movie. I had made a few other films prior to that, but they weren’t released by me. The MDF film was a wild experience. We (my ex-business partner and ex-best-friend, who shall be called by the fake-name of “Jennifer” for this piece) made the first MDF film on half of a shoestring budget with whatever cameras we could find and a ragtag bunch of crew members. Attending my first MDF and making a film about it was a glorious experience—I got to see Pig Destroyer, Brutal Truth, Wolves in the Throne Room, Despise You and Bolt Thrower all in the same weekend, and made some amazing friends.

Luckily, the bands and labels involved with MDF were all super chill, and I obtained clearances and permissions to use the bands and their music in the films. A year after my first MDF, I returned to Baltimore, rolled into the Sonar and found my eight boxes full of Maryland Deathfest: The Movie DVDs had been delivered. Success. Triumph. We had pulled it off.

My second MDF was also an amazing experience. This time we sort of knew what we were doing. We had better cameras and a better plan of attack. Maryland Deathfest: The Movie, the Sequel was the working title I gave the film. This later got shortened and smartened into Maryland Deathfest: The Movie II. Eyehategod played, man. Outside in an unforgiving and sweltering heat. I filmed Total Fucking Destruction onstage, hidden squarely behind Rich Hoak. And I discovered Sulaco. Another amazing time. And for the past year, up until last month, the second MDF film was edited, put through post-production, ran by bands, clearances procured, and for the first time, I did PR on the film. During all that, I also managed to find a distributor for the movie, and signed a deal with Sony Red/MRI. The good vibes continued. Everything was perfect. So, you know what that means.

bobby

This year—I guess starting around February 2011—things were a little bit different. Since 2007/2008, when I made and saw the release of my first underground metal-related film, Axis of Eden: The Feature Film, I worked with a partner. “Jennifer,” as I have stated he shall be named for this piece: a film enthusiast like myself, though 10 years my junior. I met Jennifer in ’06 while I was teaching editing at a local college. We bonded over our mutual love of smoking buckets and filming the results with the college’s newly bought high-def cameras. We became friends, and when Jennifer graduated, he moved to the big smoke to search out a career in the film and/or television industry. It was around this time that my first video aired on MTV. Encouraged by this success, Jennifer decided to move back from the big smoke and start up a company with me. Handshake Inc. was born. For three years, we worked together making Disgorge, Mexico: The Movie and the first two MDF films.

Last summer, however, things soured between Jennifer and me. Disillusioned by the lack of instant monetary success, and frustrated by my use of the “N” word on his Facebook page, Jennifer decided to pursue his own path. It was like a bad break-up. I came to the office one day and found he had moved out all his furniture. He told me that it was so he could get more work done at home, then later confided in a mutual friend that he was sick of not being able to play the music he wanted at volumes he desired. So be it. Soon, more grievances arose. Jennifer did not have enough control in the business. I would not contribute financially for equipment Jennifer wanted to purchase. It was my responsibility to pay for airfare home from Europe for Jennifer. Eventually I put a stop to everything, paid Jennifer off, and Handshake Inc. became a one-man show.

So, when it came time to “crew-up” for MDF this year, I found myself in a quandary. Who would I hire and bring to MDF to film what was going to be the third and final MDF film? Originally, I pitched the idea of filming the fest all by myself and presenting a sort of POV version of the festival to the MDF promoters. They were not against the idea. But as the overwhelmingly positive responses to the quality of the footage from the second MDF film started rolling in, I felt I “owed it to the film” to pursue filming MDF with a proper crew.

It was around this time that a mutual friend informed me that Jennifer really wanted to be a part of the third MDF Movie. I was conflicted. I knew Jennifer would be able to do a good job of filming, but I also knew he was an entitled little bitch who expected me to pay for all his bullshit and mistakes because my wife is a doctor. Jennifer also informed me he had a new company and a “crew that would follow him anywhere” that were all packing serious gear. “I still buy weed and records a lot,” I informed Jennifer (my vinyl and weed consumption was a major sore point for him), “and I can’t pay you upfront to go.” “I’ll work for a percentage of royalties,” Jennifer replied, adding, “Money is not that big of a worry for me anymore.”

Against my better judgment, and out of a desire to make the third MDF film even better than the second, I relented and agreed. For the short while leading up to MDF, Jennifer and I became friends again, even though I secretly hated him because he had changed from a passionate, trustworthy, pot-loving pal into a pompous, self-righteous sissy.

As MDF 9 approached I felt a lot of apprehension about Jennifer coming with us. I confided in mutual friends and my wife about my misgivings. Mutual friends assured me Jennifer would be a good little girl. My wife, whose judgment I defer to on everything, told me it was too late to renege on Jennifer. Part of me felt bad for Jennifer; he loved MDF and we had had some great times there.

As a last-ditch effort to prevent Jennifer from coming, I drafted up a real bastard of a deal memo for Jennifer and his crew. It outlined the percentage of royalties he’d receive from the sale of MDF: The Movie III, explained his accommodation and travel would be paid for by me, but, most importantly, contained a shitload of conditions that would void the deal memo if broken. I did this to protect myself and to set the tone that I was the boss in this situation, and I had expectations. The most important clause in the contract, as I saw it, was this little tidbit:

“[Jennifer] and his crew shall not retain any film, video, audio or still photographs generated/created for Maryland Deathfest: The Movie III (3), nor shall [Jennifer] or his crew retain any film, video, audio or still photographs generated/created while at Maryland Deathfest 9, nor shall [Jennifer] or his crew retain any film, video, audio or still photographs generated/created while in Maryland, USA between the dates of May 26th, 2011 to May 31st, 2011.”

