▶ DERBY (1971) Trailer – ok, I made a film I loved….but what about the skaters and fans?


▶ DERBY (1971) Trailer – YouTube.

Click on link above to see short trailer for the film Derby.

I backed and produced this film in 1971, hoping to make a film all the Derby fans and skaters would like…..well it turned out to be an art film about America at that time that played 6 film festivals (from San Francisco to Dallas to Atlanta to Toronto to London, and was judged best films at most) and was loved by all major film critics, but the skaters and fans didn’t care much for it at all.

I am very proud of it….it was a groundbreaking cinema verite 40 years ago, and Roger Ebert gave it 4 stars, and it was considered one of the ten best films of the year by most critics, but didn’t do well at the box office, which was not unusual for documentaries at this time. Because one of the Today show personalities loved it so much, in the late 90s I was on Today talking about it and the revival of Rollerjam.

40 years later we have “Derby Baby”…..two very different approaches to the game.

Some times you can’t put a monetary value on what you do that you like. I think one of my favorite reviews was by Sports Illustrated: (to paraphrase) “It is amazing that this is the first sports film about a suspect sport that is so honest. If you loved “The Knute Rockne Story” (a fabricated film about the legendary Notre Dame coach), then you will hate “Derby”.

It is available at Amazon; I have fresh VHS copies…..great Roller Derby action, but not really a Derby film. Remember if you watch it, it wasn’t scripted and the lighting and dialog is not always the best.

I will post the New York Times review in my next post.

One more great bit of excitement for Rollercon


Really exciting news…..my good friend Baron Wolman is coming to Rollercon.

I wrote about him in another post.  Baron was the first chief photographer for Rolling Stone, and his classic photographs from that era grace many galleries and all of the Hard Rock Cafes.

He was on stage at Woodstock, and you may have seen him on PBS recently when he introduced his photo book of that weekend.

If you go to http://www.baronwolman.com, you will see the amazing photographs he has produced; ….he wandered into our arena one day and started taking Derby photos, and they are the basis of the classic book: “From Roller Derby to Rollerjam”……no one else has ever caught the game the way he has.  At the top of his website click on “beyond rock” and you will get the idea.

This is how he captured Joan Weston and Ann Calvello…..(do not copy this photo without his permission!)  look at some of the other photos on his site.

Roller Derby, 1967

He recently published a book on “Groupies” which is absolutely beautiful.  And he created the wonderful fashion magazine of the 70’s “Rags”.

Anyway, he will be hanging with Judi and me (and I imagine looking for some great shots…..I would love him to do the great photo book on Modern Roller Derby people, so look Derby when you see him)

Although the greatest rock photographer, he is so cool.  check him out  at either at the Roll Models booth (#24), or at Brown Paper Tickets booth.  You want to get a photo with the commish and with the Legend.  I charge 19 cents…..I don’t know his fee.

 

What to do at Rollercon besides skating (which I don’t do)


The first Rollercon I attended was in 2006, and I don’t remember exactly why I went.

I think it was because Loretta “little Iodine” told me about it, and I had met the Windy City Rollers and my first Derby wife Val Capone the year before.

And Judi Flowers sent along 300 pair of her flower slippers that had been featured on Oprah and Sex and the City and we gave them out…..anyone still have them?

Judi and Jerry:

Photo: IMG_7904

Loretta and I were so honored to be introduced and get to say hello to everyone at the big opening dinner (gone the way of the dodo bird).

July 30 to August 4 at the Riviera in Las Vagas will be either my fifth or sixth.  Ivanna and Trish and all the people who put together this amazing event are wonderful…..at least to me it has become the centerpiece of modern Roller Derby, even more than the championships……over 5000 from all over the world (will there be anyone there from the leagues in China, Russia, Korea, South Africa, Egypt, Israel, etc?) because this is Roller Derby Mecca.  The best skating instruction, the best functions, seminars, trade show etc.  It is really Roller Derby University, where it is not as much what you learn, but who you meet, hang with, and make even more bonding relationships.

First league being formed in Russia:  in line skates for now!

Photo: Our traning of 5 June. We usually have around 10 people, there are several who are coming every time, but also we get some new guys every training, what's good. It is sunny in St.Petersburg. and we are enjoying it on the Palace Square (in front of the Hermitage, yep)

I have never been a skater (unless you count my time on the banked track in a match race with a sponsor (I had sense enough to lose) or when I skated with the Singer midgets (their actual name) when they were in Hollywood filming “The Wizard of Oz”…….I hope that doesn’t date me).

