Modern Baseball and the need for more timely music documentaries

The last several years have seen a surge in the amount of music documentaries being produced like no other point in cinematic history. The vast majority of these stories have covered artists and groups that are now dead or otherwise inactive, but there is no rule that says those histories are the only ones that should be told. There are amazing tales of creativity, community, and innovation happening right now in music that have gone largely untold, but a new short film from pop-punk heroes Modern Baseball has given us hope for the future. Check it out:

Pretty great, right? Whether you knew of Modern Baseball before watching the clip or not doesn’t matter because, by the end, we’re all feeling the same rush of emotions. Tripping In The Dark perfectly summarizes a still young band’s journey to this point, as well as their aspirations for the future, without once getting lost in any form of predictable storytelling. From the animated introduction, to the heartbreaking reveals of personal turmoil that ultimately inspired the group’s upcoming album, every moment gives you something special to remember moving forward. Like the best sermons do for your relationship with the unknown, Tripping In The Dark leaves you feeling closer to the band than ever before, and you’ll be a better fan moving forward because of it.

While watching Tripping In The Dark it’s hard to fathom why more bands do not attempt similar short films. Even as a longtime supporter of Modern Baseball who has covered the band and their history at length I walked away from Tripping In The Dark believing myself to now know the group and their work in a whole new way. Considering the fact the band’s music reads like journal entries, this is quite an accomplishment, and that it leaves you aching to learn what will happen next speaks to the power of the visual medium more than the power of the group’s music. In fact, Tripping In The Dark rarely uses the group’s music at all, and I would wager that is because director Kyle Thrash understands that he doesn’t need it. Fans know that part of Modern Baseball’s story, and they’re already sold on listening to more, so why not use this piece of promotional fodder to show them something else?

You may not have the video skills of Kyle Thrash or know someone who does, but you do have access to cameras and a story that is unique to you, which honestly is all you need to make a compelling documentary. Your fans want to know more, and this method of storytelling allows you to please that desire while also creating a new way for people to discover your talent. I can guarantee there will be people who see Tripping In The Dark that have never heard a single Modern Baseball song before, and with the right marketing efforts the same could be said for the documentary you are (hopefully) now wanting to create. In a time where there is more competition for the attention of music fans than ever before, short documentaries provide a platform for self-expression and engagement that did not exist for most artists even a decade ago. Take advantage of that fact and capture your journey as it occurs. Dig deep, be honest, and when the time is right share your truth with the world.

Modern Baseball will release their new album, Holy Ghost, on May 13. Pre-order are available now and moving fast.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.