July 7th, 2010

This is a story about a love for music and the strength of friendship. Sasquatch is a three-day music festival in eastern Washington, just 2.5 hours from Seattle. Thousands travel to the Gorge Amphitheater for the live bands, to camp on the grass, and celebrate with friends.

Spike Kane grew up immersed in the world of live music, witnessing the rise of bands such as The Clash and Echo and the Bunnymen. Many of his old friends in Liverpool are still musicians. For the last five years, Spike was unable to go to shows or even appreciate the music so vital to his existence.

In June, 2010, Spike returned to the Gorge with the help of his friends, to once again participate in a music festival.

Read more About “Sasquatch or Bust” including tech tips after the jump!

The mantra I’d heard during my three months in NYC at MediaStorm, was “everyone has a story.” I wasn’t looking for one when I returned to Seattle; I hadn’t even unpacked my luggage when Lu bundled me off to Sasquatch with our friends Jeff and Sabrina to meet up with Spike, Andy, and the RV “Roxy.”

During the time we spent with Spike, I had a chance to get to know him better and to see how much his accident impacted him. Just as much, I saw how his friends stuck with him; later, when I interviewed him, I learned just how much that really was. Spike can’t feel anything below his chest and his body has developed a safety check. When something is wrong, he rapidly develops a fever. This occurred twice during the festival, so people stuck around, playing badminton or drinking and talking as they waited for him to recover. If he couldn’t make the show, neither would they. I couldn’t include this in the video, but for him, lying in the back of the RV feeling miserable, he could hear people outside having fun and it relaxed him, letting him know he could focus on getting better. And, even in those moments, he was lively, humorous, and kind.

Without quite realizing it, I began to take more video and stills of him on my Canon Powershot G10, the only camera I brought with me. A couple weeks later I reached out to Spike and asked if we could do an interview, something to build the spine of the narrative, and when he agreed we set out to tell this story of music and friendship.

I worked with friend and stock photographer Tim McGuire to do the two-camera interview. During the editing process, when I realized I wanted to include references to some of the musicians Spike grew up with, I reached out to photographers who might have images.

Ellen van Bodegom ( and Mark McNulty ( and were kind enough to contribute their work. Adding to the sweetness of it, you’ll note McNulty is Liverpool based, the same place where Spike grew up.

Production can be broken down into sections by assets. I had a mishmash of still images from various point and shoots, including my Canon Powershot G10 (on which I also shot SD video) and a Canon Powershot D10. These required a little special handling to get them into, and playing nice, in Final Cut Studio.

At Spike’s, Tim McGuire and I used Canon 5D Mark II’s on Manfrotto 055XDB Tripod Legs and hand held (with no stabilization), and dual system audio. For this I used an Edirol R-09HR Audio Recorder and Sennheiser ME-66.

Production was done on a MacBook Pro and Lacie 2big 2TB drive using Final Cut Studio and Pluraleyes to sync sound.

And finally: Roxy never had spray paint on her. The title image, from which the name “Sasquatch or Bust” originated, was from an RV just behind us.

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  1. […] Filmmaker Tim Matsui met Spike at the festival and got chatting. He shot some footage on the Canon Powershot G10 that he’d taken with him, but soon realised there was a story to be told here – so he asked Spike if he’d be willing to share it. […]

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