David Marsden tribute in Parliament

Happy 2015!  I realize I have not been very diligent about updating this blog.  Facebook is where the action is these days but I have to remember not everyone is on Facebook so will be more on top of updating here as well.

U.S. distribution news coming soon!  In the meantime, I want to post some odds ‘n ends, starting with this below.  David Marsden has left The Rock 94.9 and now does his shows live on his own site: www.nythespirit.com

Here was a tribute to David last month in Canadian Parliament, from MP Erin O’Toole:


I Am What I Play trailer

Every film needs a trailer and we’re excited to share it with you now.   Here’s a first look at I Am What I Play.



Be sure and follow the film:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Am-What-I-Play/297875140261718
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/radiodjmovie

Free-Form Ambassadors

As we shop the film and start to do promotion at the same time, the question keeps coming up:  why did we choose these 4 particular radio jocks?  I think once you see the film, you’ll agree we’ve chosen wisely in terms of personalities/characters.   That was the idea:  to showcase 4 DJs who have had ups and downs in their lives, just like the arc of a movie character.  But the big picture was to present 4 jocks whose careers would be symbolic of the profession, the medium and the heyday of rock radio.  We’re very happy with the subjects of the film but no doubt there are other worthy disc jockey choices as well.

The common theme among our 4 DJs is very much about freedom.  They fought throughout their careers to be able to continue to do what they wanted to do.  One of the things we hope the film will do is to generate a discussion about the current state of radio.  So here’s the ongoing question that we want to be a part of this film blog:

What DJs currently on air are still doing their shows in the free form tradition?  Who is still playing what they want to play and saying what they want to say?

In the comments section, please name names:  the DJ, the name of the show (if there is one), the city and the station.  Give us a short description of the show as well.  We would like this to be a place radio fans can visit and get a sense of the great radio shows that are still out there and where they can be found.

If we start to get enough of a DJ list going, we may create a separate Facebook group or web page dedicated to these free-form ambassadors.

Screen Shots

Over at the  I Am What I Play Facebook page, we have been posting screen shots from the film on a regular basis.   If you’re on Facebook, be sure and like the page for updates on the movie.  We will continue to update this blog but the Facebook page has more up to the minute action:


Having said that, here are a few screen shots from the film:


Charles Laquidara in a 1970’s TV commercial for his morning radio show, The Big Mattress.

Meg Griffin in the WNEW studios in New York City, late 1970’s.

David Marsden being inducted into the Canadian Music and Radio Broadcast Hall of Fame in 2011.

Newspaper ad for Pat O’Day’s radio show in the late 60’s.

I Am What I Play Facebook page

Although the plan is to continue to update this blog, we live in a world of social media now, in case you didn’t hear.   We’ll be posting regular updates about the film on the newly launched I Am What I Play Facebook page:


Be sure and go to the page and “like” it and then you will be part of the I Am What I Play family and see those regular updates in your news feed.  We’ve posted a few pics and other odds ‘n ends not seen on this blog so have a look and…like it!

Or if Twitter is more your style, we’re at:


But more to come here on this blog/site as well.

Testing, Testing

In February, we completed two test screenings of the film.  Intimate locations – the screening room of a post-production facility.  About 15 people in attendance each night.  I served wine.  I know it’s rock radio so an Australian Merlot doesn’t immediately come to mind but I’m just trying to add a touch of class to the proceedings. (Editor note:  I even took a picture of the wine and glasses but my picture upload is not cooperating!).

Needless to say, it was a thrill to sit and watch the finished product with a live audience.  Now I knew almost everyone at both screenings but it was still a nice mix of a few radio/voice over types, a few old friends, a couple of people who worked on the film and even a couple of strangers who have nothing to do with radio, TV or film.  The feedback was universally positive – people really seemed to love the film.   And I do have friends and colleagues who can dish out the constructive criticism when it’s warranted.

In this case, it was mostly constructive praise.  Criticism was mainly of the “tweaking” variety.  I gave them all a questionnaire to fill out at the end.  Some comments:

You meted out the story telling with each character in such a way as to make the point on that portion and move on to the next. I thought your timing was excellent.

