The idea of pairing together representatives of the two largest ANSI groups,
iCE and ACiD, had been brewing in my mind for quite some time. When Lord Soth,
who I'd previously interviewed and had gotten to know fairly well, moved out
to California, near RaD Man, I saw a great chance. Bringing it up with both
of them, they both thought it a great idea and we set the wheels in motion.
The arranged location ended up having an entirely other meaning in its own
way; it was the remnant of one of the so-called "dot-coms" that boomed through
San Francisco in the mid to late 1990's. In this case, the remaining half-dozen
employees were merely stationed there to run out the lease on the floor, which
once housed many dozens; there were examples of all the excesses of the era
littered about. The ANSI folks are interviewed on multi-thousand-dollar couches
and pillows (custom-made) that were just asking to be filmed. I was given a
nice tour of the location by massd; what struck me the most was the hundred
thousand dollar (that's $100,000) light table, many, many feet long, that
populated one part of the floor. I'm sure it was destined for the junkyard
when the floor was finally closed. The strange recycled-materials-look of the
decor, the top-flight-of-all-models sense to the furniture, desk and lights;
I was glad even a little bit of it was captured on film.
RaD Man was particularly hot to get himself re-interviewed; in his own
mind he'd somehow blown his first interview with me the previous year.
I don't believe this to be the case at all, and portions of his interview
show in the final documentary. But he wanted a second at-bat, so to speak,
and here he could shine while with the iCE members as well. Naturally,
then, the remaining interviewees were surpised when RaD Man insisted the
interview start very, very late in the evening, ensuring a past-midnight
wrap if the interview went even a little bit well.
I took advantage of the gained hours (arriving early in the evening) to
have a nice dinner with Slothy and massd, and we talked about various bits
of gossip from ANSI history and about Slothy's ensuing release date for
the game he'd been working on, "Savage". He in fact had moved to San
Francisco to be closer to the game development company, which was why he
was out here in the first place.
We came back, and still had time to conduct a full-length interview with
just massd and Slothy. I asked them questions that enabled them to bounce
off each other, and got some great material, especially out of massd, who
had long-ago sealed off his ANSI time as pure history, and was now looking
at it with a set incredulity that he spent so much time on it.
RaD Man showed up late, and we immediately commenced the "summit". It turned
out that one of ACiD's top sysops, Sharp, had literately called that day
to RaD Man saying he was in town, and if they wanted to do something. RaD Man
said "Oh, yeah" and so Sharp had been pulled into this interview. I made sure
(like I always try to do) that Sharp understood what project this was and
what it was all about, so he'd be making an informed decision about being
a part of it. Since I didn't know who he was, I thought the interview might
end up being "the other guys and Sharp", but in fact he was right in there
with the rest of them for the whole interview. A truly excellent bonus.
While it would have been funny in some vague sense to have had all the parties
truly facing off against each other, this simply wasn't the case. Like
all top leaders in a subculture, they had long realized they had more in
common with each other than with the rest of the world for what they'd
gone through, and would benefit more talking together than against each
other. I phrased the questions to be rather open, and I think we got some
real killer quotes out of it all; the years of experience and knowledge
in the room was quite obvious as the answers came out.
After the interview, it was astoundingly late, and I was due to drive a
very long way the next day. It was offically too late for me to come stay
at Joe Russack's place, who had offered me a place to stay and here I'd
disappeared on him (again). So Sorry, Joe. Massd offered me a place to stay
overnight at his apartment, and as I prepared to leave from the weird place
I'd parked (no ticket, nobody broke into my car, hooray), I got a call that
Slothy's car was locked in the parking garage for the night! So it ended up
being me, Slothy and Massd heading back to Massd's to get a night's sleep.
Massd, by the way, has a great place, a soaring apartment with many neat
angles and a nice setup. I found a spot in the spare bedroom and basically