As I’ve stated, I did not trust Jennifer and did not want him to retain any of the footage… I wanted him to shoot the film and that’s it.

Jennifer emailed me back that the “deal memo looked good,” so I pushed my worries aside and went on with the show.

neg mdf

Cut to MDF 9. May 26, 2011. Back in Baltimore for a third year in a row. It felt amazing despite the oppressive heat and humidity. The lineup for the “Pre-Fest,” which is basically just the first day of the fest now, was insane: Cathedral (their last North American performance), Buzzov*en, Tragedy, Lack of Interest, Flesh Parade, Noisear. The camera crew set up (Jennifer and his three crew members) with a bunch of great shooters I had lined up. At first, everything was going swimmingly. Bands played. We filmed. Nice and easy.

And then.

I think it was after Lack of Interest played that I went to check on how the crew were doing. By the looks on everyone’s face, it was obvious something was really wrong.

“Jennifer’s laptop is missing.”

Oh fuck.

Jennifer’s laptop, which was being used to dump footage onto, had mysteriously disappeared. We all did a thorough search of the venue, asked anyone we knew if they’d seen the laptop, but no.

Gone.

I immediately informed the venue’s head of security, production manager and promoters. The word was passed along and we soldiered on through the rest of the night.

That was the beginning of the end. I knew it. I could feel it. And I knew what would happen next, of course. Jennifer would expect me to pay for the replacement of his laptop.

Irrelevant were the facts that he left the laptop unattended, and as a freelancer he was and is responsible for his own gear. I felt terrible—I’ve had things stolen and know how helpless and desperate for accountability it can make you feel.

I expressed my condolences and stayed away from the topic of the laptop for the rest of the night. The next day, as MDF rolled along in full gear, was relatively uneventful. Jennifer and his crew kept filming. We used another crew member’s laptop to capture footage. But there was an obvious ‘tude coming from Jennifer and his crew.

It was Saturday morning that the shitstorm began.

I texted Jennifer and asked him to be at the MDF venue for noon.

“My guys are tired—we didn’t get to sleep until 5 a.m.,” came the response.

Here we go. I texted back that he needed to be at the venue early enough to set up.

“How about 2 p.m.?”

Okay. I tried to keep my cool. “Your call. I think you should be there at noon,” was my response.

“Okay. But bring money cuz I have none and have been borrowing from people all weekend.”

Bring money? Um… how about no?

“I don’t have any money,” I texted him back.

And then came the big enchilada.

“Is my laptop a recoupable expense?”

Good ol’ Jennifer. I knew it. The second that shit went missing, I knew I would be held responsible. A series of texts from Jennifer explained why I should pay for the laptop out of profits from the third MDF film; how I should have production insurance; how if it was him and one of his friend’s laptop was stolen, he’d do everything he could to help them out. (At this point I couldn’t help but recall a few years back, when in Toronto, Jennifer told Steve Austin of Today Is the Day that he could park his truck safely in the parking lot of his apartment building. The next morning, Steve’s truck was towed and Jennifer assumed no accountability for it.)

The debate raged on, but I maintained my position. Jennifer projected profits of the third MDF film to be $45,000 (I fucking wish), so paying him for the laptop shouldn’t be a big deal. I told Jennifer I would talk about it after MDF, but for now, my answer was no. I was then told by Jennifer that “My crew is really unhappy about what they are hearing. We’re going to shower and come down there and talk to you in person.”

I didn’t think Jennifer was stupid enough to try anything physical, but “coming down to talk in person,” vaguely sounded threatening to me, and at that point I wanted nothing to do with the situation. I was trying to make a movie. I told Jennifer I was not going to talk to his crew and if everyone was that unhappy, maybe they should just go home.

So, they left. Back to Canada. Good fucking riddance, honestly. I never wanted Jennifer there in the first place, and fuck him for being such a baby. If it was any other member of my crew, I would have volunteered to get them a new laptop in a heartbeat. If Jennifer had displayed even the slightest amount of tact instead of trying to browbeat me into replacing his property that he left unattended, I would have offered to help him, too.

MDF 9 went on. The last day was yet another amazing spectacle of underground metal. The main room was PACKED to witness Ghost’s first North American performance.

stage mdf

The next day, after a much deserved sleep-in, my crew and I packed up and got ready to leave town. On the way out, I stopped at the motel Jennifer and his crew had been staying at to pick up a hard drive of mine that had been left there for me.

“Don’t Be a Dick.”

My hard drive had been plastered with a huge sticker with the above text. I couldn’t believe it. I imagined Jennifer and his crew high-fiving each other as they applied the decal in question. “That’ll show him!” I could imagine them cheering as they gave each other handjobs and slapped asses.

We drove to Pittsburgh that night and stayed at Joe from Complete Failure’s pad. I pretty much knew what would happen when we checked, but another crew member fired up the hard drive left by Jennifer, and sure enough, no footage.

