the making of
film run backwards

celebrating one year since its release

the beginnings

2018

The genesis of Film Run Backwards began all the way back in 2018 after we started writing our first songs. Originally, we planned to have it out in “late 2018.” We can only imagine how bad it would’ve been.

Back then, we had no idea what a time signature was or even what a recording studio looked like. This was before Keegan and Ashleigh joined the band, what we call the dark ages. There was no plan for recording it, no plan for releasing it, we just wanted to make something. This was early high school for us.

At one point, Ryan’s old church offered to record some tracks for us. We were super excited about that; there might still be a post on our Instagram about it from forever ago.

We didn’t have a name or cover art for the EP back then, but we remember planning on self-titling it. Pictured here is David in front of our famous whiteboard sometime in 2018. You can see none of the songs on there ended up being released.

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tracklist evolution

The tracklist for the final EP is essentially unrecognizable from some of the early versions. Goes to show how long it took us to get it out.

version 1 (2018)

  1. All Good Things
  2. Feral Dogs
  3. Film Run Backwards
  4. Shorthand

version 2 (late 2018)

  1. Shorthand
  2. The Fog Salesman
  3. Film Run Backwards
  4. Passport

version 3 (early 2019)

  1. Shorthand
  2. Marauder
  3. The Fog Salesman
  4. Film Run Backwards
  5. Passport

version 4 (late 2019)

  1. Shorthand
  2. The Fog Salesman
  3. Film Run Backwards
  4. Stay On Path
  5. Marauder

version 5 (early 2020)

  1. Marauder
  2. The Fog Salesman
  3. Film Run Backwards
  4. Stay On Path
  5. Apocalypse Hill

version 6 (mid 2020)

  1. Apocalypse Hill
  2. Marauder
  3. Film Run Backwards
  4. January
  5. Stay On Path

version 7 (late 2020)

  1. Help Me Doctor!!
  2. Marauder
  3. January
  4. Branches in the Sea (Pariah)
  5. Apocalypse Hill

final version

  1. Help Me Doctor!!
  2. Branches in the Sea (Pariah)
  3. January
  4. Apocalypse Hill
  5. Marauder
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keegan and ashleigh join

2019

Once Keegan and Ashleigh joined the band, we decided to dedicate more time to our concept EP. We missed our late 2018 deadline HARD, but decided to put “late 2019” in our bio instead. Surely we wouldn’t regret this decision.

We started putting together our first good songs around this time, and the EP became a little more fleshed out. Apocalypse Hill and Marauder made their first live appearances, and Oceansweeper was just getting started.

We still didn’t have any concrete theme, name, or cover art, but we started throwing around some ideas around this time. Some contenders for the EP title were “Downcoast,” “The New EP by Downcoast,” “Stay On Path,” and “Passport.”

Towards the end of the year, we saw some massive improvements in our songwriting. The gap in quality between songs like Shorthand and Apocalypse Hill started to become apparent to us, and we decided we would need more time to come up with something good.

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cover art evolution

We went through a lot of ideas for the cover art. Most of them were not good.

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version 1 (2018)

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version 2 (mid 2019)

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version 3 (late 2019)

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version 4 (mid 2020)

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version 5 (mid 2021)

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recording begins

2020

At the beginning of 2020, we decided to get in the studio and record our EP for real. We were running on version 5 of the EP tracklist, so three of the songs there ended up not being in the final cut. We recorded scratch tracks for Stay On Path, The Fog Salesman, Marauder, and Apocalypse Hill on March 15, 2020 at A New Level Recording.

The original drum recordings from this session ended up staying on the EP versions of Apocalypse Hill and Marauder. That’s why the drums there sound a little different than the drums on the other three tracks.

Once Covid happened, we realized we would need to put the EP on hold. We took a long break from the studio until October 2020, when we came back in with a new tracklist. We recorded the rest of the EP with as few people in the studio as possible, communicating what needed to be recorded via a Google Doc.

The drum tracks for the rest of the songs were done by just David and Ryan, with David in the vocal isolation booth so they were in separate rooms. Keegan and Ashleigh came in at later times separately to record their parts. Mixing was done with everyone in separate rooms wearing headphones.

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song art

Here’s the cover art for the songs that we used on our poster campaign. Some of these almost ended up being the cover art for Film Run Backwards, especially Apocalypse Hill’s art. These were all generated by the same AI that generated the cover art for the EP. David doesn’t remember what it’s called.

Help Me Doctor 3

help me doctor!!

Pariah

branches in the sea (pariah)

January

january

Apocalypse Hill

apocalypse hill

Marauder

marauder

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the release approaches

2021

Throughout most of 2021, we kept working slowly but surely on the EP. By this point, we had recorded all the tracks, but now we had to mix them. That ended up taking way longer than we were expecting. We would go in once a month or so and do a couple hours of mixing on the songs. We were working right up until the week before its release on making final tweaks. There’s still a few imperfections on there, but we got about as close as we could given the time we had.

A couple months before release, we came up with the final name and cover art for the EP. The name especially took a while: the final two contenders were Film Run Backwards (named after the song that didn’t make the cut) and Paperface (but we found out that’s already the name of a Weezer B-side from 1994).

The week before release, we went around town putting up posters with the song art, release date, and a QR code that took you to a clip from a song. Those pages still exist on the site, actually. Good luck finding them though. The URLs are kinda cryptic.

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Film Run Backwards

film run backwards is released

august 27, 2021

All tracks written by Downcoast

Lyrics by David Bridgeman & Keegan Bridwell

Recorded & Mastered by Blaine Johnston at A New Level Recording

Mixed by Blaine Johnston & Downcoast

We'd just like to say a huge thank you to everybody who's listened to our stuff. It means a lot to us, especially having January pass 1000 streams on Spotify the week before its one-year anniversary. Thank you all, we love you ♥