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ACA Documentray film

ACA documentary Film shot

Documentray film for the Audiophile Club of Athens

That's how all started...

"I was a normal human being until I was about 35 years old. Then I met this lunatic old Tony, who had speakers the size of refrigerators, amplifiers they would..."

Just for the info of our visitors, I want to explain how this documentary initiated.

Ken Barnes, a film maker, living in London (Canadian origin) sent us a proposal on March 3, 2006, a part of which I am quoting:

Barnes film proposal

The making of the short movie called "the Quest for the Holy Grail of Audio" was something I never believed in. Actually if truth be told, I never believed Ken Barnes would actually come to Greece and film, yet alone edit many, and I do mean, many hours of filming we did, whilst he was here in Athens.

How he chose what he did for his first 20 minute film is astonishing in itself. I have more on the making of, the film, on our Quest of the Holy Grail, than the 20 minutes he had to make everything make sense in!

My job was very simple; it was to make sure everything that needed to happen, would happen, no matter the cost or effort. I was to do everything from picking Ken up from the airport, driving him straight to a Club meeting that it was taking place same time his plane was landing..., feed him by fingers need be etc...

In reality, everything turned out to be a lot harder than thought out. That either meaning traffic jams to be on time, to even deaths of family members cancelling meetings with Ken and myself, leaving us in the middle of a street with a GPS system shouting at us that we have gotten to our destination, over and over again, until we just turned it all off and just improvised and did whatever we could in the time frame we had.

During one evening we did over 200 km. And when I got home my car was practically fuming. The brake pads were reeking and the PT Cruiser, seemed to feel like a PT Bruiser after being on the road filming for hours on end. But that could have been from my illegal free from catalyst exhaust making noise beyond what Max Goodman calls "horrendous" and "unbearable"!

After all, the collection of 8-9 tapes of film means 60 hours of preparation. And that does not include personal time to get ready! Do you know how many takes it took us to get our Vice President to smile on FILM!

ACA Film 06-heropoulos

Filming of G. Heropoulos's wires...

He (Ken Barnes) was going to come with a helping hand who knew what he was doing and instead ended up with me who thought a "boom operator" was part of a song curled up in my memory of the early 90's! But to my surprise, I learnt a few things and even went out and bought myself a super duper camera to start filming myself. I have more than six months of filming and not one minute worth showing though! So you see. Filming is an art, I mean the actual filming itself is a science in itself if you want to take it seriously, making white backgrounds, lighting and sound all come together with a picture that is beautiful which Ken fruitfully calls "eye candy".

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Interviewing MaxG is not the easiest thing to do, as you can see from Ken's face...

To get Ken into the mood, I had given him over 30 pages of my own articles for him to get a sense of what, and how we work as a team who have one goal in common, the absolute sound of truth. In many ways, it is truth that we are seeking, and not just a notion of notes. It could be the composers' feelings, the violins' tuning, and the heart and soul of the instruments that represented something beyond words of wisdom or pictures could tell. You see, if an audiophile could express himself in words, then he would be a writer, not an audiophile. Ken actually tries to make sense of what we cannot. And to a large extent does so in my opinion.

Ken Barnes

Ken Barnes, the film maker. If is going to be the new 007, it is not clear yet...

Ken had come with questions which he was ready to ask our audiophiles. Some of which he had to change, others chop out, and include others he had not thought of before were included. For him the actual experience was a first. And this means that he had to film, what he didn't really know about. That says a lot about Ken and his talent, because after viewing the first three minutes of the short movie, if you're not impressed with his work, you're either not watching or you're watching another film!

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Filming the president's system

The President of the Club was kind enough to make a rough outline of who we were going to see and when, I say rough because I cannot describe what the spreadsheet looked like, after 2 days of filming and 3 more to go! If you have seen a basketball coach's board, with arrows going in every direction, you can then understand what the program spreadsheet looked like. But in the end, we put every basket in and a three pointer down to the last seconds he was in Greece filming.

ACA Film 06-lalas_system

Filming of D. Lalas's system

Most memorable moments were when we were out of tape and we could not stop the speaker from his moments of truth and wisdom of high end. Not to mention one night being flabbergasted by the sound of some of our systems that we couldn't talk being in our own world before realizing we were close to Ken's hotel in Voula.

Ken Barnes was a great friend for those days he was here. I did not mind the pains and aches of holding up microphones until I went blue, or driving in directions that ended up in dead ends. Because in the end, the work was done, and that was what counted for us all. We had for the first time in the world, filmed what kind of animal is audiophile!


This is me, trying to help Ken with the interviews...

As you can understand, he didn't want to advertise the Club but to show the extra-ordinary face of our hobby. I am sure he could show some more of the software and not that much of hardware and money and things like that.

I don't know if he succeeded 100% but IMHO it is not bad, not bad at all. And if nothing else, this is the start of what A.C.A pioneered along with Ken Barnes to accomplish.

We hope to repeat the project with a full 2 hour version soon in the future for the real showcase. Until then, enjoy what we have and pray that Ken comes back to Greece someday, with his Emmy Award from his work!

By Tony Pothitos

Greek Audiophile

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