We had been using the hard drive to store footage on. There should have been two days worth of stuff, but instead all that remained was footage that other crew members had shot.

I couldn’t believe it. I mean I could, but I couldn’t. This was how things were going to go down? I did my best to enter a Zen-like state and not play into the childish game Jennifer had started. I didn’t call or text or email him; I just left it.

A few days later, back home in Canada, the message came:

“You can have your footage when you pay for 100% of our expenses.”

Wow. Seriously. How fucking stupid and ignorant do you have to be?

I informed Jennifer that it wasn’t “my” footage—that it belonged to the bands who were in the footage. I informed Jennifer that I had been granted permission from these bands to film them and be in possession of the footage, but had not.

“Then give me the names and contact information of the bands and labels and I’ll contact them myself.”

HAHAHAHAHA. Yeah. And say what? “I’m a thief, want your footage back?”

I wanted, at that point in time, to launch an epithet of insults and curse words at this lowlife piece of shit, but did my best to stay calm.

The next day, my Facebook page got shut down because “someone” reported an image of mine inappropriate. I tricked Jennifer into admitting he had done it. What a fool.

Over the past two weeks, there’s been some back-and-forth between me and Jennifer and his crew. Part of the footage they stole was shot by two crew members who have nothing to do with Jennifer and his petty grievances. They showed up and worked hard, and wanted nothing more than to be included in the production of the film. I’ve asked for that to be returned, but no dice.

On Wednesday, the final act was put into motion. Throughout the whole ordeal, I always felt kind of bad that one of Jennifer’s crew members—we’ll call him Danielle for the purpose of this piece—had somehow been stupid enough to put the minivan rented for the trip to Baltimore on his credit card. He was just a dumb kid. And I didn’t want some random dude out there with a grudge against me over $600.

I got Danielle’s number and texted him that I wanted to pay for the rental of the van. He seemed pleased by this and I made arrangements to get him a check by the end of the week. This seemed to be a positive step in the right direction. Danielle emailed me a copy of the receipt for the van—I emailed him back and informed him that if he was interested in having his footage used in the new MDF film, I would give him a camera operator credit. That’s when the bubble burst.

Hi David,

To be perfectly honest, a camera operator credit isn’t of any importance to me. My career is already well established in the IT industry and there’s not much being a cameraman can get me in that field. As to my footage, since I have no interest in being associated with a project so far from my sphere of influence I will be burying it in my digital vaults to be forgotten.

I went to Baltimore to do a favor for, and help out [Jennifer]; not to break into the high-stakes world of music film production from the ground up. My only remaining interest in the endeavor is receiving payment for the rental van.

Fucking prick. I wanted to strangle him. I wrote Danielle back and said that I would still use the footage, but without giving him credit. He informed me he would “consider it” once he got paid. So I wrote him back again and left out the pleasantries: “No footage, no check.” I had eaten enough shit at that point, and was sick of being toyed with.

Danielle then informed me since I wanted to give ultimatums, he would give me one: “email money transfer me the funds today by 5 p.m. or I will delete all the footage.”

Boom. There it was. Pay or play. If I was confident that me paying this motherfucker off was a guarantee of receiving all the stolen footage back, I would have paid. All I was asking for was a promise that once I paid for the minivan rental, the footage would be returned, and Jennifer and his crew would not even give me that. More petty grievances from Jennifer arose. Where was his cut of the first MDF film? Where was the $500 he had borrowed from a friend to help make the first MDF film?

I just didn’t respond. To any of it. I made a decision to just consider the footage gone forever and get on with my life. It sucks that all the hard work and effort of my honest crew members was going to possibly be for naught, but honestly, fuck Jennifer and his crew of little morons.

The five o’clock deadline came and went. I’m assuming they deleted the footage.

sonar

Maybe I could have handled it better. The police were willing to go and talk to Jennifer, lawyers ready to write letters, but honestly, two weeks of this shit was enough, and I couldn’t fathom it dragging out any longer without some seriously ugly shit going down.

It’s embarrassing to me to have to contact the bands and labels involved and inform them their MDF footage is gone. A few bands were interested in releasing full MDF sets. Some wanted the footage to edit and use as they saw fit. And now it’s all gone. Cathedral’s last North American performance. Neurosis playing in a lightning storm. Voivod completely ruling. All gone. Over a fucking laptop. All I can do is offer those involved a mea culpa and promise to be more vigilant about who I hire in the future.

So, that’s it. The end. The unabridged history of shit that was and is the attempt to film MDF 9. What can you do? Everyone is a fucking jerk once in awhile, I guess. I know I’ve been one. Luckily, we still have some footage shot this year, and most of the band audio. I have some really exciting things planned for the remaining assets, so not all is lost. May 2012 will see the 10th anniversary of MDF, so, in many ways, it makes sense to film again and release that film as the third and final MDF film (as was the intention this year).

  • Kingkong

    Wow. Incredible story. Not to make light of the situation, but what I wouldn’t give to see a making-of for this whole scenario. It’d be like a metal version of Lost in La Mancha.

    • david.hall

      that will be on the special features of the MDF III film

      • Anonymous

        Easter EGG!

