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Window Pictures Presents "Jasper Mall"

Malls all across America are dying. What we once knew as the place to be is no longer. Fewer and fewer people visit malls every year, and many storefronts remain vacant, the memories of a not so distant past. Join us as we spend a year of our lives in Jasper Mall. We meet the many characters that make up the mall including Robin, a florist who has been a part of Jasper Mall for many years. Kasey and Isadore a teenage interracial couple whose extracurricular activities take them to the mall, Nikki who works at Master Cuts, Santa, and the Domino Players. Then there’s Mike, the mall manager, security, housekeeping, the heart and soul.

Cast of Characters:

Bradford Thomason....Director

Brett Whitcomb...Co-Director, Director of Photography

Mike.......Mall Manager, Security, Housekeeping....EVERYTHING

Nikki.......Master Cuts Hair Stylist

Robin...Florist at Robin's Nest

Jeweler........Jeweler

Kasey.........Teenager, Mall Patron

Isadore.......Teenager, Mall Patron

Mall Santa.......Santa

Weapon Salesman...Weapon Salesman

Jasper Mall is distributed by Gravitas Ventures ((gravitasventures.com)

You can watch the film on iTunes and Amazon

Watch the trailer here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V7ytbs3y5U

In this episode we are interviewing Bradford and Brett, the co-directors of the film. Here is a little bit about them! BRADFORD THOMASON and BRETT WHITCOMB are a filmmaking team with a catalog that oscillates between archive-rich nostalgic portraits of pop culture, compelling stories of female empowerment, and observational snapshots of under-explored cultures.

To learn more visit https://www.window-pictures.com/

Follow our hosts!

Heather on Twitter @broadwhowrites and Instagram @that_broad_who_writes

B.C. on Twitter and LinkedIn @bcwehman

Heather Grayson:
Do you remember going to the mall as a kid?

B.C. Wehman:
The food court was the place to be.

Heather Grayson:
As a teenager, you were there to see and be seen.

B.C. Wehman:
It had the most popular stores, the best pretzels. And an arcade.

Heather Grayson:
Today, the mall is nostalgic.

B.C. Wehman:
Most of the stores are closed and only an anchor store or two holds it together.

Heather Grayson:
The food court sits empty and the arcade has long been gone.

B.C. Wehman:
Let's meet Mike.

Heather Grayson:
Housekeeping, security, he does it all.

B.C. Wehman:
Day in and day out, he works to create the best mall-going experience he can. But his mall is a dying mall.

Heather Grayson:
Only one anchor store remains and vendors are leaving at a rapid pace.

B.C. Wehman:
Is there anything Mike can do to keep them all alive?

Heather Grayson:
Hi. I'm Heather Grayson, writer, producer, and director, who craves passion in filmmaking, and documentarians are just that. I write fiction, but I love to watch the truth.

B.C. Wehman:
My name is B.C. Wehman. I'm an actor, a writer, an entertainer, all sorts of creative endeavors. But what I love most? Being a storyteller. It's why I love documentaries. They're extraordinary stories from everyday, extraordinary people.

Heather Grayson:
This is Behind the Doc. And today, we are behind the scenes with Jasper Mall.

Movie Clip:
Hey, Angelie, this is Mike, Jasper Mall?

Movie Clip:
I'm doing great. How are you?

Movie Clip:
Sweet.

Movie Clip:
No, no worries. Listen, I got your email. What I was going to...

Movie Clip:
I have a few empty spaces, but one of the reasons why I was calling you today is the two food spaces that we had? We had a Grady's that was like sandwiches and stuff like that. He had got out like two weeks ago, and then we just had Subway got out yesterday. And I got it with my co and I just told him, we need something in this mall. So, I guess I'm calling you for help. Please.

Movie Clip:
Our two anchors. We don't have the two anchor stores. It was Kmart and Penney's which they got out everywhere. Belk is the only anchor we have right now. Okay? And I can tell you how many. Let's see. We got Penney's, Kmart. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, we've got eight empty spaces. So, like I said, we do desperately need some food joints, at least for a start.