But boy, this is my Disneyland, Space Shuttle, Super Bowl all wrapped in one.

And Brown Paper Tickets, the only ticketing company with a full Derby Division with Derby people, has me doing sales and outreach for them.  This not just for profit, fair trade company had me start with them last September.   And if you can imagine the logistics of doing every admission function for Rollercon, you can see what a snap they would be to handle your league (lowest service fee, no cost to you, magnificent customer service….www.brownpapertickets.com).

And what will I be doing?

Well, I have 7500 facebook friends and tens of thousands who follow my blog and twitter, so I get to see many of them this one time of year.  And we take pictures and I sign the various places they want to be signed (yes, it is true, I did).  And I will hang in the Brown Paper Tickets booth with Sten and Michelle and the many others they will bring just to make sure all problems in Las Vegas are handled.

And Judi Flowers and I will be at the Roll Models/gamegear booth in the main hall (#24, at the corner right in front) where Judi will introduce the Derby fashion forward SeltzerBrand/Gamegear designs by Lucy D which are sublimated (what till you find out what that means) and unlike anything else in Derby.  the designs last as long as the fabric, regardless of washings etc.  There will be a limited amount on sale as well as books autographed by the Commissioner and photo ops, etc.

And if you are even thinking about getting team uniforms, please check out Roll Models, unless you don’t want professional looking, long wearing, sublimated designs.

Bob Noxious of Roller Derby fame and Brown Paper tickets and I will be heading a seminar on Saturday at noon in #114.  If you are super-successful in attracting fans or not successful, you will want to be there to be part of the discussion…..there is so much about promotion, marketing, ticketing that is not obvious, and we will get into all of that….and oh yes, I promoted over 3000 Roller Derby games, Willie and Waylon, and much more.

And here is an oddity:  The Roller Derby Skate Company, started by my father and uncle Oscar Seltzer 70 years ago will be making its first appearance at Rollercon, in the west hall where Brown Paper Tickets booth is.  I have no ownership; cousin Ed (a nuclear physicist who attended Cal Tech!) owns it, and has made it one of the most successful roller, ice, skateboard, hockey companies in the world.  I guess he figured it was time to visit his namesake.  I am certain he has gone for a certain niche, and you really should stop by and see the products in the booth.  We required all of our skaters to wear them back in the day.

The voluptuous Val Capone at our Derby Wedding.

Jerry Seltzer

It appears that about 200 members of the vibrant Derby over 40 group will be on hand.  We will have a little gathering on Friday night, and hope you can attend my (third) Derby wedding to the breathtaking Donna “thehotflash” Kay at the top of the Riv and then stay for the pants off/dance off party (I guess that is appropriate on a wedding night).

Oh Donna, (sigh)

Donna 'thehotflash' Kay

And of course Dumptruck officiiated at the Lori and Jerry nuptials.

Photo: After ceremony

If you don’t know about Donna, please check out her facebook page.   Maybe the most amazing woman around.

I can’t remember your derby name and real name (I check the labels in my shirts to make certain they are mine), so just come up and hug me, tell me who you are and let’s take a photo.

Gawd, I love Rollercon.

Speaking out on one of the most controversial issues in Roller Derby


Derby names.

Phonebook page from picaland on stock.xchng.com

Phonebook page from picaland on stock.xchng.com

I probably have over 7000 of you who are capable of seeing my posts on facebook.  And over half a thousand on twitter, and tons more on WordPress.

I am about to tell you why I selfishly think this whole thing with Derby names has to end.

I just don’t know who the hell you are…..

I get a message from Antwerp twerp and then one from Auntie Burp and then I meet you at a game or Rollercon and I know you and we hug but don’t ask me to tell you who you are.

I love Val Capone, but don’t know her name.  I know Misty is Pia, and April is La Muerta, and hot flash is Donna, and I know Amanda and Larissa and Lori and Laura and Lara and Lauren and Jen and Candis but get confused on their Derby names.

I am in one way or another in touch with many thousands of you; life is confusing enough for me without having to double that figure in remembering who you are.

Therefore, I am issuing a decree:  from now on you just use your real name when talking to me….if you don’t like it, take it up with The Commissioner.