      • LoL

        how? if you have no footage?

        • Anonymous

          It’s all going to reenacted by homeless men drunk on aqua-velva!  I’m choreographing all the fight/dance scenes to have a “west-side story” kind of feel. 

  • http://cryogenichusk.com Cryogenic Husk

    Oh my god – that’s terrible. I’ve had a similar situation and the stress/frustration makes letting go seem the best option.

    And @Kingkong – you’re right! I’d watch that for sure. Just saw Lost in La Mancha actually… was interesting but also heartbreaking to watch.

    • lee repko

      oh heartbreaking, it’s true. what a powerfully depressing film…so helpless.

      this situation has nothing on that trainwreck.

  • Alsdkfjlskdfj

    ed_money is a fucking faggot

    -bando

    • lambgoat

      no one cares, wonkey_eyed_fat_woman.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1604803026 Karl Wonkler

        hi, Badolier.

  • Donkeyballs

    Hmmm…sounds like you made a bad business decision…twice. First, working with the guy from the get-go; second, hiring him back! Why would you not trust your instincts? Also, your rather petulant usage of a girl’s moniker for him (as well as the second jagoff) makes you seem childish. Makes me wonder about you. And, quite frankly, I have serious doubts about ever watching any of your films based on this article. That’s a shame for the bands sake.

  • Donkeyballs

    Hmmm…sounds like you made a bad business decision…twice. First, working with the guy from the get-go; second, hiring him back! Why would you not trust your instincts? Also, your rather petulant usage of a girl’s moniker for him (as well as the second jagoff) makes you seem childish. Makes me wonder about you. And, quite frankly, I have serious doubts about ever watching any of your films based on this article. That’s a shame for the bands sake.

  • david hall

    donkeyballs, aka flying scottsman, aka dan…here’s jennifer’s side of the story for your edification.

    …a buddy of mine emailed Jennifer for his side and here’s what he wrote him:

    “Hey Luke, thanks for taking the time to at least listen to the other side.. We agreed to shoot this movie. I brought 3 shooters and at least $15,000 of gear into this production. Dave then tried to say van rental was too much, and only wanted to pay half.. (not true, I said I would pay for half at MDF and half when we returned.) dh

    we were ok with that at the time, cause we wanted a comfy ride for 5 on the way down. (five including a girlfriend that had no business going and sure as hell had no business having her way paid for.) dh But he also told me he’d gimme some cash to get thru the days while I was there.. and he didn’t, save for $20. (i never said I’d give him cash) dh

    My laptop gets stolen Friday night, we carry on. Sunday morning, I need to know if my laptop will get covered eventually, when the movie makes some money. Dave tells me no. I tell my crew, and they’re all like “what do we have to gain by risking our gear here?” the answer: nothing. So I told dave the crew wasn’t happy about the laptop and how he was dealing with it, and we wanted to talk about it. he said he didn’t want to talk about it, and if we didn’t like it, we could go home.

    So we did. Now we want 100% of our expenses covered, and we’re giving up our 25% of the movie just to get our money back.

    Clearly we can’t do business with someone as wreckless as this guy. He also lied to my face about contract terms (nothing was signed) and we just don’t trust him at all. He tries to make us look like the bad guys, but if he had just agreed to pay for the laptop, again, when profits come in for the movie, we wouldn’t be where we are now. He’s been trying to manipulate us, lying constantly, threatening us with legal action from the labels, bands, etc. For someone who’s been in the industry since ’99, he sure doesn’t have a clue about rights, or how to do business. I used to be his business partner, and disbanded for this very reason. He is a wreckless liar, and cannot seperate personal issues from business.

    All we want, is our FULL expenses covered. Every last penny we can prove we spent on the production, back. Then he can have all the footage. It’s been interesting watching him squirm, lie and defame my character publicly thru his business website. I’m also giving up my 45% rights to the first 2 films (uh, why?  but okay, sure, I’ll gladly take those percentages) dh, just to be completely rid of him.”
    there you go…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1604803026 Karl Wonkler

      Wow, 666jennifer666 or Dave Cordoso seems pretty guilty over something. I wonder what.

    • Myxorrhea

      People arguing anonymously on the Internet? Now I’ve seen it all. Told you they’d call you a fag, Dave

    • Sonar Employee

      “My laptop gets stolen Friday night, we carry on.”

      As part of Sonar. I don’t recall being informed of a stolen laptop until Saturday evening. Someone mentioned this above also.

  • Anonymous

    Woah, sounds like a really bad and drawn out break up. I mean, here you are ranting and raving about your side and your pain, but did you ever consider the other side of the story? I mean, you did tell them to go home right? Just sayin.. if I came to work for someone and then had an issue and my boss didn’t want to speak with me about it, then tells me to go home? Man that would be really frustrating.. doesn’t that sound childish and irresponsible to you? I mean when you step into the shoes of a producer, does that not make you accountable for your crew and the production?  It sounds to me like too many divisions were made, and no body was listening to each other (mostly based on past bullshit.)  Its a damn shame for the music and the bands really that this issue got so blown out of proportion, which from what I see, could have been dealt with if you had more tact as a producer and actually talked to your crew instead of avoiding the confrontation and sending them home.. too much drama for metal.. it’s time to move on.

