The behaviour of fans at a gig is a key part of the relation between them, the band, and the music. Crowd surfing, along with pogoing and moshing, is an act of rock’n’roll defiance, a demonstration that you are there in the thick of it, lost in the music. “The Pit: a film about crowd surfing” is film maker, Dave Depares’ journey into the complex politics of crowd surfing, which shows the fans in action and tells their story.
The fifth entry in the 2011 Short Stories film competition fuelled by Relentless Energy Drink, “The Pit,” takes viewers into a world of bodies and bouncers. Depares introduces us to the fans who risk ejection from the venue, the musicians who live it every night (including Liam Cormier of Cancer Bats and Lee Spielman of Trash Talk) and the bouncers who try to keep everyone safe. The film contrasts the focused energy of the band with the seeming chaos of the pit.
The director draws on his dual experiences of directing music videos, and reviewing hundreds of gigs as a music journalist, to get under the skin of the fans and show how they see the art of crowd surfing. “I’ve always been fascinated by crowd politics, the way different crowds respond to different bands, the changing energy levels, the positioning of various crowd members within the venue and their roles within the crowd. There are the planks, the head-nodders, the dancers, the pogoers, the moshers, and the crowd surfers.”
The short film is a kinetic portrait of what it is to be lost in music, showing both the beauty of the energy involved and the violence of the actions themselves. It’s a real eye-opening look at a world a lot of us may never have seen.