Meeting Jake was like running into your old friend from elementary school who
who really cool but his family or your family moved away. He was friendly,
outgoing, funny, and was as excited about the whole project as I was. Jake
is the guy you find at the back of a party, beer in hand, ready to save you
from banal chatter with whatever stuff you feel like talking to. As a result,
we ended up spending a lot of our time just chatting about the documentary
and about all the cool things in his house. It's funny how you can share so
much good will with someone who you've never actually met before. The power
Jake had an apartment all his own in a condo development, a cool place for
one person, with two bedrooms (one made into a computer room), a dining room,
and a big ol' leather-couch-filled living room. Just the kind of place to
hang out and play with the PS2 and talk with your buddies. I took a tour
of his place, and saw the futon I'd be sleeping on, where I piled my junk.
I started to get really worried about the sound at this point. The microphone
I'd purchased before heading on my Washington/Richmond trip wasn't working
with the camera, and Jake and I loaded into his new (-ly purchased) vette
and drove down to the music store. I saw some mics there that would be perfect,
but I couldn't just drop the $300 right there. I decided we'd have to make
do with the one I had.
During the ride out to the music store and to get a meal, we ended up
in a little impromptu drag race with a ready-to-rock modified Japanese car.
Jake got that smile I can remember on all sorts of old friends, and
we went for it, blowing the competitor into the dust. We laughed and kept
driving, only to hear a horrible noise to our left as our foe, wanting to
show something for all his modification efforts, rumbled past us.
He was obviously flooring the poor thing, and we heard a horrible sound
from somewhere in its depths, and he slowed down to a crawl, while we
We went back and used the onboard microphone, which works well but has
relatively bad echo in a room. I don't think it's overpowering, because
you can see the room he's in, and I'd gotten some good interviews before
with the mic, but I knew after this trip that the proper mic was paramount.
Jake's interview went really well; we covered his days with his old
machines, his rise into ANSI, and his BBS, Too Fucking Hostile, which he
ran until he went off to college, at the same time quitting his ANSI
Group, the Rulers of Chaos. We did several setups, filming him in front
of his fishtank, his dining room, and facing his hallway (for variety).
By the third hour, we'd covered a ton. A lot of his answers about
things not directly reflecting Rulers of Chaos or his BBS had that great
"Yeah, that was the thing to know about" tone which comes in very useful
in a documentary (someone to cut to to say "I remember that." with a big
smile). It's one of the reasons that one of the first video captures
I put up on the BBS Documentary site was of Jake.
I slept well on that Futon, and headed out the next morning, speaking for
a few minutes with Jake, who didn't leave his bed to say goodbye,
exactly like I would have. I missed hanging with him the minute I