B.C. Wehman:
Welcome, everyone, to Behind the Doc. Today's film, Jasper Mall is a beautifully shot film that gives us the day in, day out, and sometimes mundane things that are necessary to keep a financially struggling American shopping mall operating. We're very excited today to be joined by Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb to discuss Jasper Mall. Bradford, Brett, first right off the bat, I have to tell you, it's an emotional movie. I don't know if you set out to make an emotional film, but you made a very touching emotional film.

Brett Whitcomb:
Yeah. Thank you. Appreciate that.

Bradford Thomason:
Thank you.

B.C. Wehman:
You guys have done as a duo, right? With the two of you with Window Pictures, you've made these films that I guess pop culture nostalgia is the best term I can think of. You've had movies about the gorgeous ladies of wrestling, animatronic bands at pizza places, two dudes who realize how hard it is to be a rock star, even for 24 hours. Right? You've made these films that show us things that particularly, if you're my age, I'm in my mid-40s, our youth. Is this a choice that you've done? Are you trying to relive your youth? Are you just trying to capture moments? Why this focus on some of these moments that speak to when you were younger?

Bradford Thomason:
I think we're definitely just generally inspired by nostalgia. I mean, I think it's a cultural thing too. I think we're living in a kind of a nostalgia age. But we've always kind of been inspired by things that we experienced, or took part in as children, or as teenagers. I think that it's kind of an attempt to take the nostalgia and see what it looks like behind it, how these things that we're nostalgic for actually impact individuals in the present day. And whether we've wanted to or not, or whether we set out to every time or not, it just happens that way for us.

Movie Clip:
I'm housekeeping, maintenance, security. And I just make sure that at night, if it don't get done, I'll make sure it gets done in the morning.

Heather Grayson:
I will say that you followed Mike, you really chose a great person to follow. I mean, he really definitely made us all root for him. He's the good guy. And with the Tiger King coming out, I was like, wow, this is the good Tiger King kind of. You know what I mean? The blond mullet and everything.

Movie Clip:
I owned a zoo for 25 years. Lions, tigers. Yeah. You probably see that's my passion. I've been in the hospital 22 times. And I went in the pen with everything. They were my kids.

Heather Grayson:
So, why did you choose him and how was it to work with him?

Brett Whitcomb:
When Brad kind of found the mall, he was driving home from somewhere and he saw the mall, and he went in and instantly just started texting me pictures of it. Because aesthetically, it was just a really beautiful mall. Still had the fountain and all the real plants and the skylights and all the things that, the malls that we had growing up, we just started kind of toying with the idea of filming there. And then, we had to ask somebody if we could do that. And Mike does every single thing in the mall, like he's the security guard, he's the manager. He fixes the roof. He does every... He's quality control, HR department, he's everything. So, when we approached him and asked, I mean, instantly in the first five minutes, we knew that, okay, this, if we do film here, Mike needs to be a part of it. And Mike is the mall. Every time we got there, we called him, he was busy, and we just threw a mic on him and had to try to keep up with him.

B.C. Wehman:
As you were starting to film, you very much focused on subjects. We followed them. When did you know that we're going to just focus on the story and let it play out, versus document talking head archival footage, which you see in a ton of documentary films?

Brett Whitcomb:
We talked about from the day one that we wouldn't sit down anybody and interview, that it was going to be all learning, learning from doing. So, the viewer would only figure things out as we were filming people and things were unfolding naturally. So, that's why we kind of... In choosing to do that, it just means that we have to film with somebody for like 10 hours and give them a... until they are totally sick of us. And we can kind of tell that we burned our selves out, but that was a decision from the beginning. Mainly, just because we personally love watching movies like that, where they don't spoonfeed you. And who cares what someone's last name is and stuff like that? It's like, you just kind of learn by watching.

Movie Clip:
We have a lady that turned 100, and you wouldn't think she was 70 years old. And then we have the regulars. We average about, I'd say we usually get about 30 walkers in the morning. It's all different times.

Heather Grayson:
Yeah. We met so many different faces and people and relationships. I mean, you have the mall walkers, you have the Domino's guys. You have the couple, you have Mike, you have the Robin's Nest, which was very sad for me, because I remember a lot of the older folks and they ended up retiring in the malls that I used to work in. So, what made you kind of whittle it down to these particular subjects? Was there reasoning behind it? Other than Mike, of course. But any tenants that really kind of got on your nerves that you just decided not to work with? What are the background of all of this?

