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"Rebel Beat" is the first documentary to capture LA's oldest underground music scene: LA Rockabilly. LA Rockabilly is more than just a music scene. Today it's part of the growing "low brow kustom culture" movement that includes hot rod and custom car clubs, tattoo art, pinup modeling, burlesque, comic book and illustrated art and retro fashion. Where the "swing" fad of the 90s embraced a "yuppie" version of American retro, rockabilly tells a working class story. This documentary uses the 50-year story of LA rockabilly to showcase an unlikely cast of rebel cohorts who intersects in a parallel universe LA flung far from the Sunset Strip.

The laid back cousin of the more commercial psychobilly, LA Rockabilly remains a low brow, low-fi, sexy culture with a passion for its retro roots.  "Rebel Beat" captures LA Rockabilly's small town soul at car shows, swap meets, barbecues, barrio cafes and hidden juke joints - far from the Strip - before pulling up to the West Coast's biggest rockabilly party of the year, Viva Las Vegas, to meet an only-in-LA mix of ex-punks, ex-pats, cowgirls, record collectors, pinup models, musicians, artists, hot rodders, DJs, record producers, promoters, swing dancers and kids from LA's Latino barrios with a taste in music that spans from 40s western swing to 60s Mexican strolls.

"Rebel Beat" interviews over 30 promoters (including legendary Rockin' Ronny Weiser of Rollin' Rock Records), musicians (including Glen Glenn, Ray Campi, Big Sandy, Dave Gonzales and Janis Martin), car customizers, DJs and dancers, plus features rare archival photos, vintage TV clips and music montages that highlight the fashion, cars, pomps, ink and dance moves of the pussycats and hound dogs of LA Rockabilly, a strange family who share the distinctly American bent to define reality on their own terms and an LA creativity for casting the past with the hand-picked heroes, making for one hell of a party.

DVD Specs
§ TRT: 104 minutes (not including bonus material).
§ LA-Based Music History/Subculture Documentary.
§ Independently produced and financed as a special interest documentary for DVD.
§ The first-ever historical overview of rockabilly as an LA music culture.
§ Features 20 live and recorded tracks including vintage rockabilly hits, western swing, garage strolls, Mexican rock n' roll and doo-wop.
§ All music performed by Southern California rockabilly artists.
§ Shot entirely on miniDV.
§ Shot between 2002 and 2004 with the majority of filming in 2003.
§ Shot on locations throughout Los Angeles and at a rockabilly convention in Las Vegas.
§ Features over 40 interviews with a multi-generational, multi-ethnic cast.
§ Retail U.S. distribution handled by RedEye Distribution as of Feb 07.
§ Distribution sponsorship from My Baby Jo.
§ Bonus material includes vintage 1970's Ray Campi music video, a video of the 'Rockin' Ryan show that got Ryan banned from the Viva Las Vegas convention, outtakes, and a vintage clip of the Mexican hat dance!

Cast
Musicians: Glen Glenn, Ray Campi, Janis Martin, Dave Gonzales (The Paladins), Big Sandy, Skip Heller, DJ Bonebrake (X), Tony Conn, Luis Arriaga (Los Wild Teens), Tony Pelaya (The Moonlight Cruisers), Omar Romero (The Stringpoppers), Graham Tichy. Promoters, Labels, Publishers: Ron Weiser (Rollin' Rock Records), Reb Kennedy (Wild Records), Tom Ingram (Viva Las Vegas), Marc Bristol (Blue Suede News), Bob Timmers (Rockabilly Hall of Fame), DJ Tony, DJ Chuy. Scenesters: Jaynelle Cici (pinstriper), Joseph Garcia (car customizer), Isaiah Villarreal (My Baby Joe clothing store), Aaron Kahan (Burbank Choppers car club), Max (Victorville Emperors car club), Rudy Camacho (car guy), Damen Robinson (Praise the Lowered clothing and accessories), Javier Estrella (dancer), Erica Sanchez (dancer), Christian Ortiz (dancer), Rick Garcia (scenester), Bill Acton (Fender), John and Jillian Cox-Villanueva (dancers), Celia Funez (dancer), Al Betancourt (scenster), Giovanni Verduzco (teen scenster), Nicole Marrujo (scenster).

Crew
Writer/Director/Editor: Elizabeth Blozan, Betty Vision Media (betty-vision.com, rebelbeat.com). Freelance magazine, TV and PR writer. Contributing editor, IDA's "Documentary" magazine. Graduate UC Santa Cruz (American Studies). This is her first film.
Director of Photography: Bryan Donnell. Veteran film and TV cinematographer. MFA, USC School of Film & Television.
Music & Music History Consultant: Skip Heller (www.skipheller.com). Noted jazz guitarist, film & TV composer, record producer and author of liner notes on over 40 albums.
Original Illustration: Shawn Dickinson, Noah Snodgrass, Untamed Highway Underground Comics (www.untamedhighway.com).
Featured Pinup Model: Bernie Dexter (www.berniedexter.com).
Bernie's Pinup Photography: Levi Dexter
Additional Pinup Photography:
Marco Patino.
Additional Press Photography: Gino Espinosa, David Harrison, David Doyle.
Additional Camera: Jeff Scott, Robert Davidian, Rob Cammidge, Sandy Bangasser, Café, Betty Addams.
Technical Online Support: Michael McCarthy.

Tracks
"Johnny's Jive" (Ray Campi, 1957) "One Cup of Coffee" (Glen Glenn, 1958) "Please Tease Louise" (Rockin' Ryan and the Real Goners, Golly Gee Records, 2004) "Major Label Blues" (Ray Campi, Rollin' Rock Records, 1976) "Spanky Goes to Hollywood" (The Moonlight Cruisers, 2004) "That Certain Female" (Charlie Feathers, Rollin' Rock Records, 1973) "Loretta" (Ray Campi, 1958) "Rockabilly Man" (Ray Campi, Rollin' Rock Records, 1981) "Don't Ya Lie To Me" (Rip Carson, 2001) "Caged Heat" (Rockin' Ryan and the Real Gonners, Golly Gee Records, 2004) "Power Shake" (The Paladins, Live 2003) "Stay Away from Me" (Omar and the Stringpoppers, Live 2003) "Boogie Boogie Boo" (Ray Campi, Rollin' Rock Records, 1974) "Feelin' Kinda Lucky" (Big Sandy, HighTone Records, 1998) "Baila" (The Moonlight Cruisers, 2004) Traditional Mexican Song (Vintage mariachi band, Live 2003) "Rebel Donna" (Little Luis y Los Wild Teens, Live 2003) "What A Dream It's Been" (Big Sandy, HighTone Records, 1999) "I've Got a Gal" (The Lonely Blue Boys, Live 2003) "That Rockabilly Music" (Ray Campi, Rollin' Rock Records, 1980) "Skeletor" (DVD Menu Music: The Moonlight Cruisers, 2004).


DP Bryan Donnell


Consultant Skip Heller

This film was more or less made in my apartment in Santa Monica using a Sony Vaio PC and come to think of it, on almost entirely "borrowed" software!  Including (I shudder to remember) Premier 6.0. Some effects and audio work was added later in a shop that used PremierPro.

Marketing, packaging, web design were also done by me (with some help on the DVD cover from Danny Ortiz).  And I guess if anybody buys this online I'll be doing some shipping, too!