Baseball Punx is a short documentary about DIY Punk and Baseball. Mitch McSteamy talked with Baseball Punx’s director Jak Kerley about the documentary.
First off Jak, why don’t you tell the fine people of San Diego who you are and what you do?
Hi San Diegans! I’m a filmmaker. I produce short films and music videos under the name Shibby Pictures. Most of the movies I make are related to the DIY punk scene, whether it be directly with a music video or documentary, or in a less direct manner by using similar ethics to produce narrative movies. A lot of the stuff I make is very personal. I want people to relate very heavily to it. I think it’s really important to provide something for people so they can not feel alone, and I hope I accomplish this by either making a short film that they feels understand them, or a video for a song that does the same.
Baseball and Punk Rock are not usually something that goes hand in hand (unless you’re in Pulley). What was the inspiration behind this project?
The inspiration for this really comes from years and years of an interest in both, and noticing they continually intersect. Whether it’s the Dropkick Murphys doing a song for the Red Sox in 2004, Modern Baseball, or one of the dozens of baseball-themed punk bands, it’s something that I noticed just kept coming up over and over. After a while of that I decided to drive into the topic and try and find out why those two are linked so much.
What are some of the specific topics this film tackles?
It covers a lot of ground in a short period of time. It does it’s best to link baseball and punk together, obviously. One thing it addresses is the heavy presence of failure in each. A great deal of the documentary also focuses on the political aspect of each; It talks about race, gender, LGBT+ equality, and other things you wouldn’t quite expect a documentary to talk about.
Who were your favorite people to work with on Baseball Punx and how did you link up with them?
Everyone I interviewed was a pleasure to work with! They were all pre-existing friends I had met over the years, so getting in contact with everyone was pretty easy. The only person I talked with that I didn’t already know was Scott Radinsky from Pulley. In addition to being a front man for that band, he’s also currently the pitching coach for the LA Angels. I got in contact with him very early in production, but it was tough for our schedules to line up because we both work in baseball, which is a very time consuming field. Even the day of the interview was tough to get a hold of him because the time for the game we went to catch him after was moved up 5 hours. Eventually we ended up getting his attention as he walked off the field into the dugout, then met outside with him shortly after to conduct the interview. Although there was a period of time where I was nervous we wouldn’t get his attention!
When and where can one see this rad film?
It’ll be online to watch for free starting on Feb 16th, on ShibbyPictures.com!
Who would you like to thank for supporting you on this film?
So many people! I conducted 10 interviews, and only ended up using 7 of them due to time constraints, so thanks to all of those people. My friends Zach, Taber, and Joshua helped with a lot of production. And my friend Tony who worked really hard on the sound editing to get everything just right. Also to everyone that encouraged me to keep working on it. So many people were like, “I have no idea how that can work, but I need to see it.”
Do you have any final words to all the punk in the SD scene?
Keep going to shows. Build a community. Construct a model of the way you want to see the world work. (That’s why we do this.) Be nice. Practice consent. Use protection. Punch Nazis. Create space for people who are different than you. Stay alive for as long as possible. Remind yourself how lucky you are to be alive the same time Tom Kalnoky is making music.
Thanks Jak for taking the time and talking about Baseball Punx!
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Interview by Mitch McSteamy