To kick off Budro Partida’s upcoming documentary, a record player plays the music of the Austin rock band Dangerous Toys, a group that gained popularity through Back Room, a famous club of musicians in the 1980s and 1990s .
Although the venue closed in 2006 after 33 years in business, the Back Room remains an unforgettable home for many music enthusiasts, including the UT Partida alumnus who seeks to shine a light on the story of the place on film by incorporating music from Austin like the Dangerous Toys throughout his project. .
After attending UT in the early 2000s, Partida said she founded her own production company, PennyRock Productions, to bring the stories to life. Inspired to commemorate the history and significance of the back room, Partida said he and his team decided to create a feature documentary called “Bloody & Bruised: The Untold Story of the Back Room”. Replaced by the Emo’s concert hall, the Back Room originally served as the birthplace of emerging and world famous hard rock artists.
“I lived down the street from Back Room when I first moved to Austin. … It was one of the first places I went to see a live show,” Partida said. It pained me to see him forgotten.”
Beginning production on the film in late 2020, Partida said he knew the feature would be his toughest project. For nine months, his team carried out around sixty interviews with Back Room staff, musicians and other crucial personalities in the history of the place. Currently in post-production, Partida said he believes the documentary will be the biggest project of his career.
“I’m trying to fit 33 years of history into two hours,” Partida said. “It’s terrifying, amazing and satisfying all at the same time. I knew it would be the hardest project I’ve ever done, but I knew it was worth it.
John Jew, producer at PennyRock Productions and former manager of rock band Manifesto, said he frequents the Back Room to book bands. Jew said the film aimed to do good with the old-school crowd while letting the younger generation know about the place.
“(The Back Room) meant a lot to a lot of people,” Jew said. “(The film) is a love letter to the back room for the older crowd and for the younger crowd who didn’t know there was anything before Emo’s.”
Co-producer Tammy Moore said she worked at Back Room for 15 years. Through a rollercoaster of emotional moments she experienced at the scene, Moore said the back room reflected her journey to becoming a better version of herself.
“It was wild, exhilarating, heartbreaking and it took my soul and shook me in every way,” Moore said. “I wouldn’t trade it – it’s part of me.”
Calling the club her second home, Moore said she appreciated seeing a film made about her family and having a front row seat to music history.
“I hope people understand the magic that happened in the room,” Moore said. “I hope people will come away having learned something about humanity against the strain of music, and that young people will understand… how previous generations experienced it inside this building.”
Despite the documentary’s delayed release, Partida said it prioritizes the importance of doing Back Room justice, telling its story with precision and care, showing how special the place is to all who see it. ‘have visited.
“It’s not just the entertaining stories that tie together,” Partida said. “It’s about how much this place really affected a lot of people who were there, whether it was musicians, employees, fans, or just showing up on random nights.”