If you think the digital age destroyed print culture, this short documentary may surprise you. But I Love The Zine explores the thriving zine scene in the San Francisco Bay Area. To devotees, zines are more than just self-made publications, they're tools for building community and offer an antidote to the disconnectedness of internet culture. In this film, viewers are taken to studios, galleries, and zine conventions where they're introduced to a dynamic small press community. Publishers like Jeffrey Cheung (Unity Press), V. Vale (Re/Search), Tiny Splendor, and Jess Wu (Mixed Rice Zine), share their process and explain why self-publishing matters.
I’ve always been drawn to the unique art scene and the passionate creators that permeate the Bay Area. But it was with great surprise if not shock, that I saw myself pictured on the cover of Zine at a festival in San Francisco! Unknown to me, the creator had photographed my responses to his first tattoo and made that into Zine: Look Mum My First Tattoo. It was a very personal moment that ignited my desire to find out more.
I set out to discover what these self-made, intimate booklets and zine culture are all about telling the story through my relationship with my son Raphael, the owner of the tattoo, and through the many talented zine makers in the Bay Area. I wanted to convey the importance of these cheaply-hand-made, very personal pieces full of thoughts and dreams at a time when digital communication and social media are taking over.
I spent a lot of time at Zine festivals shooting people ensconced as they flipped through zines. With a DSLR, I moved easily around these vibrant crowds where there is an eclectic mass of people of all ages and cultures in all kinds of attire and bodily marks. I sometimes had the camera on sticks but more often than not I found freedom in just hand holding and moving quietly through crowds while trying to shoot tight on faces and Zines.