Rock Club the Movie: Documentary on Destin man with a message of love
Erick Brown, more widely known in Destin for his tie-died trench coat and pet goat, Deer, is a man with a unique story to tell, however, it is a story that even Erick will admit few stick around to hear the end of.
“That’s how you go from being a man to being a legend because there are so many stories about you,” Erick said. “A lot of people know who I am because of me and my goat, but a lot of people don’t know that I do a lot of good in the community.”
All of that is about to change however, as local videographer Cynthia Boyer, of Southern Shore Production Company, is currently finishing up a five-year documentary film on Erick’s life entitled, “Rock Club the Movie.”
“I wasn’t a filmmaker in 2010 when I started this,” said Boyer. “Before I met Erick, my daughter was friends with him and she would tell me stories about him and his ideas; but I looked at him and thought, ‘He’s a homeless guy, I don’t want him around my daughter.’”
Boyer told The Log that when she first met Erick she was hesitant and apprehensive of him, thrown off by his disheveled and unclean appearance, but she said, it didn’t take long before she realized she had it all wrong.
“I really did not want anything to do with him when I first saw him,” she said. “But after you get around him you learn that he helps everybody. He says the most amazing things I’ve ever heard, and he has the most amazing ideas of how to help people in the world.”
Boyer said that she soon learned Erick was not homeless or dangerous, but he had suffered a traumatic brain injury as a child that had left him with several learning disabilities. She said she was humbled by her quick judgment of his character, especially when she learned of his huge heart for helping the homeless in the community, and the more she was around him the more she wanted to tell his story.
“The reason I want to do a story on Erick, is to bring awareness to people with disabilities,” said Boyer. “Our film goes into who Erick is and what it is like for a young man with disabilities in the community. I want you to think of everyone you look at, but you really don’t know them. All of us have been mean to someone in our life, but we don’t know what they are going through. Erick’s taught me that.”
The Rock Club
The main highlight of the documentary, Boyer said, is Erick’s life mantra; his passion to see community members of every age and social status come together and support one another in a philosophy he calls The Rock Club.
“His dream is to have an organization that inspires youth and others to get involved in community service,” said Boyer. “To get people to help volunteer with the community.”
“I want to help the world by inspiring people to love each other a little more,” Erick said. “I try to do a lot of events for the community like walks with the homeless and about five years ago I started doing the Free Day; it was really big.”
Erick explained the idea behind Free Day is to host a community gathering where everyone donates things they do not want or need and once a month everyone gathers to share the items.
“We try to do a community picnic where people can bring food or clothes or anything they want to give away and we kind of open up and realize there is enough for everyone if everyone shares,” he said. “Basically I want, more than just a time to give and receive, for everyone to join the realization of abundance.”
The idea for the Rock Club, Erick said, began more than a decade ago, when he was in high school.
“I was homeless for awhile in high school and I would bring my guitar to school,” Erick said. “But they would say, ‘You cannot bring that guitar to school unless you are part of a club…Are you part of a club?’ So I would say, ‘Yes I’m part of the Rock Club.’”
Erick told The Log that the group began with his friends as young teen musicians gathering to play music and share ideas with the vision that the club would grow to include community service events and outreach programs to the poor.
“I feel like I inspire them to be in the community and do good things,” Erick said of his high school friends. “I feel like I just want to give those people a name with the Rock Club Foundation.”
Boyer explained that Erick’s Rock Club idea is more a measure of how you treat others and what you do in the community, and less of a physical group of people.
“You are a member of the Rock Club when you hear about it and decide to help out in the community,” she said.
A Change of View
Now in the final stages of filming, Boyer said she hopes the documentary will not only inspire a change of view about people with disabilities, but also create further opportunities for them to find social growth within the community.
“When you start a documentary, you usually have an idea of what might happen, but you never know what you are getting into until you get into it,” she said. “With Erick, we have seen a lot of good things and a lot of bad things everyday. It’s a very interesting world. It’s a crazy different world but for me, being with Erick has changed the way I view things; it has opened my eyes to discrimination towards people with disabilities and the homeless. Imagine if all of his ideas could be put together into a real organization. You would have something that could take the homeless off of the street.”
To see a three minute trailer for Rock Club the Movie visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV2l3tZDdW4 or follow the production on Facebook.