Only In America | 2002
Only In America was the directorial debut of both Keida Mascaro and Josh Austin, shot in Hollywood in 2002. This film was a loose biopic of the legendary doo-wop band Jay and The Americans. Filmed almost entirely in Keida's bungalow, the film took over 16 days of shooting and almost one year of editing. Over 50 actors were used in the production. Josh and Keida were responsible for everything from set construction to catering. On a typical day, Keida would wake up at 6am; begin breakfast for the cast and crew while reading lines for the days shoot. After everyone was fed and a quick meeting with Josh, shooting would commence, then back to cooking. And so the cycle went until the early hours of the next day. A typical day would see 10+ scenes shot.
After the completion of the film, Josh and I decided to press 200 VHS tapes for all who were involved, and we had a terrific screening at M Bar in Hollywood, owned by good friend Joe Reynolds. Funny note: on a day while shopping for records at Amoeba Records, I came across two copies of our VHS tape in the movie section priced at $6.99. I was pleased that is was $1.00 more than a used copy of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, thought how shitty it was that Aboeba was making money off the film and we were fifteen grand upside-down. I continued shopping.
Around one in the afternoon 3 weeks later, I received a call from New York. It was a Jay and The American's fan that lost a bid on EBay for the same god damned tape. This time, some asshole (not named Josh Austin or Keida Mascaro) made $50.00 off of some crazed fan by selling it online! At $6.99, they were sure to be upset no more than two minutes into the film, yet alone $50.
So this woman was asking me if I would sell her a copy, which I wisely replied "no", however, I told he I was glad to send her a free copy if she liked. We ended up talking for a half an hour or so before she divulged that she was, in fact, a representative for the band Jay and The Americans in Kenny Vance's office. Amazingly, the highest bidder was head of the Jay & The American's fan club. Excited, I offered 5 free tapes, which she was thrilled to receive. The band ended up loving the film, and that's the rest of the story...