    • david.hall

      no i didn’t tell anyone to go home, i suggested it…and that’s right, as the producer i am responsible for the whole crew: the rest of the crew was disgusted by the way certain people were acting and i didn’t want a showdown.    

      • Suicide Sal

        “I told Jennifer I was not going to talk to his crew and if everyone was that unhappy, maybe they should just go home.”

        So you didn’t want to talk? And that sounds like a suggestion? To me that sounds like a child who isn’t getting their way, who starts holding their breath and making a scene in public.. wait.. that’s exactly what your doing here.. I get it now.

        • Anonymous

           He phrased it as a suggestion, so yes, that qualifies it as one.

        • david.hall

          pretty much.  i didn’t want to talk i had a sore throat and would only lie about it anyway.

  • Danielle

    I love how you “get on with my life” by pouring your boo-hoos into an internet text field.  I can tell from your positive tone and general easiness that you have completely put this behind you and moved on.

    Just keep hating me David Hall!  I promise it will make you feel better!A++, would recommend, would buy from again.

    • david.hall

      mega burn

  • Chud

    Wow, way to act like a complete child and then publicly complain about what your own retarded behavior reaps in the end.  I didn’t know who you were before, but I am now conivinced you are an inustrial sized douche nozzle.

    • david.hall

      it’s not nice to use the word “retarded” k thanx

  • Anonymous

    You’re lucky the van didn’t get stolen.  Otherwise, you’d be expected to pay for that too.  I’m sure they declined to purchase insurance on that since they didn’t bother to get any on their precious gear.

  • Dave Hall Is A Saint

    YAY! My sticker is famous now!

  • just sayin

    So just to make sure we’re all on the same page here, by your own admission you make casual use of the n-word, don’t pay your business partners because you prefer to spend your money on weed and records, would gladly replace the laptop for any of your other crew except for this guy because you have personal issues with him (and apparently *he’s* the dick because of this or something), haven’t paid him for the previous maryland deathfest and by your own projections your current film probably won’t even make much money? 

    That’s seriously the best you could do of presenting things from your own side?

    Without even needing to hear the other perspective from the guy you’ve so maturely given a woman’s name (sick burn dude, you must be in the right on this one to have come up with one like that) I can’t imagine anyone reading this and actually thinking you’d be a sane choice to make as far as choosing business partners. Even if your projects make money (which you seem to suggest you don’t even expect to happen) by your own admission you’d rather buy pot and records than pay out your business partners. That’s fucking ridiculous, who would work with you?

    • yup

      +1

      this guy sounds like an entitled prick… just cause Jennifer doesn’t want to smoke weed with you anymore and doesn’t like you dropping the n-bomb on his profile you’re gonna hold a permanent grudge?
      and what’s this bullshit about hiring Jennifer and then trying to get him to back out via douchey memo? how fucking childish & passive-aggressive are you? been in the industry since ’99, right, so you’ve gotta be at least early 30s… time to put the bong down, grow the fuck up, and handle your business like a professional adult.

      sorry about the footage and all, but it kinda sounds like you got what was coming.

      • Anonymous

        The only thing worse would be if he still lived in his parents basement or something.

        • W. Clay

          He lives in his wife’s basement.

      • david.hall

        i’m almost 40 and will hopefully nvr stop smoking weed and soon will graduate to crack.  i wrote the memo to protect myself.  don’t ever tarnish the name of the white elk.

        • lawyer up

          How did writing that memo to protect yourself work out?

      • Anonymous

        Yes indeed.  Handle this shit professionally and steal something back from Jennifer.  

    • david.hall

      hopefully no one wants to work with me, i like working alone

  • Danielle

    Hey I just realized folks might be confused if they came here from facebook.  Is there any reason that I do get the credit for writing that AWESOME email to you on this site but on the MDF facebook page you connect it to someone else – Jennifer I guess since we’ve never really been close enough to be proper enemies, much less best friends.  

    Spot the differences here:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maryland-Deathfest-The-Movie-2/134125149992307 and win….I don’t know, internet points I suppose.Looks like you might have a couple different versions of this story floating around.  Is there a wiki page where we can collect them all together?  I think that would offer the most convenient option for people looking to get caught up on this mess you’ve made.  I guess you could be lying in there somewhere but then we’d have to work out if you’re lying to the fans of Decibel or your fans on facebook.

    • david.hall

      burn

  • Anonymous

    You can’t steal the footage just because you aren’t happy your computer got stolen.  Grow a set of nuts and cut your losses.  You are needlessly dragging out a situation that won’t end the way you want it to.

  • Paul_tb

    All of this because there’s absolutely *no one* in the Pittsburgh or Baltimore area that can camera op? Mandy and Craigslist will tell you differently.

    • david.hall

      i did hire a couple cam ops from baltimore thanks

  • C You Next Tuesday

    tampons are on sale at wal-mart.
    from the looks of things, be sure you buy the super-pack.

    • Anonymous

      clever.  you should host a drive-time radio show

  • Stinkypete

    maybe you should take the stickers advice, eh?

