Community Content Spotlight: Grow Wings and Fly Fan Documentary
Words by Carter Tate and W.B.T.G. Slinger.
When you haven’t been able to follow King Gizzard on tour, what's the next best thing? In her monumental self-produced documentary, Grow Wings and Fly, Carter Tate has chronicled the full King Gizzard ‘23 Residency tour in complete visceral detail. Highlights of the performances shot from the crowd perspective are interspersed with travel-vlog style interludes of Carter’s journey with her tour companion Makayla. Along the way, they build a recurring cast of characters through candid chats, fan interviews, and the many serendipitous moments that happen on tour. caught up with Carter for a chat about the inspiration behind the film, details of the production, and dealing with intense community discourse.

Can you tell us about your filmmaking background and what inspired you to make Grow Wings and Fly?

I’m constantly thinking of film ideas because I’ve been making them for 10 years. I attended film school at NYU (undergrad) and USC (grad school). At both, I never felt very passionate about the kinds of films I was making; but over those 7 years, I felt like I found my place with sound design. Once I graduated, I started working as a sound designer. My plan was to do that forever, but I realized that doing sound design full-time wasn’t creatively fulfilling enough to me.

I’m currently trying to figure out my place in the film industry, but honestly, making this King Gizzard doc reignited my passion for filmmaking. Though it was made in a very D.I.Y. style (which is actually what I enjoy the most), it’s the first film I’ve made in so many years that reminded me why I decided to apply to film school in the first place when I was 18.

The idea of a documentary on King Gizzard crossed my mind during the 2019 tour. I was thinking more of a biographical doc about the band/band members, and I was definitely thinking that if I made it, it would be far in the future when I could get an actual crew together to do it professionally. When Gizz returned in 2022 after Covid and I saw that a solid community was emerging, I thought again about the doc but from a different angle: centered around the fans. It still felt like a future project until I saw Rigo, Jacob, and Sammy’s “1063 Days” doc on YouTube [Editor's note: check out's coverage of “1063 Days”]. This made me realize that my doc didn’t have to be a big production like I had originally imagined — I could just do it for YouTube with myself and my camera.

Tell us about the setup that allowed you to do this on tour?

In the film industry, it’s all about collaboration (which of course is an amazing thing), but personally, ever since I started making films, my favorite way to do it has always been by myself. I feel the most creative and relaxed that way. I used only a Sony ZV-1 point-and-shoot camera so it could be super portable and easy (and I recorded the audio into the camera mostly using a Rode VideoMic or Rode Wireless GOs).

The concert audio is mostly from multiple outside sources, including the legendary Mystery Jack.

Any unexpected challenges producing it?

The biggest challenge overall was in the editing process. Cutting my 30ish hours of footage down to a watchable length was so difficult! I loved everything I shot because my memories were attached to it. It was hard to decipher between clips which would appeal most to people outside of myself and the main “cast members”.

Advice for anyone thinking about following a King Gizz tour?

My advice for people following a Gizz tour (or any tour) is to have a solid travel plan and plan B’s in terms of travel accommodations and weather! Definitely try to get as much sleep as possible because you’re going to need it!

The extent of the fandom exhibited in the film has attracted criticism from some who find it extreme, to the point of disparaging where the band is currently at, the type of community surrounding them, and people involved in the film including yourself. How has it been dealing with that, and do you have anything you want to clarify?

The first week the film was released, I was receiving only overwhelmingly kind responses from viewers. Once it got an even larger audience, hate emerged on Reddit which I guess feels inevitable these days. However, the support did continue, so I don’t want it to seem like the hate was outweighing the love. The criticism was so blown out of proportion and honestly a shock to me. There were some very baseless assumptions and lies (many proven untrue within the documentary!). I find it funny that some people would critique the doc after having only watched a few minutes.

I think it would be helpful to remind these people of what a documentary is. The point is to show what is happening right now — that’s all. Just because I showed something doesn’t necessarily mean I support it or am claiming it to be an accurate representation of the Weirdo Swarm as a whole. I thought I made it clear that this was my personal experience on the tour. If you don’t want to see my experience, you don’t have to watch!

The biggest point is that this is a D.I.Y. project made for fun, to show why we love this band, and to be a time capsule. It wasn’t meant to be deeper than that.

Being in male-dominated environments as a filmmaker and musician for over a decade, I’ve unfortunately seen that misogyny still very much exists, but this was probably the first time I felt really impacted by it. There was hate around the idea of “privilege”, and people claiming they didn’t want to finish the doc after realizing it was about the trip of two “privileged young girls.” As a nearly 30-year-old woman working in film for a living, this is pretty demeaning. Not only is the “privilege” comment (referring to people’s finances, having a trust fund, etc.) simply untrue for all of the people I know closely in the doc, it is irrelevant.

People of all backgrounds have been following bands for decades — this is nothing new. The people appearing on tour in Grow Wings and Fly make sacrifices, work hard, and allocate their spending in order to do this. None of us fail to recognize how lucky we are that we can manage to do it.

With many of these comments, I couldn’t help but wonder: if this doc had been made by a male 30-year-old professional filmmaker, would people be calling him “a privileged, entitled young boy”? There are several older men in the Gizz community who are praised and admired for seeing so many shows and traveling far for Gizz — as they should be. It’s so awesome that they do that! It’s very interesting how some people see it so differently when it’s a younger woman doing the same.

There were more kind supporters on Reddit than haters. One person wrote, “Are [haters] just surprised that some ‘delicate young ladies’ didn’t stay home in the kitchen?” I hope all of this explanation doesn’t sound too angry and defensive, but it’s hard to see people you love (the kind and genuine people in the doc) getting bullied on the internet based on false assumptions.

At the end of the day, it’s really not that deep — this is all just for fun! It’s really silly how much some haters have overanalyzed and misinterpreted parts of it. Hateful comments surrounding the idea of over-obsession were laughable. It’s simply not weird in my opinion to be “obsessed” with good music. Overall, this documentary has been a very positive experience.

I’m so happy I could capture these moments and that people have enjoyed watching and have resonated with it so much. I have been blown away by people’s support, kindness, and appreciation for the doc. The Gizz community at large is an amazing group of people! condemns misogyny and other forms of discrimination, and is built by and supports the creative pursuits of all King Gizzard fans, including the women and non-male-identifying people involved and appearing in Grow Wings and Fly. Check out Carter’s Hide and Sink EP and other projects on her Youtube Channel, her Instagram account @ccaarterr, and find her wherever King Gizzard is on tour.
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