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[Review] The Smart Studios Story

The Smart Studios Story

The Smart Studios Story

Director: Wendy Schneider
Rating: N/A
Release Date: March 16, 2016 

The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMM Fest) opened last night with the first Midwest screening of The Smart Studios Story, at The Music Box, and it did not disappoint. The documentary revisits the legendary Madison recording studio that helped birth the indie rock and pop culture scene of the 80’s and 90’s. Founded by Butch Vig and Steve Marker in 1983, the studio produced bands such as Killdozer, The Smashing Pumpkins, L7, Tad, Garbage, and Nirvana. The story chronicles the humble beginnings of the studio, their rise to fame, and the end of a grand era.

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The Smart Studios Story premiered at South by Southwest this year, but this screening here in the midwest, where it rightfully belongs, was quite special. CIMM Fest even provided an exclusive Q&A after the screening where Butch Vig, Steve Marker, and Director and Co-Producer Wendy Schneider were completely open to sharing their experience in making the film, going through memories, even sharing some that didn’t make the film.

Overall, this was one of the best music documentaries I’ve seen in a long time. The bass thumping soundtrack, along with heartfelt interviews from Butch Vig, Steve Marker, Billy Corgan, Dave Grohl, Shirley Manson, Donita Sparks, Chris Walla and tons of great bands were all completely raw and entertaining. The special impact the Midwest continually has on pop culture is eloquently demonstrated, and the story has all the footage to prove.

For more screening and event info, check out their site here.

Angela is a photographer/photojournalist/visionary raised in the mean streets of Chicago. Since 2008, she’s covered everything from concerts for underground and mainstream artists, to food editorial, to just about every type of photography you can think of. Other interests include traveling, anything artsy, Chicago sports, and eating tacos.

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