Brett Whitcomb:
We knew that at least for the first two weeks, we weren't really going to film. So, all we did for the first two weeks was go talk to people, hang out in the food court for a long period of time too. And people, it was super awkward and like, "Why are you sitting there with a camera on the table and a mic?" Brad's walking around with headphones. And hang out with them and ask them like, learn about their business a little bit, and also build that relationship with people.

Bradford Thomason:
We're receptive to people who are receptive to us. So, if we get in there and we start... And we try to talk to everyone. We try to go and introduce ourselves and say what we're doing, and kind of gauge interest. And some people just aren't interested. Then the people who are, we gravitate to them a little bit. And then if there are people who aren't interested at first, like Robin, for example, she, I mean, she was a little bit unsure of what we were doing. So, we spent time there with her and got to know her.

Brett Whitcomb:
Just eventually, after walking by her store, 10 times with a camera, you just kind of sneak, slowly sneak your way in. And she's like, she doesn't know it's that... She's into it. And then by the time we're halfway through filming, she's like asking why we're not filming with her.

Movie Clip:
Well, we just decided we'd retire, so that we could travel and do other things. We've been here 25 years. So, it's time. Okay. Well, thanks for calling and good luck on your wedding.

B.C. Wehman:
So, you guys filmed for about a year total. Was that accurate?

Bradford Thomason:
Yes.

B.C. Wehman:
What was that like? How do you know when to go, when to shoot? Or was it just, "We're going to shoot for," as you said, "10 hours today, and then we have tons and tons of footage." I mean, if you're shooting 10 hours over the course of a year, even if it's once a week, that's a tremendous amount of footage to then whittle down to an hour and like 18 minutes. So, how was that process like? How did you decide what days to film? Walk us through what it's like to give yourself a year into this whole project, making it your life for that timeframe.

Bradford Thomason:
We're not that far from the mall, so it was relatively convenient for us to go there. And sometimes, Mike would let us know things are going on. There's the quartets performing and the carnival and stuff. So, we know those things are happening and we know when we're going to go. But a lot of times, we would just on a Wednesday be like, "Hey, let's go to the mall tomorrow." "Okay." And we go to the mall and Brett and I just sit in the food court, like he said, with our cameras, just kind of... We check in with the people who we're following a little bit and see what's going on. Then sometimes, we just sit and wait for, kind of, for something to happen around us. And I I think often, it was... What we captured and what we got was unplanned.

Brett Whitcomb:
By embedding ourselves in the food court basically, and just sitting there. That's how we met Casey and Isador. They walked in, in their prom outfits. They were going to prom and they were going to eat at the restaurant there. I could, it was just like, oh, my God, I have to go approach them and just say hi. And it's super awkward, get their phone numbers. Then, we just made friends with them, and I just said, "Hey, please text me next time you're going to hang out at the mall." And then luckily, they did. They were like, "Hey, we're going to go to the carnival."

Movie Clip:
His cousin and me has been best friends since ninth grade. In 10th grade, his cousin's little sister was like, "You should follow this dude on Instagram." And I said, "Okay." I thought he was so cute, and I was like, wait for him to post something for me a lot. And he posted it. To be honest, I was like... Then he liked mine, to be honest, I was like, "To be honest, you're cool, but I don't know you." Then we just started from there. And we had a girl message me and say, "Are y'all talking?" I was like, "No." So, I texted him. I said, "Are you talking about me?" And he said, "No," and then he gave me his number. We started dating about a month after that.

Movie Clip:
You always have some old people that kind of looks at you like, "Y'all aren't supposed to do that." I have a lady that married one of my cousins, and she was really against it. And she told me right away, she's like, "You're going to go to hell for it." So, I asked my preacher and I was like, "Is it really going to be an issue?" And I'm crying. I was really upset because I really liked him at the very beginning. He said, "Well," he said, "everybody's going to be against it." And really, it's not even about interracial in the Bible and stuff. So, he explained it to me. And ever since then, we didn't really had that many issues. You had some people question you, but you just say, you don't see color.

