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Film Thu Jan 16 2014
The reading series Mortified! which excavates notes, journals, and other ephemera written by performers in their youth began in 2002 in LA, and currently has 9 chapters--8 in the United States and one in Malmo, Sweden. Chicago has had a chapter for 8 years, and at long last, a documentary film, Mortified Nation has been made, and premieres this weekend at the Gene Siskel Film Center. I spoke with Shay DeGrandis, the producer for Mortified Chicago.
How many cities does the film cover?
Live shows were filmed in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Portland, and LA. Over 40 hours of film were shot, and it's been edited down to 90 minutes, so it's a small smattering of how big Mortified is.
How do you think the experience of watching the film will compare to seeing a live show?
It's a different experience - you get part of the audience experience but you're missing the reaction - when you're in front of someone reading a Mortified piece you really feel what they're going through - you get to see it up close. In the theater you at least get to experience it as an audience instead of on your own in your living room.
Are the full stories posted online?
They're not posted anywhere yet, we're hoping that if there's enough interest they'll put out more of it.
Do you think the documentary will get more people in to see the live shows?
Yes, we already have way more people asking to do the shoebox session (where a potential participant meets with a producer with a box of stuff they created as a kid, and sort through it looking for the gold). I have 4 shoebox meetings coming up in the next couple of weeks. Usually we only plan one show in advance, but we're working with a couple different dates right now.
When is the next Mortified Chicago show?
April 12th at Schubas.
What else will people get to experience if they go to this weekend's screenings?
There will be Q&A sessions after both screenings (Friday and Saturday) with the filmmakers and Chicago producers.
Note: As of this writing, both shows are sold out, but you can check out more about Mortified here.