A Film by Doug Pray
Produced by Steven Helvey
Co-Produced by Lisa Dutton and Pete Vogt
Directed by Doug Pray
Director of Photography: Robert Bennett
Edited by Doug Pray and Joan Zapata; Supervising Editor: Earl Ghaffari
Story Editor: Brian Levy; Consultant: Jonathan Gold
Distributed by Lions Gate Films (formerly CFP/Republic Pictures)
SISKEL & EBERT "Two thumbs up!!!"
"LOS ANGELES TIMES "A remarkable first film for LA-based director Doug Pray. A brilliant synthesis of social anthropology and entertainment."
ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE Listed # 10 in "Top 25 Music DVDs of All Time."
DAILY VARIETY "Superb sound and image quality and a complex, intelligent perspective help make 'Hype!' an engaging as well as thoughtful chronicle of the Seattle rock scene during its decade-long rise to worldwide influence... Images and editing are sharp and riveting...sound reproduction has an almost majestic sweep that fittingly renders music that was born to be awesome in its volume and intensity."
HYPE! tells the story about the birth, explosion and mass-consumption of the internationally-acclaimed Seattle rock scene. From the early 1980s, when a handful of isolated bands played among their friends, to the beer-inspired mix of punk rock and heavy metal that Sub Pop Records exploited as "the Seattle Sound;" from the 1991 release of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," which hit #1 and culminated in ridiculous fashion displays on 7th Avenue and grunge ads on TV, from the mass migration of wanna-be bands to Seattle to the tragic suicide of Kurt Cobain; the Northwest experience is one of epic irony. Featuring intense live-performances and candid interviews with many of the bands, indy labels, and promoters responsible for creating what became known to millions as "grunge," the film gives a rare portrait of the history and absurdity of the most-hyped local rock 'n' roll scene of the century.
HYPE! features rare performance footage of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Mudhoney, The Young Fresh Fellows, Fastbacks, Seaweed, 7 Year Bitch, The Posies, The Gits, Flop, Gas Huffer, Supersuckers, Love Battery, The MonoMen, Melvins, Blood Circus, Coffin Break, Dead Moon, Hammerbox, Some Velvet Sidewalk, Zipgun, and Crackerbash. Interviews include Soundgarden's Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, members of Screaming Trees, TAD, and the Walkabouts; Record Producers Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney & TAD), Conrad Uno (PopLlama Records), and Steve Fisk; Sub Pop Records Co-Founders Jonathan Poneman & Bruce Pavitt; K Records Co-Founder Calvin Johnson; eMpTy Records Founder Blake Wright; Soundgarden/Alice in Chains Manager Susan Silver; Photographer Charles Peterson; and Poster Designer Art Chantry; and others, including fans, outside observers, and local pranksters.
Doug Pray's first feature film, HYPE! premiered in competition at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival, won Best Documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival, and went on to receive wide critical acclaim and international theatrical distribution. The HYPE! DVD, with extra bonus features was released in 2004 by Lions Gate.