Louisville filmmaker Scott Shuffitt will screen his new documentary about the struggles of independent record stores Saturday at the Louisville Science Center.
Shuffitt began working on “Brick and Mortar and Love” in early 2010 after former ear X-tacy owner John Timmons issued a public appeal to help save his store. Shuffitt originally hoped the film would be a rally call to keep the store’s doors open, but ear X-tacy closed before the documentary could be completed.
“Obviously that can’t happen now. But the idea is still the same, that there are still independent record stores that need support,” Shuffitt says.
Now, Shuffitt hopes his film will help others understand the struggles independent music retailers face and what the cultural insight music communities stand to lose if they fail.
“I appreciate culture. When I would go into ear X-tacy it was inspiring to me to be in there, to be in that place, to be surrounded by the feel of the store,” he says. “To know that the people who worked there loved and cared about music and were excited about turning me on to new music, that’s very valuable.”
Timmons will join Shuffitt for a Q & A session after the film.
Though “Brick and Mortar and Love” focuses Timmons’ struggles to keep ear X-tacy afloat, it also takes a wider look at the health of the independent record store across the United States.
“They’re all struggling. The music industry, things have been tough for music retail for several years. It wasn’t just John,” says Shuffitt.
Shuffitt interviewed owners of other venerable indie stores like Cincinnati’s Shake-It Records and Austin’s Waterloo Records about the effect the tough economy and a struggling music industry has had on independent music retailers.
“The record stores that are out there, they’re trying really hard. They’re fighting every day to keep their customers, to build their customer base, and to make sure their customers are satisfied. But it’s not an easy fight by any means,” he says.
Saturday’s screening starts at 7 p.m. “Brick and Mortar and Love” will open in the Nashville Film Festival later this month.