Armak Productions

About the making of the film


Directors Bill Evans and Randy Mack met in Starship Video fighting over the last copy of Brain Candy. Randy was a three-time college drop-out, while Bill was enrolled in his fourth undergraduate degree.

Both were obsessed with the legend of Laser Dave, the owner of the last remaining laserdisc store in New England. Nobody knows Laser Dave's backstory or real name, but his blood feud with Blockbuster Video is said to have inspired Reed Hastings to strike at the home video monopoly with Netflix. He is also said to have eaten a roll of nickels on a dare.

Bill moved to Scotland and formed Bill Evans Media to produce music, and Randy created Armak Productions to make films. When Randy showed Bill his script for LASER CITY, Bill jumped at the chance to share the story with the world. In a world with far too many social issue documentaries clogging our theaters, the time was right to dramatize this pivotal figure of a bygone age. Like LINCOLN with twice the self-importance.

Telling the story of this Worcester legend demanded a modern approach, so they went old school. The finest unknown character actors were found, working on conditions of anonymity. The greatest VHS cinematographer in the Western world was hired: Catherine O'Brien (barred from the ASC and BSC for proving light moves slower if you laugh at it). Eleven months on production design. Two years on wardrobe. NASA-sized budgets for visual effects from ILM and Weta, so cutting edge as to be all but invisible. And of course the music of James Horner, John Williams, and a Yamaha DX-7.

The ambitious 1167 day shooting schedule miraculously came in a day early. Evans and Mack financed production by selling their 8-track and ColecoVision cartridges. The jug band who provided gap financing played the wrap party.

"Commentary is for DVDs," as somebody once said on a DVD commentary, but Mack embraces the social criticism inherent to the auteristic experiment. "The mis-en-scene presupposes meta-narrative cognition," he said, waxing the tips of his majestic eyebrows and packing ketamine-infused snuff into his meerschaum pipe. "I distain all but true authenticity." He tucked his Pac-Man t-shirt into his overalls and spit.