Within a stone’s throw of downtown, two large-scale, creative-centered coworking spaces have popped up within the last year. Both Alamo City Studios (ACS) and San Antonio Sound Garden (SASG) officially opened their doors in the early months of this year as homegrown ventures of ambitious proportions
seeking to unite the film and music industries. Taking cues from the coveted Geekdom model, both organizations house individual office spaces for rent in addition to larger communal areas meant for creation and collaboration among like-minded artistic individuals.
Just off Broadway and South Alamo, music hub SASG boasts a newly constructed recording studio, meeting spaces and a large warehouse utilized by photographers and videographers. Musicians, graphic designers and writers are all currently calling the place their 24-hour home. Snuggled next to Alamo City Music Hall, ACS is tailored toward film-centric entrepreneurs with the perk of an enormous warehouse space dedicated to set construction and video production. The space houses casting directors, cinematographers, and visual artists creating 3-D models, prosthetics and various large-scale projects.
Within the San Antonio music industry, dynamic collaborations with other arts entities on a large, relatively successful scale are sparse. Riffs and Reels was conceived from that very deficiency – the team at Santikos, who had previously worked with and has since been supportive of SASG, decided to partner with the organization to showcase local talent and give away some money in the process. As CEO of Santikos Entertainment David Holmes told us, “We knew we wanted to do something to support culture and arts here in the city at the grassroots level. Riffs and Reels is a great means to that end.”
It would be a competition of monumental proportions: 10 selected local bands were to be paired with 10 chosen filmmakers from San Antonio and surrounding areas to create music videos with no money. The artists were encouraged to reach out to their network of friends and industry professionals to see what they could make happen. The 10 music groups would thus get a free, professional music video and the winning filmmaker receives $10,000. Second place walks away with $5,000 and third with $2,500 (money donated by Santikos, promoted and organized by SASG and ACS). Everyone gets a piece of work they are proud of for their demo reel.
Once the concept was nailed down, the team decided to include ACS as the resident film experts. “San Antonio Sound Garden and Alamo City Studios have been cultivating two hidden artistic gems of our city: local music and local filmmakers,” Holmes said. “They’ve proven success in their own fields, polishing local artistic talent to create professional and high quality products homegrown in San Antonio.”
In its inaugural year, Riffs and Reels will feature music videos produced by
Alejandro DeHoyos, Matthew Buikema, Dustin Jacobson, Rogelio Salinas, Sam Lerma, Rod Guajardo, Lauren Bruno, Richard Jemal, Scott Langford and Freddie Munoz. The diverse mix of San Antonio musicians includes Amea, Black Market Club, Josh Glenn Experiment, Lonely Horse, Love Killed the Hero, My Madness, Sioux and Fox, Tera Ferna, Volcan and Xy!o.
All participating parties have been hard at work over the past few weeks creating the biggest and baddest music videos possible. There will be love stories and dancing, drama and classic cars, perhaps even planes and explosions. “Aside from the obvious benefits of winning prize money, there’s a lot more at stake for me,” said filmmaker, producer and director Matt Buikema. “This will serve as a way to show others that San Antonio has some extraordinary talent in the music and film industry. On a more personal level, one of my goals has been for my dad to see one of my productions on the big screen, so in a way I’ve already won.”
Riffs and Reels
$7, Tuesday, June 20, 6pm
Santikos Palladium IMAX Theatre