Before there was Youtube there was Public Access TV. Community programming open to anybody who had something to say, sing or scream about!...passionate preachers, amateur wrestlers, fringy talk shows, cult groups and musicians looking for a stage. Quirky, unpolished and often fascinating, it was pre-internet and pre-satellite TV, in fact it was TV with 12 channels compared to todays endless stream of programming and internet access. So finding locally produced gems on the public access channel was special and very entertaining.
The Reed Sisters were both an inspiration and a curiosity. I was tickled by their homegrown, DIY style and impressed with their creativity and determination yet there was always something peculiar about it.
Interviewing the sisters allowed me to look beneath the surface of my early and limited impressions to get a closer look at the forces that were shaping their lives and identity. As I got to know them and learned about their experience I realized they were a lot more than images on a TV screen. They are real people with their own story.
The anthropologist in me sees their show as an artifact of history and of my memory and is therefore worth preserving. The filmmaker in me wants to make sense of the world, tell a good story and have fun along the way! The Reed Sisters have a story that could slip through the cracks if you’re not looking. Now let’s get on with the show!!