” Well produced!!  Very interesting subject matter, a great range of music, and visually compelling. ”

“The best film about radio I’ve ever seen.”

I was looking for any obvious holes or segments that didn’t work or make sense.  There was very little of that so here we go:  I have begun the outreach to broadcasters and distributors.  Another journey has begun.  I am trying to avoid the pounding the pavement on the film festival circuit, though Friday was the deadline for submitting to the Toronto International Film Festival and I dropped it off in person.   Updates to follow!


Radio Survivor piece on I Am What I Play

Matthew Lasar has a nice piece on the Radio Survivor website about the film.   Have a look:

“I Am What I Play”: Documenting the Rock DJ



Lucas Said It All

We started shooting this film in the fall of 2011 and on the first day of 2014, I can happily report that except for about a day’s worth of edit tweaks, it’s ready for test screenings.  Those who have made a film before will chuckle at that “except for…” as the George Lucas quote is so applicable: “A film is never done, it’s just abandoned.” (This is actually a paraphrase of a Leonardo Da Vinci quote about art)

We’ll be doing some test screenings in mid-January and then I’m going to pound the pavement to get a movie deal.  Wish us luck.  I’ll keep you posted.

Here are a few pics from various shoot days:

Production Manager David Jermyn and his wife Becky Keigh in a re-creation scene of a 1950's couple on the verge of breaking up while Pat O'Day's radio show plays in the car.


Interview with Meg Griffin. New York City, July 2012.

View of the Charles River from the top of the Prudential Tower in Boston.

Inside The Marsden Theatre. David Marsden radio show, The Rock, 94.9.

Cross Talk

Got back into the swing of shooting in 2012 as we had a great interview with Alan Cross last week at his home.  Alan spent 25 years on-air at CFNY and is perhaps best known for hosting over 700 episodes of the series, The Ongoing History of New Music.  Alan was possibly the last person hired by David Marsden before leaving CFNY and he had some great stories for the film about what it’s like to work with, and for, The Mars Bar!

Alan has posted a short piece about our interview here:


Producer/Director Roger King takes in the action as Alan Cross gets “Schmoozed” (the dog’s name is Schmooze).


The Mars Bar

We have been shooting our interviews with David Marsden at The King Edward Hotel in Toronto.  We had wanted to shoot in the hotel bar but there are clearance release issues with the hotel.  Plus, a waitress I know there tells me that a businessman reserves the table we had in mind every day between 12-7 pm.  Sometimes he is joined by others; sometimes he’s alone.  He drinks an average of 5-7 martinis a day while doing business.  His bills range from $200-$500 daily. We were tempted to stop work on I Am What I Play and immediately begin the documentary on the guy with the permanent table at The King Eddy!

We shot over 6 hours of interviews with Marsden and there are still stories I realize we didn’t get to yet.  We did cover a lot of ground though.  From his days as mouter-mouthed David Mickie at CKEY in Toronto – and the hosting of 2 TV shows to go with the radio work – to being a major part of the free form radio movement in Montreal at CKGM-FM (now CHOM-FM) and in Toronto at 70’s powerhouse CHUM-FM, the stories just flow, with playfulness and good humor.  The early days of FM radio, the FLQ crisis and John & Yoko’s bed-in in Montreal, the gay club scene in 1960’s Toronto, and of course the creation of CFNY and the alternative rock format for which Marsden is best known.  These are only some of the topics covered during our lengthy sit-downs together.

And the best part is – Marsden is STILL doing the free-form thing, on 94.9 The Rock, Saturday and Sunday nights – and at www.marsdenglobal.com

You will love David Marsden on camera!  He is truly full of life.

Director Roger King with David Marsden on location at The King Edward Hotel, Toronto.  In background, sound man extraordinaire, Kevin MacKenzie.

David Marsden in The Marsden Theatre at 94.9 The Rock.  DOP David Cain climbs new heights to get the shot.