  • not smart.

    funny i heard you ended up putting them in a hoooker/cockroach motel…
    1. because you did not plan the living situation (13 people in one house)
    2. IN THE MURDER CAPITAL OF THE UNITED STATES!
    awesome, super happy my boyfriend and friends returned home safe.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe they should have booked their own hotels like big boys.

      • not smart.

        maybe they went down being told by the almighty that there was a rented house for them to stay at, to later find out that the owners of the home did not want 13 people in their house..
        SEACREST OUT

        • Anonymous

           Too bad for them I guess.  Still could have booked their own hotel.

    • david.hall

      that’s racist.  you are a racist.

      • Anonymous

        And he is a hooker too!

  • BillyBob

    Everyone involved in this sounds like a total bitch idiot. You all deserved eached other.

    • Anonymous

      It’s true!

    • david.hall

      i’m more of a bitch than an idiot, but I’ll take it thanks

  • Anonymous

    If there was ever a sentence that best embodies Jennifer it’s this one:

    “Okay. But bring money cuz I have none and have been borrowing from people all weekend.”

  • Anonymous

    Before the ultimatum, I offered to give back ALL the footage, for the price of the van rental and gas. David Hall refused, telling me it was too late, and that he can’t use the footage because he already told the labels and bands that I was a thief, and couldn’t afford to be associated with thieves.

    So there it is, folks. I offered to give him ALL the footage, for the price of the van rental and gas, and he refused it. That’s where we left off, and he hasn’t replied since. While I could offer my side of the story on many of the lies he has spread, he’s made himself look worse than I ever could. If the industry supports peoples like David Hall, then its not an industry I care to work in. I’m quite happy doing my own thing.

    And technically, not that it matters… but we the shooters own all the footage, cause we didn’t get paid. Not saying we have the rights to use it, but we sure as shit own it. We didn’t STEAL anything.

    That’s all I have to say about that.
       – Forrest Gump

    • Anonymous

      Maybe if you didn’t steal the footage in the first place you’d be right.  Remind everyone why you “didn’t STEAL anything.”  It is because your laptop got stolen and you pissed that it was your responsibility and you had no other alternative than to try and bully someone into paying for your mistakes? 

      Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’re going to get
      -Forest Gump

    • Anonymous

      Stinky Pete – aka Karl Wonkler:

      Get off Dave’s nuts. Your most complete failure is listening to what he says as if its true.

      • Anonymous

        Who the fuck is Karl Wonkler?

        Answer two questions truthfully:

        1) Who was responsible for your equipment.

        2) Would you have taken the footage if your computer didn’t get stolen.

        • Anonymous

          I was told by one of the promoters that it was a safe place to store our gear. Bands leave their gear unattended all the time. We watched other peoples gear when they were out shooting, but no one was there later on it the night cause DH sent them home, since they didn’t have any more bands to film.

          Until we got paid for our expenses (gas+van) absolutely. I don’t trust him. He also admitted to lying about a contractual element to my face on day 1. I asked “that part about the posting pics taken anywhere in the state of MD, is that seriously part of the deal?” He told me no, and that he used a template, and he meant to take it out. Wow.. who writes up contracts so lazily? DH. Then after MDF, I brought that up, and he told me that he lied. So he lied to my face about contractual elements. Elements so severe it would nullify the agreement! So had we just given over the footage, he would have been able to negate any and all contractual obligations, we wouldn’t have received any money back for all the money we put in, and we’d be totally fucked. I didn’t let that happen, because I have foresight (although admittedly I can be naive). Clearly this is not someone that can be trusted. This experience was a last ditch effort at doing something I love, with friends, and making a killer movie in the process. He’s making this a big deal in an attempt to shift blame, so he doesn’t look like a douchewad to all the bands and labels he currently deals with.

          Again, I offered to give him everything, for our basic expenses, and he said no. He is a brash fool, and has fucked himself and everyone involved with the film over because he acts like a pissy teenager. 10 years my elder, and acts at LEAST 10 years younger than me.

          I don’t need to discuss this anymore. If you’re still on his side after all this, I don’t care. He is scum, and I’m done.

          • david.hall

            yep it’s my fault and the promoter’s fault your laptop got jacked.  we both knew it was in there and got jealous.  yup, i told a group of adults to all go home, even though we all stayed until the end to watch Cathedral and we all got pictures with Lee Dorian and you got back to the house before everyone I told to leave did.

          • Someone

            It was not during cathedral that the laptop got stolen. It was the second night of MDF

          • david.hall

            i guess you have a crystal ball and knew exactly what i was gonna do. I act more like an 11 year old than a teenager.  what am i shifting blame from?  I am a brash fool but i don’t have a boss so it works out.  I prefer doing something i hate with enemies and making bad movies.  i don’t deal with any labels or bands.  i only make films for the white elk motel.

          • Anonymous

            You agreed to the contract and showed up at the event.  If you had serious concerns about the contract you should have raised the issue before you were at the event. 

