We all know what has been gained now that music is primarily consumed through digital channels—portability, better sharing, instant access to any song ever recorded—but rarely do we find ourselves asking ourselves what has been lost. That very question is at the heart of the nostalgic short film Every Word Handwritten, written by The Gaslight Anthem’s Benny Horowitz and VH1’s own Kevin Slack (who also directed).
Fans of The Gaslight Anthem will recognize some of the footage that makes up Every Word Handwritten from the band’s video for the title track off their most recent LP, Handwritten. Horowitz, the band’s drummer, and Slack worked together to build the concept of the video, which Slack explains as “following lifespan of one vinyl record, highlighting it as the thread through many people’s lives for decades to come.” During this process, the two realized that they had the makings of a stand-alone short film on their hands, so they penned a script that did not feature the band directly. They then shot this very touching tale—which features some Terrence Malick-esque cinematography—and married it with some performance footage of the band for the “Handwritten” video.
After completing the music video, Slack—who also directed the Elisha Cuthbert-starring video for Gaslight’s “Here Comes My Man”—spent the next year and some change editing the film, and Gaslight’s guitarist, Alex Rosamilia, along with Wes Kleinknecht, a friend of the band, wrote the score. The 15-minute short film premiered earlier this year, won acclaim at the Montclair Film Festival, and is now available for you to watch in full above. If you have fond recollections of the tactile sensation created by holding a vinyl LP in your hands, this is the perfect way to spend the rest of your afternoon.
If you’d like to own a copy of this short film, Every Word Handwritten is now available to purchase on iTunes.