Mike Gordon

Outside Out (2000)

Written & Directed by Mike Gordon
Released: November 9, 2000
Format(s): VHS, DVD 

Neither Mike nor Bruce Hampton remembers who approached who first, but both had the idea to make “The Outstructional Video,” mocking the kind of VHS that would supposedly help youngsters learn guitar. The project grew and grew, and after 5000 hours of work, Mike had created a feature film about Rick Bault, a high school guy with one last chance to pass music school auditions before his Dad would send him off to a military academy. With Bruce Hampton as his teacher, Rick’s playing seemed to be getting worse instead of better. Mike jumps on the other side of the lens to do a cameo as Matt Gizzard from well-known country outfit, Ramble Dove. The film won an award at the South By Southwest Film Festival, and was projected on screens as a dual bill with Hampton’s own band with Mike added on guitar (and tricks like keyboards facing the audience on the edge of the stage that front-rowers were encouraged to play). Some people don’t get this film and others seem to know every line by heart.


For example, in the street a human will say to Mike, “I your film,,” and Mike will say, “Cool; which one,”  and they say, “Outside Out,” and Mike coyly adds, “Cool,” and they say, “Well… ah, yeah… I … didn’t really get it, but ah…. anyway,” And then four days later a different human will bump into Michael and say, “I just saw Outside Out,” and Mike, ever-creative with his retorts, will say, “Cool,” and the person will say, “I fuckin’ love that film – it’s my favorite movie, by far…. ‘Your Dad made you get braces when you didn’t even need ’em…’ …. classic…”  Also, needless to say, Mike and Producer Jeff Lawson were in a hotel eleveator at South By Southwest during that film festival, and it got stuck between flloors for over an hour. People just looked on from the nearby floor, wedging the elevator door open with 2x4s and laughing their butts off.