|Big Joy Project News||Spring 2012 Newsletter|
PO Box 2003 Vashon, WA 98070
| Greetings! |
We're making a movie!
Of course you knew that, and so did we. But you really start to feel the momentum when you reach the stage we are -- post production. That means the film is coming together. We've graduated from filming to putting it all together - music, animation, details. To top that off in the last couple months we've had a string of screenings where people have seen our work and offered feedback, insight, and praise.
They've said things like, "The message I took home is that the road to big joy is not always easy."
Or, "This is really a film about self-esteem. It's about becoming your most authentic self no matter who that is."
Or simply, "I had no idea who James was! Now, I can't get enough of his poetry!"
It's really inspiring to begin to show our work and to hear from others. It makes us even more excited to show you the film when the time comes - later this year or next.
We've got some fun news this month and some interesting people to tell you about, so we hope you enjoy this little window into our filmmaking adventure.
With joy and thanks, -- Stephen Silha and the Big Joy team
Behind the scenes
Think about the documentaries you've seen. You know all of those great photographs that give you a view into times long gone, times that you couldn't be there for but want to know about now as the story unfolds? Aren't they wonderful?
|Filming Golden Positions 1970|
Images like this play a crucial role in every documentary, and it turns out, take an enormous amount of work (and sometimes money) to procure.
Every single image in the movie (fortunately, we have over 1,000 to choose from) needs to be be vetted. We have to know who is in the image (of course) but also who shot it, and who now owns the rights to it. And then we need permission from all of the parties involved in order to use the image. Sometimes that means tracking down the family of the deceased photographer and getting their permission to use an image taken decades earlier. All of this for a single photo!
Papers shuffle, emails zap, phone calls ring, signatures are secured, dollars negotiated. It takes time! And money. Some people and companies charge a lot for a single image or second of film. Thankfully there are also those who are generous with these photos and film clips and give them to us. (Thanks!)
There's also insurance! To release a film like this you have to have what's called Errors and Omissions Insurance-- that means your covered in case you make a mistake. Of course we're not planning on making any of those, but interestingly it's almost a full time job just to get all of the paperwork in order for our photo archives.
We're not complaining. It's worth it. And we think you'll agree when you see the film. A window into the past is still a precious thing, even if sometimes you have to pay an arm and a leg for it.
Master of ceremonies
Kyung Lee is the co-editor of the Big Joy film as well as the post production supervisor. This entails supervising sound design, moves on stills (that is the technique used to transition from one photo to another), color correction, and making all of our film HD (Broughton's film clips need to be updated to this form), among many other tiny detailed jobs that make our film a cohesive whole. When she's not doing Big Joy Kyung is also a filmmaker herself.
This month we asked her what the most joyful inspired thing she did in the last month was and this is what she said:
"I did stand-up paddle surfing for the first time last weekend in the Oakland bay. And I didn't fall into the water! I thought I was going to but I didn't so I thought that was pretty good for my first time. I was the only one in the group that didn't. "
Big Joy Hero
Comfort, Joy and a Kitten
Michael Calfee, or Kitten, as he is affectionately known, is our master social media mixer. One thing that might not be obvious about a man called Kitten is that he is actually 6'6" tall. It's a paradox we love, and we're sure James would also enjoy. Kitten has been teaching us all kinds of things about social media and is volunteering his time to put our name out there. We're so grateful.
He's also a member of one of our partner organizations: Comfort and Joy.
According to Michael (meow) what Comfort and Joy does is in synch with so many of James' messages. He told us when he discovered James' work, he felt immediately that they were "following the same truth" so to speak. Here's what he had to say:
What I love about James and his messages is that people are so often told to tone it down, to mute who they are in a sense, so that they can be accepted, but James is like, 'Go grab your flag and fly it! Take it out of your closet and wave it around!'
James' message was really about trusting your own creativity. He was an experimental filmmaker. A lot of people want to go see a movie that someone else has made, they want to buy things or do things that someone else has created. James was all about following your own internal creative instincts, whatever they are. And trusting them--even if they are not perfected. That's a lot of what we do in Comfort and Joy: we help each other with our creative endeavors.
There are more people out there looking for opportunities than there are opportunities, but when we band together, we can create opportunities. That's what Comfort and Joy does, we support each other in this way.
James was well known by a certain generation, but this generation needs to be aware of him too. He's a great role model. As soon as I heard about Big Joy I felt that this movie has the potential to be like The Cockettes. That movie opened a lot of people's eyes. This movie has the same ability to be educational and inspirational.
It reminds us that we all have poetry inside and we should remember that, and focus on it. Let it out and let it flourish.
Click here to find out more about Comfort and Joy!
Adding the flavor of
For a long time we've been talking about the animated poems and journal entries that will be in our movie. The thing about them is that making them is actually one of the last things to happen. The story has to be perfectly in place before the animation can begin.
Michael Mann of Mannkind Design
is our man! He said, "What was beautiful about doing the animation for Big Joy was that I got to experiment with different approaches.
