TEN YEARS AGO, On the Boards' co-founder/artistic director Robert McGinley released his first film, Shredder Orpheus. The movie reconceived the ill-fated, mythological musician as a skateboard punk who played in a rock band. Thanks to McGinley's connections, the film had artistic credibility to spare -- the cast included renegade poet Jesse Bernstein, Megan Murphy (sister of On the Boards' then-publicist, Mark Murphy), and music by Roland Barker, then in Seattle band the Blackouts. McGinley himself played the title role. After a run on the film-fest circuit, Shredder was even picked up for national video distribution, no mean feat for a film by a bunch of relative unknowns.

With his foot now in the door, McGinley moved to L.A., but he's returned to his former stomping grounds for the premiere of his second feature, Jimmy Zip, a pyrotechnic coming-of-age story with a punk-flavored soundtrack (including a Shredder outtake, "Get Fucked Up"). The film's already snagged Best Dramatic Feature awards at the Hollywood and Wine Country film fests, but the world premiere was saved for Seattle.

Jimmy Zip ("Zip" as in "nothing") is a budding pyromaniac who escapes his abusive foster home for the big city, where he soon finds himself torn between the worlds of two men: Rick, a corporate-minded pimp and drug dealer, and Horace, a homeless metal-sculpture artist with Tourette's syndrome. Though the film drags at times, especially during the Horace-Jimmy "bonding" scenes, the cast's performances are strong, the sculptures are pretty cool, and the scenes where Jimmy and Horace interact with the art world are a hoot.

With a budget of under $1 million, the guerrilla-shooting techniques McGinley mastered during Shredder served him well with Jimmy Zip. There were the occasional mishaps, of course; while shooting the film's junkyard scenes, for example, the production designer fell and fractured his ankle. "We shot 26 locations in 20 days, and we didn't do any reshoots," McGinley tells me. "We just jammed it through."

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