Movie Clip:
My mom, she used to say I was crazy for trying to date a white girl at the time. But then when she actually got to sit down and went in and talked to her and stuff, she fell in love with her. Still love her to this day.

B.C. Wehman:
I think their relationship was interesting. We've all had, particularly growing up in teenage years, it brought me back. I've had relationships begin and end in a mall, right? Both of those things happen as you're growing up and it's a place where you hang out. And they interacted with two people, at least Casey did, that struck kind of something with me, in the mall workers, in the people, in the nail salon or in the hair salon. She's trying to, one of them is comfortable being there, and one of them wants to get out and start a new life, as they're discussing it. And it was, I think it was very, two very different people, but I think it was a good representation of what it's like to be stuck in that kind of mall. One person's just, "I want to live here, grow up, I'll do it," and one person wants to explore. But I loved, my favorite moment was them kind of out back, off work, on the smoke break, so to speak, just hanging out and chatting.

Movie Clip:
But you realize how small this place is.

Movie Clip:
Yeah.

Movie Clip:
It kind of puts a little bug in you and you're like, "Okay, what's next?" I like this small town, and I like this, the comfort of it, but there's something bigger out there. There's something way bigger out there. I just want to leave my mark on the world. Just leave my mark, like this little state.

Movie Clip:
I left a skid mark.

Movie Clip:
Thanks so much. That's the level. I left this skid mark on the US.

B.C. Wehman:
I think that's a beautiful part of this film is just catching every aspect of what a mall is, whether it's the walkers, the couple, the workers, the stores that are going under, the stores that are pulling out, the managers. So, I think it's a really good tale of that.

Heather Grayson:
Yeah, the cinematography was absolutely brilliant. I mean, it was really, really beautiful and well done. And we were, all of us were kind of asking ourselves like, "What kind of equipment were they using? What were..." With Mike, just everything seemed so... We were just right there. We were right there standing with you. What were, other than your Steadicam and everything else was there, just, what were you using?

Brett Whitcomb:
I didn't use a Steadicam on anything, but I did...

Bradford Thomason:
He's just steady.

B.C. Wehman:
Wow.

Heather Grayson:
Oh. God.

B.C. Wehman:
Good for you. Yeah, I would be wobbling all over the place. I drink too much coffee. Congratulations. That's pretty impressive.

Heather Grayson:
Yes, I absolutely thought it was a Steadicam.

Bradford Thomason:
No. He's just rock solid. [crosstalk 00:00:15:42].

Heather Grayson:
Nice.

Bradford Thomason:
Yeah.

Brett Whitcomb:
Well, I will say that I did have, the times that I wanted these really composed, straight-on shots of the buildings, especially when we're in a hurry, I used a Cinesaddle, which is like a big bag that you put over your shoulder that you can rest the camera. So, I used that on long shots when I was just going to be standing there. But if we were following people around, it was just on the shoulder. And then, the carnival shot, the one that looks like a drone shot, kind of, that's on the... I don't know if y'all remember that, but it's on the actual Ferris wheel and it goes around.

Heather Grayson:
Yes.

B.C. Wehman:
Yes.

Brett Whitcomb:
That was like, I just put the Cinesaddle on my lap and set the camera on it. And Brad and I just rode the ride.

Heather Grayson:
Wow.

Bradford Thomason:
Yeah, we weren't entirely sure whether or not it went upside down until we got over the top. We were like, "Well, if this goes upside down, I guess we're all going to fall out."

B.C. Wehman:
I got to tell you, side note. I don't know if I'm a huge fan of parking lot carnivals. I'm always super nervous that, that stuff is not bolted down to the ground year-round. It's not an amusement park. They come and go. That's one of those things. Though, I have ridden my fair share of parking lot carnival rides, do not get me wrong, but I always have a bit of a hesitation on those things. Were you ever nervous getting on that Ferris wheel?

Brett Whitcomb:
Oh, my God. Brad's like 6'5", or what are you? 6'4"?

Bradford Thomason:
Yeah, 6'4".

