I've been making films down in Asbury Park, New Jersey since I stepped foot in film school.  My first film was called "The Last One" about a guy chasing his last beer can.  Believe it or not, it was "inspired" by a Maya Deren film called "At Land."  She's a classic avant-garde filmmaker that everyone attending film school has been exposed to.  Anyway, from that film (in 1988) on I've always shot down there.  It used to be this great seaside resort town.  Loads of wealthy people would flock there to summer away from New York City.  But sometime in the, I guess, 70's the city fell on hard times. The whole place became like something of a ghost town.  Few people go to the beach there.  All the rides that used to line the boardwalk are long gown.  It's depressing.  That's what lead me to decide to make a film about how it is now compared to how it used to be.  Little did I know this adventure would take nearly 11 years to complete.  Mostly due to my laziness.  As I write this, I've actually just finished the film today.  Around 8pm to be precise.  I think it came out pretty good.  I'm just glad to be done.  I always felt bad that I left it incomplete.  So, I've decided to kinda outline how it took me so long to finish the film...enjoy.
 

OCTOBER 24, 1991 - DECEMBER 16, 1991

What I originally planned to shoot for my film project this year at the School of Visual Arts was a short goofy little film called "Day Start."  It was about a guy waking up late and rushing to get to work only to find the store is closed.  It was just your typical cold water, no clean clothes, outta milk kinda thing.  I really wasn't prepared to shoot it the weekend I came home with mounds of equipment I had taken out from school.  On top of that - I had no crew.  I was gonna shoot it all myself.  Naive.  I decided not too waste my time and took the 16mm camera I had down to Asbury to shoot some random footage.  I had an idea about changing my film to a documentary on how Asbury has become a eyesore on the Jersey Coast.  I shot 300 feet of film had it developed and printed at Duart.  I sat down, went through my footage and realized this might work.  In December I shot another 200 feet of film.

JANUARY 28, 1992 - DECEMBER 1, 1992

After Xmas break I got back to work.  I scouted out the whole beach front area.  When I shot last year I just wandered around and filmed whatever caught my eye.  I was planning on shooting a bunch more footage during Spring Break so I wanted to make sure I wouldn't miss anything.  I needed to be organized.  Various people had swooped into Asbury in the past claiming that they had the plan to turn the city around.  The latest entry was a group called Ocean Mile, Inc.  There big plan was to build a giant condo complex right on Ocean Ave.  Not a bad idea.  But it didn't pan out.  Legal troubles like usual.  But I contacted them anyway and a guy there named Bill Poyton agreed to let me inside the Convention Hall to shoot.  He basically gave me free reign - opened the door and said, "lemme know when you're done."  It was cool, and kinda scary, being in this giant building alone.  Climbing the wooden stairs backstage - I totally expected a ghost to jump out.  None did.  So that week I shot all around the Asbury coast.  Shot 1400 feet of film.  Three minutes per 100 feet - you can do the math.  I didn't expect the film to be longer than 10 minutes or so.  But there's so much to shoot down there, it's hard not to go crazy...
Amy (my girlfriend at the time) - her dad grew up in Asbury.  He even knew Danny DeVito who's from there, too.  He said his brothers and him never liked DeVito much and used to throw rocks at him.  Anyway, he agreed to narrate the film.  Originally, I was gonna have a few different people talk about the "old" Asbury.  But when I realized I was gonna have a 10 minute film it just seemed to make more sense to stick with one voice that could become familiar threw the film and maybe people could connect with.  We sat down one night and went through the whole area.  Her dad's a funny guy, very outgoing, etc. so he was the perfect one to do it.  It was cool just hearing him talk about how great the place was back when he was a kid.  Made me feel a little cheated I never got to enjoy it...
In May I started to assemble my footage.  I basically grouped things together and decided to keep things easier I'd just cut the picture like we were taking a walk down the boardwalk, from South to North.  This is where I started getting lazy.  Once school broke for the summer in May with my film unfinished I didn't touch it again until December...