THE "ROSCO + DOC" DOCUMENTARY HAS BEEN CANCELED.
First, please accept my apologies for this lengthy message, but I couldn't have explained this in any shorter detail and do the explanation any justice. It's very important to get this message out clearly to everyone.
It is with TREMENDOUS sorrow that I have to inform you that the production of the “Rosco + Doc” documentary has come to an end after only one day of filming. I was forced to pull the plug on the project after the culmination of some unfortunate events and I would like to explain that to you, but it’s not a simple story so please bear with me.
We have been on the road since departing from Rosco, and have only now had the time to write all of this and get this message out to everyone.
I need to preface what I’m about to write by saying that in no way do I intend to tarnish anyone’s name or character, but I have a responsibility to clearly explain what has transpired because of the expectations that were set for this project.
The short story is that Rosco acted horribly and showed us that he can’t be trusted and that he can be volatile.
To explain the story thoroughly, I need to provide lengthy details regarding the money from the donations and a timeline of events leading up to the moments that brought this documentary to a screeching halt.
So first let’s discuss the money because this is at the root of the fuel that flamed Rosco’s aggression. As you are aware, if you watched the video that I produced for the GoFundMe, I set out to raise money to cover all my expenses in order to go film this amazing documentary without having to ask for any money from Rosco. The goal was simple: raise money to cover my expenses. Here is the breakdown of what I requested versus what I actually spent, because in some areas I actually found better deals than my initial search:
Total money raised for the project:
$4355 (We actually went $40 over our goal)
Cost per item purchased (with the original expected cost in parentheses):
-$445.50 2 plane tickets (to WA) ($600)
-$439.50 2 plane tickets (to NC) ($600)
-$1000 drone ($1300)
-$154.76 batteries ($144)
-$238.64 memory cards ($225)
-$257.38 hard drives ($256)
-$171.55 unexpected camera bag purchase
So after spending what I needed to get home and back, plus the additional gear I said that I needed, and the new camera bag to hold it all that I didn’t expect, I would have been left with a total of $1647.67 to spend towards my hotel room and food for 17 days.
If you recall, I budgeted the following for my hotel and food:
-$850 hotel for 17 nights ($50/night)
-$340 food ($20/day)
That’s a total of $1190 we would need to just scrape by with the cheapest room and super cheap food. I didn’t want to ask for more than the bare minimum of what I needed.
So after spending bare minimum, we would have been left with a wiggle room of $457.67 based on what we raised, the money I saved on certain items, and the money we would have left.
Now here’s the part that you didn’t know. As the funds were being raised Rosco ran into some “issues” and reached out to me on 4 separate occasions to ask me for money from the funds I was raising. This was slightly off-putting because he had originally reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to film this documentary and told me that he didn’t have money to pay me but he would cover my travel and meals and hotel room expenses. Again, I raised all the money so that he wouldn’t have to cover me at all, but then he was asking me for help with money from the funds I was raising for myself. I did explain in the video that anything we raise over the minimum asking amount would all go to Rosco for his journey. I was happy to give him every penny he needed beyond what I needed to raise for myself. The problem was that at the point he started asking for money, we hadn’t even fully reached the minimum goal yet. He asked me for money with the expectation that we would exceed the minimum goal and continue to raise money on the road. I felt confident that we would go beyond the budget as we went along so I took the risk of letting go of some of the funds prematurely of raising and exceeding the goal.
On May 1, Rosco reached out to me and asked for $500 to replace the 4 tires on the van and to get it a tune-up. I figured if the van wasn’t running then we didn’t have a way to get around and this the documentary would not have happened, so I sent him the money
On May 19, he asked me for $400 to buy new merchandise. He explained that buying this merch would give him the ability to sell it and make money to give back to the documentary. It sounded like a necessity to me so I obliged.
On May 20, the very next day, Rosco called me from Canada and said he was being detained and might be thrown in jail for trying to enter the country. I panicked here thinking he would be stuck in jail and his whole tour would be over. By this point, I had already purchased plane tickets and gear so I was really stressed about the entire situation. He ended up just being banned from Canada and said he was going to hitchhike back to NY and then he would need a flight back home since he was stuck and didn’t make the money he was expecting to make in Canada. He asked for $300 for a plane ticket home.
May 26, he asked me how the funds were coming for the documentary in the following exchange:
Rosco: “Hey dude we had to put in a new battery for the van. It wouldn’t start at all yesterday...thank god it was the battery! Scary moment haha how are we looking on the funds?”
Zach: “Hey brother! Sorry just finally had a break, I’m still at the wedding. I’m glad the new battery fixed it!”
“For the funds, we’ve gone $40 over the goal so far. I really needed the full amount for my stuff: plane tickets, hotels, food, batteries, memory cards, hard drives, and the drone. So far I’ve given you $1200 so I’m still short $1160 of what I need for the essentials basically. I feel confident that we can make that much on the road asking for donations and then exceed that as well. I mean honestly, if I can just hit $1000 more from donations then I want to just give you every penny of what we make past that.”