Brett Whitcomb:
He doesn't fit in that ride very well, so he's like hanging out of it. We're asking them if this thing tips, and they're just like, "I don't... It's fine. Just get on." And that, and then it got a little stuck while it was up top and it wouldn't move for like a couple minutes. We were just sitting up there and I was like, "I'll almost panic." Then I was like, "Hey, this..." And I told, I looked at Brad and I was like, "We'll remember this later fondly, I hope."

B.C. Wehman:
One of my other favorite parts, as we alluded to a second ago, was the Santa, right? That's a tried and true tradition of any mall from, I think the malls first began. You have Santa, you bring your kids in, some like him, some freak out and cry. But you gave this, without really meeting Santa very well, we don't, once again, hear kind of his story. We explore it with him and you kind of see him set up. But that shot of him, in the break room, in the back, just relaxing, I feel like that's what every Santa can relate to after a day of having kids sit on their lap. I thought that was one of those things that was just, it had to be included. I didn't even know if they still do that as much anymore, particularly there, but I feel like it's a big part. And that was a good catch, and I think it was a good moment to show how, in the chaos of the kids, what happens afterwards for poor Santa.

Brett Whitcomb:
It really is. And I had to bite my tongue to ask him if I could go buy him a cigarette just to sit there and smoke. That would have been like cherry on top.

Heather Grayson:
Little flask, maybe? No. I did love the Santa, not only just kind of seeing what he's going through. You can clearly see, he's trying to talk to these little babies that are just kind of mumbling. And he's like, "Oh, yeah. Tell me more."

Movie Clip:
What do you want for Christmas?

Movie Clip:
I want a car, a remote controller car.

Movie Clip:
A remote-controlled car?

Movie Clip:
[inaudible 00:19:01].

Movie Clip:
Okay. There's something else you want?

Movie Clip:
Yes.

Heather Grayson:
To be a Santa has to be just the best, but also like, "Oh, boy, I got to take a drink."

Brett Whitcomb:
He was a sweet guy.

Bradford Thomason:
Yeah, he was very nice.

Heather Grayson:
He was really patient.

Brett Whitcomb:
And then he was super patient with us and he was into it, and he was actually from another state. He flew in, he flies places to do that, for a company.

Heather Grayson:
Santas make a lot of money.

Brett Whitcomb:
I didn't know that.

Heather Grayson:
Oh, a lot. Yeah, especially a good Santa. One of the best things about the mall is just mall watching, people watching and just, and I loved that you gave great shots of people doing that, just sitting down in a bench, just watching everybody. Because I think that I spent hours doing that. It just, it was real... It just brought up a lot of the feels.

B.C. Wehman:
One thing I learned in following Mike, and so I'm curious as we get there, what other surprises you learned? I didn't realize as much that people... How do I put this? People sometimes just poop wherever they please. All right. So, that was something that I learned and I felt bad for that young man, but I appreciated Mike's frankness, like, "Look, it happens. You got to clean it."

Movie Clip:
When I say clean the bathrooms, it means the glass. It means here.

Movie Clip:
Everything?

Movie Clip:
Yes.

Movie Clip:
Perfect.

Movie Clip:
It means make sure the tissues are full. The urinal. Now, I'm giving an example. Last week, somebody decided they didn't want to use the bathroom. They just started to poop on the floor.

Movie Clip:
Really?

Movie Clip:
Yeah. I'm just being straightforward.

Movie Clip:
That's crazy.

Movie Clip:
I know. But what I'm getting at is, if you come in here and see a pile of poo on the floor, your job is to clean it. Okay? You'd be surprised how many run go get me. Because they're going, "Look. So, what do I do?" You clean it up.

Brett Whitcomb:
I would have never, just driving by and seeing a man with the Jasper Mall security shirt, I would have never guessed that all the roles that he plays and what it takes to keep that place going on a daily basis. Because if he stopped coming in, I mean, water would come through the ceiling. I mean, nothing... It would just, I think it would just really kind of decline rapidly if it wasn't for somebody like Mike, that really cared about what he was doing. And that really, his commitment really surprised me.