            If you wanted to protect yourself against being taken advantage of you should have stipulated some of your own terms.  You could have asked for an advance of cash or you could have insisted on a clause that allows you to hold any footage you shoot until you are paid at which time you will release it.  You can’t be a cowboy and simply take it.  If there were money involved you have a whole whack of lawyers up your ass right now.  You went under the assumption that you would shoot footage and give it to dh at the completion of the project.  If you had an ulterior motive for the beginning your argument holds less weight than you think.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1604803026 Karl Wonkler

          Dove Cordoso openly admits that it was Sonor Management that suggested the Green Room safe for his equipment. Thats pretty well admitting that Dave Cordoso himself opted to assume responsibility for his personal equipment by leaving it there. If he had any leg to stand on, legally, it would be with the Sonor. But we all know what hearsay is in court. So. Sorry, pal. You Fucked up.

      • david.hall

        yeah karl get off my nuts meet me at the white elk in ten minutes

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1604803026 Karl Wonkler

          Why is Cordoso doing this? This is embarrassing.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1604803026 Karl Wonkler

        Wow.
        I got a phone call just now from a friend in real life saying that
        somebody here was crying and dropping the mighty KW WONKLER name left
        and right. Its pretty obvious that you’re Dave Cordoso. This is pretty
        sad for me, Dave C. Being that we were pretty good friends in real life.
        I can’t really trust you, obviously. I mean its the fucking internet.
        Hey did you ever give back that video footage you stole from every band
        affiliated with MDF this year?

        • Ghost

          who the fuck is Karl Wonker anyway!!
          I am tired of david hall and jennifer bullshit, what’s this hollywood Desperate Housewives shit

    • david.hall

      no technically all the bands own the footage.  and you don’t work in the industry so it’s all good. 

  • david.hall

    i’m a bad person bcuz i call men by women’s names and smoke weed and am almost 40 and try to save cash by renting a house for 14 people and for assuming not everyone is a lace-curtain motherfucker and can handle sleeping on the floor.  i’m a bad person for not paying for a stolen laptop that someone left unattented. i’m really bad because i can’t promise to pay for something i can’t afford.  i admit it, i’m a liar – i stole the laptop, i did everything wrong, i purposefully fucked everything up.  i lie about contracts and i lie about everything.  every word i have ever said is a lie.  i live for stress and for chaos. i want to look bad at all times. i’m just trying to cover up for my mistakes that make me look bad at all times.  i always try to fuck everyone over.  everyone who has ever lived and experienced any discomfort has me to blame.  i am a bad person. the shooters are right, they own all the footage. nothing was stolen.  i hope to look bad in front of people i respect.

    please though, no matter what, if you have any decency left in your heart, for the love of all things holy PLEASE do not say anything bad about the White Elk Motel.   

    • Anonymous

      You’re lying about being a liar.

      • Unattented

        that still makes him a liar 

      • Unattented

        that still makes him a liar 

        • Anonymous

           The almighty?  Leave Jesus out of this!  He overestimated the number of people the house could hold.  He’s not perfect.

    • unattented

      maybe they went down being told by the almighty that there was a rented house for them to stay at, to later find out that the owners of the home did not want 13 people in their house..
      SEACREST OUT

    • Lace_curtain_mutherfucker

      the White Elk Motel is dirty.

  • Shet

    i’m not reading all that

    • david.hall

      don’t read it, it’s all lies anyways

  • WAHHHH

    i saw MDF the movie. It’s probably best for everyone involved that the footage was deleted.    

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone else think tapping dancing is super gay?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ArmedHostage Charles Conover

    what a horrible situation. I saw the footage of Ghost performing on NPR’s website, and it looked amazing… I probably would have stuck it out though, because obviously the footage was worth fighting for. I think we should have payed the $600, at  least then the footage might still be around…

  • http://www.facebook.com/ArmedHostage Charles Conover

    what a horrible situation. I saw the footage of Ghost performing on NPR’s website, and it looked amazing… I probably would have stuck it out though, because obviously the footage was worth fighting for. I think we should have payed the $600, at  least then the footage might still be around…

  • squiggs82

    It seems that you had a grudge against Jennifer to begin with.  You stated that if it was anyone else that you would have offered a new laptop right away, and yet “jennifer” didn’t even bring it back up until a day and half later when the issue could have be easily resolved (not just with purchasing a new one, but by actually communicating the problem at hand).  If someone stole my laptop, I’d lose my shit!  I may not ask for someone to replace it, but if someone who I was helping just ignored the problem, then I might get a little more pissed. 

    I have known “Jennifer” for over twenty years, and yet we’ve had our differences at times, he is very reasonable and if you just speak your shit to him/her, things can go much easier.  I think proof of that would be using offensive racist comments with his name attached that he didn’t just kick you to the curb.  He actually tried to talk it out with you.  I don’t know his side, but I don’t hear him whining on articles about how he helped you out and now he has no laptop, and trying to drag your name through the mud. 

  • hahahahaha
  • hahhahhahahahahha

    H5cEH.jpg

  • Trashman

    what a waste of time.

  • anon

    Sounds like the pilot for the gayest soap opera ever… but freelancing 101- insure your gear, common sense. For producing, confront the issues as thats your job as a leader…

  • Jay_cromie

    Your vagina stink’s!!!! Better invest in some douche!!!!!