So here I was being generous in saying that I didn’t even need the full $1200 back that I had given him but I would just be happy with $1000 more to cover my stuff.
Rosco: “Can you kick out any more to fund this wild beast of travel?”
Zach: “Hey sorry dude, just woke up a while ago. How much do you need?”
Rosco: “Maybe $200”
So this left me pretty deflated that he didn’t seem to either grasp or care about the fact that I was still short the money I needed.
We finally reached our funding goal and even exceeded it by $40, but at that point, I had given Rosco $1400 of those funds, so in reality, I was still short of the bare minimum that I needed, and thus I have been using my own money from my personal savings. I put all my hope into raising money on the road to gain back the money that I need, plus I knew it would be an amazing adventure and worth the struggle to get through it.
So my wife and I flew out on the 31st as planned and Rosco picked us up at the airport with an unexpected guest. I won’t say her name, in order to protect her identity, but I found out that she was going to be doing all the driving for the duration of the tour for Rosco along with other things Rosco doesn’t like to do; a tour manager if you will. Unexpected, yet welcomed for her assistance on this journey; I was happy to have her along for the ride. So we stopped off at a few places in Spokane before going to soundcheck at the first venue and we captured some amazing content. I flew the drone by this amazing waterfall and filmed Rosco with Doc and then we filmed an impromptu performance inside a vintage store and then I filmed Rosco having his palm read, which brought up some sensitive emotional memories for him. Everything was going really great for the documentary until we got to the venue where things to started to all fall apart.
As we got closer to the venue, Rosco was telling us that he didn’t think the show was going to go well because he didn’t think anyone would show up. But more so he was frustrated with the amount of money they were paying him for playing. The venue was only paying him $50 when he is accustomed to making around $200-$250 for a show. I can understand his frustration with this. So we show up and he goes on and puts on a show, but something seems off right away. He seemed very rusty, and maybe he just needed to warm up, but he was forgetting his own lyrics and playing the wrong cords and just stopping in the middle of the song. Maybe he was too inside his head about the lack of pay or the fact that he is flat broke, maybe all of that and more. At any rate, he continues to struggle through his entire performance while taking shot after shot of liquor from people offering him drinks. There were some beers involved as well and honestly I lost track of how much he was drinking but his tour manager was clearly nervous about seeing him drinking. She disclosed to us that she feels that he has a drinking problem, maybe he does, I’m not sure really.
After his set was over he went back to the green room to lay down, likely because he was super drunk. Then he sat up and said “We should just drive to Seattle now”
I told him that I think it would be better to drive in the morning for filming, so we have better light and can see the landscape along the way. Plus the tour manager that was driving was tired and needed to rest. My wife reminded him of that.
Carolina: “We need to check with your tour manager because she’s probably really tired.”
Rosco: “Oh it’s ok I can drive”
Carolina: “You can’t drive, you’ve had a few drinks”
Rosco: in a smart ass tone “I’ve had 19 drinks!”
Carolina: “Oh well that’s even worse!”
Rosco: “You’re about to see how it is on the road. You guys don’t know yet, you’ll see. You wouldn’t believe the things that go down on the road.”
Then he walked out of the room laughing; heading back to the stage to finish packing up his gear. After talking with my wife about how we need to just focus on getting a hotel room for the night because we can’t ride in a van with him driving, I left the green room to go talk with Rosco. I went on stage to see if he needed a hand with packing up anything. He responded abruptly by asking me how much money we have to work with for the tour. I looked at him with confusion and hesitation as I said:
Zach: “you mean the money for the documentary?”
Rosco: “Yeah, how much money is budgeted for our hotel rooms? How much money do we have left?”
Zach: “I only budgeted enough money to pay for my hotel room, with one bed, but we could split the cost on a room if you want to share and we can upgrade to two beds”
Rosco: “Wait, so you’re telling me that you don’t have any money to cover my hotel room?”
Zach: “Well, no, I only raised money to cover my expenses so that you wouldn’t have to pay anything for me”
Mid-sentence he stormed off the stage viciously and then threw his guitar and other gear down to the floor and then busted into the green room. Keep in mind, everyone that had been there to watch him perform was still there, including the people that were there to watch the next artist perform. They had seen all of this happen right in front of them. This man throwing a fit like a child, only, it’s more violent when you are an adult. So I came in the green room behind him and closed the door so we could be alone. He told me “don’t you fucking film me right now, don’t you put that fucking camera in my face!” I ensured him the camera was not on; however, it should have been.
Zach: calmly, much more than was deserved I said “Hey dude, are you mad at the situation or mad at me?”
Rosco: with a look of hatred he yells “I’m fucking pissed at YOU!”
Zach: “About what?”
Rosco: “About this money. I thought we raised $1400 over our goal”
Zach: “What? No. Dude, I gave you $1400 from what was raised. We are negative $1400. I still need to raise that much more.”
