Wicked Wednesday: A Portland Hip Hop Tradition
Wicked Wednesday the documentary, directed by Andy Ridgway screened at the Oregon Documentary Film Festival on May 25, 2018. First of all, I noticed that this historic Portland Documentary was full of DJ Wicked supporters. Furthermore, Andy Ridgway and DJ Wicked engaged in a Q&A about the history of Wicked Wednesdays in Portland. I was surprised to learn about the event and it's history of changing venues. Consequently, the one constant has always been DJ Wicked's determination to keep the event going. Above all, I was happy to present Wicked Wednesday with the award for "Best Oregon Film."
Wicked Wednesdays: Short Synopsis
"Portland, Oregon is not a city that is historically associated with a thriving hip-hop scene. DJ Wicked has been hosting a weekly celebration of all things hip-hop for 20 years running. This documentary film delves deep into the local event that has stood the test of time. Furthermore, this film features interviews from long-time fans and friends. They explain why Wicked Wednesdays is so durable, so unique, and so beloved."
What Is Wicked Wednesday? Who Is DJ Wicked?
Kicking off with Wicked Wednesday’s 19th anniversary party, the film taps into the soul of the event. As a result, it has become the de facto heart of the Portland hip-hop community. It’s a DJ showcase, performance venue, open mic night, graffiti art collective, DJ school, community gathering place, and more. Above all, Wicked Wednesday serves as Portland’s weekly love letter to hip-hop. The venue may change over the course of 20 years, but the enduring identity and emotion attached to Wicked Wednesday is evident. Especially in interviews with both longtime collaborators and recent admirers alike. Patrons agree that the feeling for and attachment to the music and the culture is heartfelt and strong. Furthermore, all will point out that Wicked Wednesday’s survival is owed to the will and dedication DJ Wicked. The one man who has carried it through two decades and beyond.
Director's Biography: Andy Ridgway
I enjoyed meeting Andy Ridgway and talking with him about his history. After schooling in photography, audio, and TV production, he put the creative field on hold for a decade. Consequently an opportunity or two popped up in 2016 for film and video. The time felt right to dip a toe back in. Andy considers himself more of a student than a practitioner, but I admire his talent. The documentary on Wicked Wednesdays is fun.
Director's Statement: Andy Ridgway
Here's the very definition of an indie production! I was a one-man-band for nearly every part of this movie, from the audio to the lighting to the editing and even the music. Luckily, I was driven by passion for the story and the subject matter. This project attracted me because it's not just a chronicle of a local weekly event. It's a deeper story about a city, about a global subculture, and most of all, about the passion and dedication of the people involved.
Interview with Andy Ridgway (Part One)
- Why submit to the Oregon Documentary Film Festival? "Simply stated, our film is about Portland. A good local interest story is always a plus."
- What is Wicked Wednesdays? "I named the film, Wicked Wednesday, which is the name of the weekly event the movie documents."
- Why did you choose to tell this particular story? "I have a personal interest/history in hip-hop music, but beyond that, this story attracted me because it's not just about the music or even the weekly event that has survived for 20+ years. It's a story about perseverance, commitment, community, and most of all, about people."
- Did you discover story elements during the production that you never expected to find in the planning stages? "Yes! The loyalty and sense of community that surrounds Wicked Wednesday is stronger than I could have imagined."
Cameras and Gear
What camera(s) did you use to during the production of this film? Discuss any advantages or limitations that you may have run into, from an equipment perspective. "I used a single Panasonic G7 dSLR, a cheap reflector, a small on-camera light, and two sub-$50 microphones. Very bare-bones. I would've loved a second camera for interviews, a higher-quality mic or two, some real lights, etc., but my setup also kept the production very nimble."
Interview with Andy Ridgway (Part Two)
- Did anything happen during the production of this film that was very interesting, but never made it on camera? "I felt there were high-quality outtakes and off-topic gems that sadly don't make the final cut. Because the event itself were pretty straightforward, there wasn't anything that happened that I regret missing."
- How did you fund this film? "I sold a piece of audio recording equipment to fund the purchase of a camera and some of the other gear, but it all came in under $1,000 total, so I wasn't too concerned about costs."
- I noticed a positive audience reaction to this film. "The Wicked Wednesday community reaction has been very positive, I feel. Certainly it is important to me."