I am currently at work on a feature documentary about the post-punk LA music scene called ‘We’re All Happy’ and I am developing the web series ‘Gus Doesn’t Die.’


“Jean Railla gives us a look at what’s it’s like to be one of the hip young denizens of the local music scene, packing us along as she attends various house parties, where people like Beck are just plain folk hanging out.“—PDX, 1993

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The original 5 NIGHTS OUT is a forty-seven minute documentary set in the early 90’s Silverlake, Los Angeles music scene. Heavily influenced by ‘zine culture and shot as a video diary, the film follows twenty-three-year-old Jean Railla over the course of five nights as she drinks at dive bars, sees live shows at tiny venues and attends house parties.  Live performances by Beck, Possum Dixon, and Ethyl Meatplow are punctuated with interviews with musicians and poets.  Released in 1993, it offers an authentic account of what it was like to be young, bohemian and occasionally gender-bending in the City of Quartz.

Now, the original filmmakers are at work on a sequel to 5 Nights Out, combining rare and archival footage and new interviews.  Stay tuned for more information.

About the Filmmakers

Jean Railla, Director/Producer

In the early 90’s, Jean Railla was a UCLA grad with a degree in women’s studies and a crappy waitressing job.  She spent her free time editing the zine Work and hanging out with a vast array of musicians, artists and writers who lived on the east side of LA, where rents were cheap.  Inspired by the Do-It-Yourself ethic of the era, she bought a video camera with a credit card and started documenting her life in the bohemian enclave.  The resulting documentary 5 NIGHTS OUT offers an intimate look at a music scene in which Beck plays backyard parties and people dress up like mimes just for the heck of it.

Since making 5 NIGHTS OUT Railla has toiled as a public radio producer, screenwriter, journalist, copywriter, and blogger.  Her web site getcrafty: making art out of everyday life and book Get Crafty: Hip Home Ec (Random House) was credited by the New York Times as “inspiring the movement that turned ‘handmade’ into bohemian chic, and propelling a formerly fusty hobby into a $30 billion business.” She lives in New York with her husband, Stephen Duncombe, a media studies professor and activist, and their two sons.

Jonathon Stearns, Editor/Producer

Jonathon Stearns and Jean Railla met while they both worked at the avant-garde video studio EZTV.  They bonded over their love of cable access shows and their fear of their uber-paranoid boss who claimed UFO’s had abducted him. Railla convinced Stearns to be her editor—as a musician and filmmaker with a slacker sensibility he intuitively understood what she was going for.  His mad editing skills turned 20 hours of video recordings into a cohesive, swiftly moving narrative.

These days Stearns is the founder of Channel B4 Media, a multimedia production and postproduction company based in Silver Lake, CA and he continues to play in local bands.  He lives in Silver Lake, CA with his wife and daughter. Find out more at