Putting oneself into the creative spaces of our culture requires courage. Unfortunately, for every person who does, many others quit without achieving their goal. After all, in the digital age, the internet skews toward cruelty. Yet, if one has a true dream to perform at the highest level, you should never sell yourself short. One person who provides a platform for unusual aspiring artists is Phil Thomas Katt. The documentary Space Happy: Phil Thomas Katt and the Uncharted Zone seeks to shine a light on his incredible work.
Phill Thomas Katt has taken on a level of celebrity on the internet. The man behind UZ TV (Uncharted Zone TV) has allowed surprising viral hits to find success. Taking a Ratatouille approach to music, Katt believes anyone can create good music. However, while the music videos he constructs thrive on lo-fi effects, Katt promotes his videos in good faith. More than anything, he wants talented and unique performers to break outside of their insecurities.
Space Happy displays an incredible amount of positivity throughout. Featuring archival footage from UZ TV, as well as interviews, director Louis Crisitello explores the origins of the channel. While much of the film would feel at home with The Stairway to Stardom Mixtape or Life on the Farm. The oddball energy and work ethic is undeniable. It’s the passion that shines through and makes Katt’s efforts to promote his artists so endearing.
The string of talking head interviews occasionally causes Space Happy to drag, yet each individual takes over for minutes at a time. Previous sensations, like Mark Gormley and consistent guest Tommy Robinetti praise Katt’s devotion to the project. The effort to keep the Gulf Coast music scene on the map makes for an excellent story. However, Crisitello could have found more material by looking at Katt’s life away from the studio and following his other passions. We certainly see his devotion here, but providing a more well-rounded view of some participants might have helped us understand the personal risk they take by contributing to the Uncharted Zone.
Clocking in under an hour, Space Happy: Phil Thomas Katt and the Uncharted Zone does not require too much commitment. The most important aspect is to keep an open mind. The people who populate Space Happy work hard to refine their craft. We need more artists unwilling to give up on their dreams. In that way, the documentary becomes a love letter to the dreamers and doers of the world.