Move over, mumblecore. There’s a new film genre overtaking Boston, and it’s not nearly as muddled in sound and comedy. Say hello to rumblecore, the unofficial sound of Allston behind the lens.
This summer, director Andrew Gibson will begin work on his newest feature film, Gutterbug, a gritty indie drama about a homeless street punk trying to find his way home on his birthday. Based off a short film he made last fall, Gutterbug will take place in the streets, shops, and basements of Allston—with about 80% of the total footage being filmed in the neighborhood. True to the area, the movie’s biggest appeal is the soundtrack. Local punk bands Nice Guys, Black Beach, Gymshorts, Midriffs, and more will contribute, while James Fraser and Ben Berners-Lee of local band The Symptoms are set to record the score. Fellow Allston residents Tom Fitzgerald is tapped as the cinematographer, and Leigh Lanocha is set to produce.
Locals under the impression that they’re unfamiliar with director Andrew Gibson’s work will quickly realize they know it well. After working as Allston Pudding’s video production manager (The Growlers, Krill, Speedy Ortiz), an independent music video director (Ian Sweet, Nice Guys, Juan Wauters), and working on blockbuster films (American Hustle, Grown Ups 2, Clear History), Gibson has a scroll of credentials spilling out of his pocket. As such, he hopes to keep Gutterbug as local as possible to uphold his DIY ethos and values: there’s open casting sessions in hopes of casting an all-Boston cast.
“We watched Dune every weekend this winter while we were writing the script. Some of that wackiness trickled into the script, even though I still have no fucking clue what is going on in that movie and I’ve seen it like 30 times,” laughs Gibson. “But after making the short [film], we were stoked on how it turned out and really wanted to explore that character and universe more. Developing it into a feature length was an obvious choice, especially here in Allston.”
A feasible misconception fans of Gibson’s last project may have is that the film will be shot on VHS tape. While he has a long history of shooting on VHS, and a handful of teaser footage for Gutterbug was done on VHS, no scenes for the feature film itself have been shot yet. “It will have a different look and feel entirely because the cinematographer we are working with, Acton Fitzgerald, is incredibly talented and progressive with the camera. He will take this thing to a whole new level,” says Gibson. “We originally wanted to shoot on 16mm film but it was just too expensive and we couldn’t justify it, so now we are shooting digitally with an Arri.”
As they gear up to get the film into production this summer, Gibson and his crew are keeping their eyes zoned in on the music aspect of the film. “We wanted to use local music because the bands in Allston fit the vibe we are going for in the film,” he explains. “The Allston DIY basement scene had an influence on the script and the characters we developed, so it made the most sense to use bands from that scene. Expect a lot of musician cameos, too.”
To help support the film, or to snag a cameo in the production, head to the Gutterbug site via their IndieGoGo campaign. From there on out, it’s light, camera, Allston.