[Co-directors] Stephen and Eric were very supportive of me taking creative leaps."
Mann says one of the things that was different with this project as opposed to most commercial projects is that he got to create a lot of things by hand in physical form. Then he would shoot them with a camera and combine it with digital techniques.
He painted sea creatures with watercolor and then tweaked them on the computer. He used his daughter's markers to write words and then added water filming as the words dissolved onto the paper - turning into clouds.
When we asked him about the most surprising thing about the Big Joy work he said, "What you can do with chocolate syrup!" He used it for blood and paint and something else which he wouldn't disclose.
"Let's just say we added it to make a little more flavor."
We like flavor and we're glad for his work.
By James Broughton
intrepid all the way
walk toward clarity
with sharp eye
With sharpened sword
clearcut the path
to the lucent surprise
At every crossroad
be prepared to bump into wonder.
Money and Success
We love this part of our newsletter. We love reporting on our successes.
First we are pleased to say that IFP (Independent Film Project)
chose us as one of only ten documentaries to participate in their 2012 Documentary Labs. That means we'll make three trips to New York--this spring, fall, and winter. During the visits, we'll be paired with a filmmaking mentor. We'll get studio time and feedback from experienced filmmakers on our rough cut. Then they will teach us the ins and outs of marketing and distributing our film. We feel honored to be one of the few chosen and are really excited about learning from the experience of folks who have been at this for a long time. (IFP doesn't pay for travel or expenses, so contributions of cash or miles are welcomed and appreciated.)
Next we want to give a shout out to those who have recently contributed to our film, and especially those who have given above and beyond to help make our film's musical score happen. We've raised $2,500 of the $5,000 we need right now to make this happen. You know who you are-- thank you!
And finally, you may be familiar with Christa by now. She's our fundraising-by-phone-woman-extraordinaire. If you've gotten a phone call from her and contributed because of it we thank you. If you haven't-- you're next!
In this newsletter we are making a special offer!
If you donate now
(or soon!) you can skip the phone call and just cut right to the "Thanks." :)
Raising the funds to make a movie is one of the most challenging parts of the project. We're proud of the work we've done so far... and we still have a ways to go. Please help by contributing to our project--your money will be put to good use
to pay the artisans who are helping us create this visual work of art, which we hope will be an inspiration to all. We still need another $150,000 to move through the rest of the filmmaking and into the distribution stage.
The Bells are Ringing
New "This Is It 2" bell now available!
Master bell maker Gordon Barnett is at it again. And this time he's really outdone himself. (Actually he does that every time.) We are pleased to announce another unique and gorgeous creation by him: The This Is It Bell #2.
Written on the bell are the words of one of James Broughton's most famous poems.
The bell says, "This is It / This is really It / This is all there is / and it's perfect as it is" on one side,
and on the other, "There is nowhere to go / but here / There is nothing here / but now."
It is available for purchase and the proceeds help the Big Joy Project. Silver bell: $200. Bronze bell: $180.
Send us an email if you'd like to buy one.
And of course you can also find our other goodies on the goodies tab of our website and at our James Broughton Cafe Press Store.
|The Big Joy Team!|
Journalist, Executive Producer & co-director Stephen Silha founded the Big Joy Project. Award-winning filmmaker Eric Slade is directing Big Joy, the documentary film. Dawn Logsdon is editor. Bill Weber is consulting editor. Cinematographer/producer Ian Hinkle, filmmaker/post-production supervisor Kyung Lee, and artist/filmmaker Geoff Watland are helping with editing. Michael Mann is doing animation. Associate Producer Aimée Cartier writes, coaches, and keeps things organized. Peter+Trudy Johnson-Lenz provide creative pathfinding and intellectual support. Associate producer Max St. Romain (aka Javier Sanchez) conceived and designed the website and Big Joy materials, and continues to advise on music and art. Jok Church is an executive producer. Cellist Jami Sieber is working with us on music! And you are appreciating and spreading the joy.
|To support the power of art and poetry to change lives - please send us your donation today!|
TO DONATE: You can go to our Paypal page, or send us a check to PO Box 2003 Vashon, WA 98070. (For tax deduction make the check out to Northwest Film Forum.)
or go to www.bigjoy.org/site and click "Donate." Or, if you want a tax deduction (for gifts of $50 or more): put Big Joy in the "Gifts Membership" Field at the Northwest Film Forum.
GET INSPIRED: Read Broughton quotes regularly posted on our Facebook page.
TRAILER: Watch the trailer now!
BLOG WITH US: Living Big Joy Blog or James Broughton and Me
YOU TUBE: Check out our cool videos.
BIG JOY INTENTION: The Big Joy Project creates more joy in the world by inspiring people to "follow their own weird," using the life, joy, and work of James Broughton- filmmaker, poet, writer, wildman-as inspiration.
QUESTIONS: call (206) 567-4363 or email firstname.lastname@example.org