What is it about old abandoned buildings that can be so compelling and alluring? We find out today as we welcome filmmakers Jake Williams and John Shaw to the podcast. Their film Closed For Storm is about a theme park left for ruin in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina 15 years ago.
Closed For Storm shows Six Flags New Orleans in its glory days and current state of abject dereliction.
Along the way, the film also captures the broken dreams and fleeting aspirations of a community still looking for hope.
We find Jake and John in the eye of a different kind of storm in the summer of 2020, as they join us from their homes in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
They tell us how they got legal access to the property, and why so many of us share a fascination with abandoned buildings.
We also talk about how the virus has affected the film industry and what the release of the documentary will look like as film festivals shut down worldwide…
“When Katrina was happening nobody’s minds were on how the theme park was doing. But once the helicopter images came out of the park underwater, it was staggering. They took whatever was valuable, left and abandoned the property.” – Jake Williams
04:17 – Introducing the filmmakers and how things are for both of them at the moment.
06:06 – When and how the film will be released during the pandemic.
08:05 – What the film is about.
10:03 – John’s connection with the area Jazzland/Six Flags New Orleans was in.
13:30 – Where the idea came from to build the park.
14:05 – Our first clip showing the origins of Jazzland/Six Flags.
16:22 – The independent nature of Jazzland and their fight with Six Flags.
19:02 – What it was like living through hurricane Katrina.
21:55 – What happened to the park after Katrina.
23:46 – Our second clip showing what the park is like today.
26:36 – How they gained access to the park.
29:30 – Our third clip showing the East of New Orleans and how the park affected that area.
34:10 – What the underlying message of the film is.
37:20 – What makes abandoned buildings so interesting and how Jake got involved with the ‘abandoned scene’.
42:53 – Where Jake sees his future heading.
44:27 – How John got involved with Closed For Storm.
46:37 – The biggest challenges involved with making the film.
48:26 – How they set up their sound team for the film.
50:05 – What Jake and John are both looking at doing after this.
53:20 – What the future of film festivals looks like.
55:26 – The future of online streaming services.
1:04:21 – The ways disinformation is so easily spread these days.
1:07:05 – What the situation is like in the U.K.
1:11:36 – What it’s like living in America during the pandemic.
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