Cruising In The Van Productions announced today that their award-winning documentary feature Life on the V: The Story of V66 will receive domestic distribution on DVD and home entertainment from MVD Entertainment Group. The DVD will be released on Tuesday April 7, 2015. Digital distribution platforms will follow shortly thereafter. Today’s announcement comes on the 30th anniversary of the channel V66’s premiere on TV on February 12, 1985.
Life on the V: The Story of V66 tells the story of V66, the hugely popular music video channel that was broadcast throughout the Boston area during the height of the music video craze in 1985-86, only to disappear from the airwaves after 18 months. 30 years later, the fans remain and memories of this channel have formed an important place in 80s nostalgia. The documentary focuses on this music outlet that came out at a time when cable penetration was minimal in New England and when MTV was scarcely available. Told from the perspective of radio legends and channel co-founders, John Garabedian and Arnie “Woo Woo” Ginsberg, as well as a who’s who in the Boston 80s music scene, the film provides a comprehensive behind-the-scenes view of what it was like to be a part of the magic happening at this station that still brings back a flood of enthusiastic emotion for those fans who were glued to their TVs years ago.
The documentary team tracked down and interviewed over 30 former V66 employees (executives, VJs, technical crew, interns, marketers, stylists, and editors), over 30 musicians who were either on V66 or influenced by V66 (including members of The Cars, The J. Geils Band, New Edition, ‘Til Tuesday, Extreme, The Del Fuegos, Puddle of Mudd, The Lemonheads, Dropkick Murphys, and Morphine), and over 15 fans. Interviews were filmed in people’s homes, workplaces, rehearsal spaces and music venues.
Life on the V: The Story of V66 made its World Premiere in April 2014 at the Independent Film Festival Boston, the highest attended film festival in New England. Over three hundred fans lined up multiple blocks to see the premiere and stick around for a lively Q&A featuring the filmmakers and former V66 employees. Later in 2014, it screened at Independent Television and Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Documentary. It also screened at Somewhat North Of Boston Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Rock Doc (Music Related Documentary). At the end of 2014, film critic Andrew Osborne (Double Toasted) named Life on the V his #10 Best Movie of 2014.
“MVD has released so many great documentaries, including many well-received music docs” says Life on the V director Eric Green. “After already receiving such a positive response from audiences at film festivals, I’m thrilled that the story of V66 that I’m telling through my documentary can be shared with even more fans throughout the country, and with those who are nostalgic for the 80s music scene, through film distribution by MVD.”
“I believe every city across the USA has a similar story: a show emerges that is truly cutting edge, different and happening” says MVD General Manager Ed Seaman. “Life on the V transcends its regional appeal as everyone can relate to this theme, and we are thrilled to be representing this poignant documentary”.
The film began in August 2007, when the filmmakers met with V66 founder John Garabedian to propose a documentary film about V66. Mr. Garabedian was incredibly supportive of the proposal that the producers, who grew up as fans of the music video channel when they were children, were so passionate about.
Through social media, fans from all over began following, tweeting, and spreading the word about the V66 documentary. For a film that wasn’t even finished or released yet, the documentary amassed a huge following with over 5,000 fans on social media. They created trailers to generate interest, and boy, did it: the videos were viewed over 33,000 times.
On February 12, 1985, the free channel, V66 went live on the air and created an immediate sensation. V66 was in the right place at the right time to showcase Boston’s superstar acts of this era as well as the new rising stars from Boston’s music scene. They also broadcast live concerts and events all over the Boston area. The fans on the street, dancing at the clubs and calling in to win contests became as much a part of the channel as the music being played. On September 21, 1986, V66 signed off the channel 66 airwaves. While V66 wasn’t around for very long, the influence was immense. Fans never forgot it in the decades since. Life On The V captures that moment in time, by combining archival footage with newly shot interviews told by the people who lived it.
About Cruising In The Van Productions
Cruising In The Van Productions is a film production company based out of Boston, Massachusetts, whose mission is to make high quality motion pictures using cost-effective measures. Co-founders Eric Green and Matthew Nerney grew up in the Boston suburb of Bedford together. Their first production was the 16mm short To Be John Woo (2002) written and directed by Mr. Green. It had a successful run on the film festival circuit from 2002 through 2004. The next production was the mini-DV short Musician For Hire. Since its debut in 2004, it has screened at film festivals all over the world, streamed the web, played on TV in New York and won an award (Best Music Video for the music video sequence at the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival).www.cruisinginthevan.com
The film is available for pre-order here and will be available in stores April 7, 2015.