Arts / Media / Sports

This documentary is about a Baltimore subculture that might surprise you

Early Light Media’s “Throw” is about the complex art of street yo-yo. It debuts in Telluride this weekend.

A still from "Throw." (Image via Early Light Media)

While walking through Patterson Park with his family, David Larson struck up a conversation with Coffin Nachtmahr. He was drawn in by Nachtmahr’s yo-yo, weaving and swooping.
“I hadn’t seen someone using a yo-yo since I was a kid,” said Larson, a director at Early Light Media.
With Darren Durlach, Larson has worked on video projects for Pandora, Shock Trauma and the Weinberg Foundation. After staying in touch with Nachtmahr, they decided to return to their journalistic roots and turn their lens on Baltimore’s subculture of “throwers.”
For the passion project, they shot dazzling footage of Nachtmahr at East Baltimore landmarks like the Patterson Park Pagoda and the Baltimore Cemetery. As they unspooled his story further, the challenges Nachtmahr faced growing up in East Baltimore also became part of the narrative. There’s also an entrepreneurial angle, as he found sponsorship and started his own company around throwing called OhYesYo.

The short documentary that resulted, titled Throw, is set to debut in Telluride, Colo., today at Mountainfilm 2016. Durlach, Larson and Nachtmahr are all making the trip to participate in Q&As after the four screenings. Nachtmahr will also throw in person.
“This simple object can be so complex,” Durlach said of Nachtmahr’s yo-yo skills. “He just takes it to an insane level.”
The documentary is planned to be the first in an Early Light Media series called Invisible Thread, which focuses on people-driven stories.

Companies: Emerging Technology Centers (ETC Baltimore)

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