Muni movie: Muni Daze by Nick Culp

I came across a beautiful, ethereal short movie called Muni Daze by Nick Culp, who filmed the entire movie on Muni bus rides. We might gripe about the unsanitary habits of our fellow riders or the frequent lack of etiquette on the bus, but Nick’s movie reminded me that at the end of the day, Muni is the one place where we are in close proximity with fellow San Franciscans who we may never otherwise see. And on the bus we are afforded a few minutes in our day to just sit and consider the people around us.

Muni Daze by Nick Culp

Nick also wrote the music in Muni Daze, which in my opinion, really steals the show. “The sound inspired the movie more than anything visual,” he told me. I got in touch with Nick and he had this to say:

I live in the excelsior (outer mission) area, so the 49 and 14 buses are like like wallpaper to me. I was waiting at the 24th and mission stop (which is the first shot of the movie). It was a particularly hazy, moody day. I just got a new phone for the first time in years.

The first experiment was loading my own custom ring tones of sounds I make as a computer musician the night before. One of the sounds I kept pulling out my phone to listen to, because it just seems to capture the mood of what I felt like being there that day (this is that dreamy sparkly sound that runs through the whole movie). It brought with it the thought that I should be doing some soundtrack work, which is a common notion I entertain, but I had no immediate people come to mind for the source of the visuals.

I then remembered that my phone also had a small camera, so I took it out and began what would become a week of shooting small shots on the bus everyday I edited together using Imovie. This is my first film in a series that I hope will take on many different themes.

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