Heather Grayson:
I know from past when a mall was really at its heyday, I mean, there would have been 17 Mikes. So, it's so interesting to see that it dwindled down to just the one man trying to keep this mall alive. It's a testament to him that he not only was he thinking about, "Okay, what can we do to bring in customers? So, let's get a carnival going. Let's get that band" that was singing and the microphone was just going crazy on him. I felt so bad. They're just trying to have some entertainment and it's... And I'm sure he doesn't have that type of a background either. I mean, we know that his background, he owned a zoo.

Movie Clip:
My wife, her company, they were over this mall, and then she got transferred. I was coming through, I was bringing tigers to a zoo, and I stopped by here to see her. And I'd come through when I was moving animals and stuff and stopped by and started coming in. Then the owner offered me a job, and I said, "Well, okay." So, I've been doing it.

Heather Grayson:
To come in and work for a mall and do all of these events and plumbing and everything else like that, I mean, he just must be this really wonderful all-around great guy. Is he somebody that you still keep in touch with?

Bradford Thomason:
Yeah, we've gone by there after we filmed and checked in with Mike. He's a great guy. He really is. I mean, our experience with him was, like I said earlier, just a lot of positivity and always willing to, always asking us, he walks around and asks everyone, "You're good? You need anything? You're good?" I mean, he asks everyone that all day long. "You're good? You need anything?"

Heather Grayson:
How did he like the documentary? How did he like seeing himself?

Brett Whitcomb:
He actually, we really wanted him, we tried to get him to come to Slamdance and he was too busy. Like he said, he had to fix some stuff, so he couldn't come. But yeah, we begged and begged him, and went up there three times and we're like, "Please come. We'll pay for everything." It just didn't work out. And this local film festival called Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham, and they're actually having a drive-in. They have a big drive-in theater. And so, we're hoping that he hasn't seen it yet and that he can watch it in a car next to us.

B.C. Wehman:
Speaking of nostalgia and maybe even meeting friends. So, you're young, you're a couple of young gentlemen. Your parents drop you off at the mall. You got $10 in quarters burning holes in your pocket. You walk into a Aladdin's Palace or whatever.

Brett Whitcomb:
Aladdin's Castle.

B.C. Wehman:
Aladdin's Castle. What's your game of choice? What game do you put a quarter on and say, "I got next on this"? What did you play back in the day in Aladdin's Castle?

Bradford Thomason:
Street Fighter II.

B.C. Wehman:
Yes, right? Who was your character?

Bradford Thomason:
I played with Ryu or Ken.

B.C. Wehman:
You go the basic. Couldn't go to Zangief. I feel you, but that's all right. Everyone's got that story where they put that quarter on, and they're like, "This is my game." You play for next. Those type of memories is what this film was bringing out of me watching it, those type of moments. In fact, the mall that is... Well, it's now closed down. The mall that used to be closest to me growing up that I grew up in was an identical footprint to Jasper Mall.

Brett Whitcomb:
Wow.

B.C. Wehman:
It was designed by Simon Malls. I could see it right away. The brown, the rust, the triangular planters, the fountain, the skylights, it's exactly the same decor. And that mall is now, it was abandoned. It actually became one of the most famous urban spelunking malls before it was torn down to now become an, ironically enough, an Amazon fulfillment center.

Bradford Thomason:
Oh, wow.

B.C. Wehman:
So, do you think in Jasper's future, I mean, I know it's hard to predict, but do you feel like Jasper Mall is going to be able to make it? Is it going to be an Amazon fulfillment center down the road? What does the future hold for this mall after being there for so long and getting to know the people, if you had to guess?

Bradford Thomason:
I don't know. I have a feeling it's going to stick around for a while. I mean, if it's surviving this right now, this, I think it will adapt.

Brett Whitcomb:
When we were leaving, stores, a few, one store... We were already wrapped and picture-locked, but when we'd go back to talk to Mike and just hang out, a store came in to where Robin's Nest was.

Movie Clip:
It's every week. Right now, we're hearing Victoria's Secret's coming. But who comes to a mall when stuff is leaving? We're hoping next month that somebody might be coming in the Kmart building. So, that'd be good. Yeah. They hadn't committed to it yet, but they're in the works. They're talking about it. So, that'd be good. That'll help out a great deal.