Rosco: “We’re NEGATIVE!? Well, that’s fucked.”
He just sat silently and steaming for a moment. Then he jumped up and left the room. Then his tour manager walked in the room and was apologizing for his actions. She said, “I had hoped he could keep it together at least for the duration of the documentary and not act like this.” I told her “I’m just really confused why he thought we had raised extra money when he knew I gave him $1400 out of the funds that I raised for myself.”
Tour Manager: “Wait, what? You gave him $1400? When?”
Then I explained to her about all the money he asked me for and what he used it for and this is the moment that everything became crystal clear. She told me that she had paid for the new tires for the van out of her own pocket. She had paid for the oil change on the van out of her own pocket. She had paid for Rosco’s plane ticket back from New York. So if she paid for all of that for him, why was he asking me for that money and what did he do with it? No clue. As far as I know, he did actually purchase merch with the $400, but the rest of the money, he just took it from me and didn’t use it for what he said he desperately needed it for. So he deceived me and now here he was acting aggressive and hateful to me about not having enough money to pay his way for hotel rooms.
The venue had paid Rosco $50 for the show and he threw it down to the ground and said “I should fucking burn it”
I picked it back up and gave it to him so it wouldn’t be left behind. I didn’t speak with Rosco any further this night.
We left the venue and I was in shock still about everything; trying to process it all. My wife and I discussed in the back seat of the van, our concerns about everything and how this seemed like a really bad situation we seemed to be in. I directed the tour manager to the cheapest hotel in the area that I had found. $60 for a night with two beds. Rosco climbed into the back of the van and passed out with Doc. Once we arrived to the motel, my wife and I went inside to start booking the room. I went back outside to get the money from Rosco for his half of the room. When I walked outside I heard him and his tour manager yelling at each other. She was yelling asking what he spent the money on that I gave him. She was demanding answers because she spent her own money to help him at the same time that he was asking me for that money that I gave him. She was deceived as well and wanted answers. He had no answers for her, only obscenities thrown sharply in her face. He demanded she get out of his van and called her some pretty terrible things. He also refused to give her the money for the hotel room, and so we left him there in the van and took the tour manager into our room with us. She was crying and feeling horrible and scared of Rosco’s aggression.
We all packed into the motel room, leaving Rosco to sleep off his rage in his lonesome in the van. In the motel room, we all reflected on what was happening and decided right there that it doesn’t feel safe for us to be on this tour and to be in proximity of this highly volatile person. The way he lashed out at me when I’ve done nothing to this man. The way he spoke to my wife when she told him she didn’t feel comfortable with him driving us while he was drunk. The way he screamed all those horrible things at his tour manager. It was all just too much. He’s an unstable person at best and too unpredictable to feel safe being around. Plus, he flat out lied to me about what he needed the money for and was treating me like garbage when I told him I didn’t have more to give him. So I decided to cut my losses and pull the plug on the documentary.
I immediately felt like a failure, like a fool. This guy just took such advantage of me and then treated me and everyone that was there to support him like the scum of the Earth. I didn’t know how to even begin to explain this to everyone who had supported the project. How could I explain how this whole thing just crumbled to pieces in one day? So I decided to just explain everything in great detail so that everyone would know exactly what happened.
So the next dilemma is that we were scheduled to fly out of Austin, TX on June 17th, and Spokane, WA is nowhere near Austin. I called the airport to see what it would cost to switch my plane ticket to fly out of Spokane and they said it would be an additional $1200 on top of what we had already paid. Well, you know the budget at this point, it doesn’t exist so this wasn’t a thrilling option. Plus, if we just bailed out and flew back home, we leave with NOTHING. Nothing to show for the time, energy, and money that’s been invested. So we decided to change the topic of the documentary to show what it’s like as an entrepreneur to be taken advantage of and to have a project like this fall apart and how to make the most of the situation. We decided our best plan would be to rent a car and drive back to North Carolina and film all of the amazing places along the way. So we are out here now, on the road, driving city to city, state to state, exploring the United States and all it has to show us. It’s not the documentary that was envisioned nor the one that was promised, but I plan to make it very compelling and to give you something amazing to watch. I fully expect that some of you out there that are only friends with Rosco and don’t know me to not take my side and to be pissed about the dismantling of the documentary, but I couldn’t have explained things any clearer and I hope you’ll understand the situation.
We expect our journey across America to take roughly 7 days. Given that we are driving now and documenting ourselves, it makes checking in and posting updates significantly more difficult, but we are going to do our very best. We’ve already captured so many amazing things as we have traveled from Spokane, WA to Seattle, WA and we are on our way now south towards California. Please keep us in your prayers as we are fully funding this journey on our own now. The rental car is costing us about $1000 along with the cost of gas and the price of hotel rooms and food along the way, we are in deep financially but making the most of every moment. Thank you all so much for taking your time to read this and hopefully to understand the situation and the decisions we’ve made to divert our course to and alter our journey. I promise we will have something amazing to show for it all. Please stay tuned.