No matter where you live in the world there are a few entertainment venues which everyone is familiar with. Madison Square Garden. The Grand Ole Opry. Royal Albert Hall. Sydney Opera House. The O2. Hollywood Bowl. And The Apollo Theatre. Everyone either wants to play there or see a show in these venues.
Opening its doors back in 1934, the Apollo Theatre is situated in the Harlem area of New York City. As its reputation has grown it has come to be known as a venue in which dreams are made or broken. Huge stars like James Brown, Lauren Hill, Ella Fitzgerald, and Jimi Hendrix launched their careers here. Over the next nine decades it has become a revered institution within the African American community.
Brian Storm’s 19 minute short film focuses on the infamous Amateur Night at The Apollo. Basically it was the way in which musicians/singers captured the attention of fans before the likes of things like American Idol or America’s Got Talent. Each year thousands of performers/singers line up outside the theatre to audition in front of judges to see if they have the stuff to perform on Amateur Night.
Amateur Night is tough. The crowd at The Apollo Theatre is notoriously tough. They have been known to boo many a singer/performer off the stage. If they don’t like you they certainly let you know. Loudly.
We follow three people involved in this process – one judge and two hopeful singers. Each is interviewed giving their stories about how they feel about the Apollo, how important they see Amateur Night at the Apollo as and what they hope to accomplish. Intimate storytelling.
Amazing when you know that this 2008 documentary, developed under MediaStorm Storytelling Workshop, was made in a week or less as mandated by MediaStorm.
Highly engaging short fillm is streaming on OVID.tv
Reporting & Editing: Ricky Montalvo, Bernadette Tuazon, Evan Vucci
Producer: Bob Sacha
Executive Producer: Brian Storm
Additional Reporting: Bob Sacha
Additional Production: Eric Maierson
Graphics Package: Tim Klimowicz
Workshop Director: Jessica Stuart