Rock Fish Stew
Rock Fish Stew (RFS), based in Durham, N.C., explores the artistic drive, devotion to craft, and the daily processes of imagination. Viewers come to understand the connection between creators, their histories and the worlds that shaped them. RFS’ earlier projects include: The Jazz Loft Project, Bull City Summer: A Season at the Ballpark, and The Education of Ida Owens.
Over the past few years, RFS has focused on the Big Ears Festival and the city of Knoxville. In 2014 and 2015, Sam Stephenson and Ivan Weiss led their team of documentarians from around the country to Big Ears, and this March they will return for the third time. With hours of footage and tens of thousands of photographs, RFS will fashion a sprawling musical journey through this dynamic, “scruffy” city.
Big, Bent Ears—a 10-part multimedia series for New York-based literary journal The Paris Review, as well as an exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, N.C.—has served as an introduction to this project. Along with the festival, the series included material on legendary New Yorker magazine writer, Joseph Mitchell, whose first book (1938) was called My Ears are Bent.
Photographers and Cinematographers
Alex Boerner, Cinematographer
Carter McCall, Cinematographer
Mika Chance, Cinematographer
Jem Cohen, Cinematographer
Levon Henry, Interviewer and audio documentarian
Kate Joyce, Photographer
Jonna McKone, Cinematographer
Ligaiya Romero, Cinematographer
Richard Rothman, Photographer
Pratishtha Singh, Interviewer, audio documentarian, and coordinator in Knoxville
Bryan Crow, Liaison to AC Entertainment in Knoxville
Jack Neely, Historian and writer
Erin Donovan, Liaison to Visit Knoxville
Tori Ralston, Project coordination
Natalie Smith, Graphic designer
Loch & Key Productions, Video production house in Knoxville
Tennessee Archive of the Moving Image
RFS AT WORK
Below you can find a series of images by RFS' Kate Joyce chronicling the Big Ears shoots, with Sam Stephenson, Ivan Weiss, Ligaiya Romero, and Mika Chance, as well as AC Entertainment's Bryan Crow and Emily Harenza.
(Kate Joyce created the series of audience photos on the cover of this website, made in the Bijou Theatre.)