Brett Whitcomb:
And it was like a carpet flooring store, which is not a normal store to have in a mall. It makes sense, right? Because this owner can't afford, maybe can't afford his own building somewhere in Jasper, but he can afford a little space in this mall to do business. So, I think if they're open to letting tenants come in like that, and that works, then it could stick around. But I could absolutely see it turning into an Amazon fulfillment center too.

Heather Grayson:
As we kind of end everything, I just wanted to know. What do you want people to leave feeling or thinking after they watch this film?

Bradford Thomason:
Kind of what you were feeling when you had the reflection of playing video games as a child, I mean, kind of bringing up some of those old feelings of being in the mall and how that makes you feel. And then also, just connecting with the characters and sort of understanding that there are people behind both our nostalgic reflection on things like malls and also, and things we think are quote-unquote failing or declining like the mall. There's still a wealth of humanity and beauty inside.

Brett Whitcomb:
Yeah. I'll echo that, and just say that, I feel like there's beauty everywhere. Even behind the dumpster, there's beauty. So, I think that if you go away feeling like you had an experience watching, and just the fact that you felt a little melancholy after watching it, it makes me feel happy, so.

B.C. Wehman:
It was definitely that. It was a... Oh, there's one other random memory. There's always the mall that sells the weapons.

Movie Clip:
This right here, that's going to be your standard throwing knife.

Movie Clip:
So, you couldn't buy these. I mean, they don't sell throwing knives at Walmart and stuff.

Movie Clip:
No.

B.C. Wehman:
That was just a side note. As soon as I saw that, I was like, I bought nunchucks and Chinese stars when I should have never been able to buy them, and ridiculous-sized knives, at about 17 years old, probably younger, from the weapons dealer in the mall. There's always a guy that sells swords and nunchucks and throwing stars at a mall.

Brett Whitcomb:
Yeah, I did the same thing.

B.C. Wehman:
Yeah, we all did. And that's what that film was. I was more frustrated when it ended, Bradford and Brett, because I watched it. I just, and as you said, some people may need that more traditional style, but the journey, which is the beautiful part of it, just watching it and go through. And it was... Because you went through the seasons and I think that was a great part to see the carnival, to see Santa, to see them moving out.

B.C. Wehman:
It was, it could have kept going for a while for me. I could have kept following them along. So, thank you for making Jasper Mall. I think it, particularly if you grew up in that era, I think it's important, but I think it's awesome for maybe younger generations to see whether they're in a busy mall or these outdoor centers to see what it was like and to see what it is like behind the scenes. And I think that was really important. So, I think you made a beautiful movie and that I hope a lot of people go watch it.

Heather Grayson:
This was such a great movie. It was the mall that I grew up in. It's all built by the same guy, I guess, or same designers. It's very similar rust, the brown, all the plants and everything else like that. It was all the same. So, it's definitely made me feel very good. And I'm glad. I'm glad about it.

Bradford Thomason:
Thank you.

Heather Grayson:
Thank you so much for making the film.

Brett Whitcomb:
Well, thank you all so much. We really appreciate it.

Movie Clip:
Listen. Teacher asked Little Johnny, "Johnny, who was the first president?" Johnny stuttered a little bit. He said, "Teacher, you think you know?" She said, "I don't think. I know." He said, "I don't think I know either. Take that, woman." Teacher asked little Jim in the class. He said, "Who was the first man on Earth?" He said, "Horace Clarkwright." "Oh, no, no, Jim. It was Adam." He said, "I knew it was one of them Clarkwrights."

Heather Grayson:
Thanks for listening to this episode of Behind the Doc. If you liked us, because we all know you did, leave us a review in your Apple Podcasts app.

B.C. Wehman:
Behind the Doc is produced by Evergreen Podcasts in association with Gravitas Ventures.

Heather Grayson:
Special thanks to executive producers, Nolan Gallagher and Michael DeAloia.

B.C. Wehman:
Produced by Sarah Willgrube.

Heather Grayson:
And audio engineer, Eric Koltnow.

B.C. Wehman:
And you'll find us everywhere and anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts.

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