Brian Jenkins answers the camera's call

Another San Diego musician moves from the music studio to the movie studio

Riot House Records’ Jenkins says, “I think I’m done with music.”
  • Riot House Records’ Jenkins says, “I think I’m done with music.”

“I think I’m done with music. I’ve taken it as far as I can.” Riot House Records label owner and bassist/guitarist Brian Jenkins has joined the growing list of hometown musicians-turned-filmmakers with the release of his own social-justice documentary film project, Answering the Call.

Answering the Call

...official film trailer

...official film trailer

“I stepped away from making music in 2011, I think.” He says he’s worked other types of gigs, such as a sales rep for Coca-Cola, but that he always comes back to making art. He theorizes about the transition among some of the San Diego music community from making tunes to making movies: “Music is so accessible when you are young. And part of the experience of being a musician is that you make music videos, and you do interviews online.” That’s precisely where Jenkins’s own exposure to the film arts began.

“I made a music video for the super-group Empty Mansions,” he tells me by phone, “when they were on my Riot House label. I had no idea what I was doing. I had just the basic editing software and a basic camera.” But despite his entry-level skills, Jenkins says the video got good reviews from Rolling Stone.

Jenkins is 30, lives with his family in Oceanside. Earlier, he co-produced a documentary called Records Collecting Dust made by a couple of locals, musician Jason Blackmore and vinyl dealer Eric Howarth.

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Answering the Call 1.0

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Answering the Call is the first feature in which I’ve done it all — producing, directing, writing.” Jenkins says he made the documentary for $10,000, $7000 of which he fundraised. The balance, he says, came out of his own pocket.

“The hard part about documentaries is that there isn’t a lot of money to be made. The plan, he says, “is to do this for the next 10 to 15 years, and build up a catalog of documentaries that I own the rights to.”

Answering the Call premiers October 21 at the Digital Gym in North Park.

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