  • Danielle

    You know who likes reading this drama?  NOBODY.  You know who wants to see some MDF footage?  EVERYBODY.  So with that in mind lets all head over to revaaron’s youtube channel and check out the amazing footage he’s been posting right here:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/revaaron

    As well as the youtube clips he also has a MASSIVE gallery of MDF shots on his site http://www.returntothepit.com/

    Here are some clips you all should get a kick out of

    GHOST!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzK97rb_7As

    VOIVOD!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gldgTHpbquQ

    NEUROSIS!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoEaufQdFu8

    HAIL OF BULLETS!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JhSSuUdKXE

    He has many others up as well so if you’re feeling the crushing loss of this MDF footage is too much to withstand here’s your pressure release.

    • Anonymous

      The Rev does good work, that’s for sure!

    • LOL

      wow this was the most useful post so far 

  • Joe666below

    You exist solely to make money off of bands. Go get real fucked, crybaby.

  • Big Steve

    Sounds like a simple solution is to just pay the crew and start fulfilling obligations down the line? Am I missing something?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.burtch Jeremy Burtch

    Good story.  Shitty circumstances and results.  Ridiculous internet argument.  I’m on the younger end of 30 but have had enough internet arguments to know it’s a HUGE waste of energy and time to bother debating anything on the internet.  That being said, I still side with the author despite the bad decision to take this public.  This would’ve had more weight if someone else had been willing to pour this out for you… like the bands, managers, labels and promoters.

  • GayLord

    You are all retarded.

  • Anonymous

    Everybody involved in this story, Danielle, Jennifer, David Hall, and whoever thought it would make great content for the readers of Decibel, is a fucking idiot.

  • Anonymous

    Zhejiang Online News December 02, Yongjia County, Wenzhou, the early years of a Department of Education Web site news, which has this to say: Dai Moumou vivid and effective teacher’s lesson, the students listened with great interest, very well reflect the new teaching materials characteristics of successful completion of the task of teaching … …
    However, this interesting old lecture, “Dai”, turn into a grass-roots national staff, and today has become a woman with suspected cases of rape of a minor POP Counter “hero.”
    Yesterday came news of Yongjia County People’s Procuratorate, mbt sport 2 wmns pink suspected of rape have been prosecuted under the law Daimou.
    KTV boxes
    POP Counter, deputy director of female minors to get to know
    Daimou, 35, Yongjia. 1997, Daimou in Yongjia County Middle School.
    In August 2008, Daimou was transferred to the town of Yongjia County government if the rock, from the teacher who became a national staff.
    After that, he was also appointed to the town government, deputy director of public affairs services.
    Daimou this has a happy family of three, but all good, but never after he met a woman POP Counter, quietly changed.
    Chen, born in September 1993, when the incident under 18 years of age, Guizhou.
    Before the incident, Chen Yongjia a KTV in the POP Counter when Miss mid-May, in the box and Daimou met.
    Chen accompany Daimou drink, chat … … day of leave each contact. Afterwards, Daimou gonna take her home.
    Later, they often text messages or phone contact, Daimou out of play, will point Chen of Taiwan to the “tip.”
    Corridor within the animal suddenly Daihatsu Daimou
    On 25 May this year, early morning tea Daimou about Chen to chat, to 2 am, Chen intends to go home.
    Chen Mougang the street, I heard someone call her name, looked back and was actually Daimou.
    Daimou Chen proposed to send back, however, to the Chen temporary office on the first floor, he was a large animal hair, use violent means to work his way down in the chair, covered her mouth Chen and Chen’s pants torn .
    Chen has done right knee surgery, because of minor disabilities and unable to resist, ultimately lead to tragedy, Dai Mouqiang line and she had had sexual relations.
    After the incident, Chen and sister holding, crying into a group.
    Live on the opposite side of a neighbor, said Luo, the evening had seen the two sisters cried a lot Chen, Chen’s pants also broke a piece of very messy hair, blood on his face.
    Six transcripts are unwilling to admit the fact of rape
    June 2, Daimou on suspicion of rape, criminal detention, police Yongjia, June 17, was arrested according to law.
    Prosecutors, from the arrested so far, police interrogation transcripts Daimou done six times, each time he refused to acknowledge their own rape.
    Oddity lies, Daimou each confession, actually “go with the evidence.”
    For example, Chen Daimou at first does not recognize mbt kipimo chocolate suede and had sexual relations, however, identified in the DNA results came out, he admitted;
    Wearing a start that night of the murder, is offered to let him work his way to send, and two had been walking side by side on the road.
    When the surveillance video shows Chen and sister side by side that night was to go home, Daimou said that he can not remember.
    The prosecutor handling the case said that confession is changing along with the evidence, confession does not fully reflect the Daimou objective.
    The indictment, found evidence of alleged rape Daimou there forensic identification book, phone call records and SMS records, and more than the testimony of witnesses and so on.

  • Anonymous

    are u gona to delete again?

  • Metalrules{kinda}

    Why are most metal guy totally ignorant, and unable to articulate anything. “Bitch idiot” nice comment I wonder if you even graduated from grade school.

  • Jwooley1

    Wtf? I just realized I was reading seven month old comments about a wanna be Canadian documentary directors inept business practices regarding a death metal festival in Maryland. I think I will go kill myself now.

  • Sunshine666

    what a whiny sack of douche! good thing he couldn’t hack it making videos (who would pay for that garbage??) and now he has a shitty record label for bands no one cares about. 

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  • Blz

    Interesting. I mean… Not interesting.