Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Big Picture Show

The VODO release was a great success.  They said in the first day the movie was download 10,000 times.  10,000 times!  Even if only half the people who downloaded it actually watched it, that’s already an order of magnitude greater than the number that had seen it up til that point.  I’ve been getting emails and tweets from people all over the world giving reactions and asking questions about the film, and it’s all been pretty overwhelming.
It’s been about a year since we finished the film.  Every time I think it’s done with and I can put it on the shelf, the movie turns out to have more life in it.  And, a year on, it had its most successful week yet.
Cool things that happened this week, in no particular order: landing the front page of The Pirate Bay.  Getting a Lionshare Wikipedia entry (soon-to-be-deleted, but it was there nonetheless!).  Being asked to be interviewed for a book about online media and downloading.  Getting an email asking “what advice would you give to a young aspiring filmmaker?”
That last one took me aback.  The notion that anybody was asking me for advice on how to succeed as a filmmaker was…I don’t know what.  I don’t feel like I’m anywhere near being able to think about giving advice on how to “make it.”  I wanted to say to him “Got me, but when you find some, send it my way.”  But what I realized I should say was this: just go out and do something.  Whatever you can.  Make your movie however you can.  It may seem obvious but it’s something a lot of people (myself especially) have a tendency to forget.  You think you’re not ready, you make excuses for yourself, you’ll do it next month or next year.  But unless you actually do some work, thinking about it is all you’re going to do.  Do it and learn, then make another one that’s even better from the experience.
At least I think.
Anyhow, all this stuff combined with the looming end of 2009 has made me kind of contemplative.  I really want to thank everybody who checked out the movie whether you liked it or not.  And thanks to all the people who contacted me to tell me what they thought.  And to all the people who made donations or bought the DVD.
See you on the next one.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

'Lionshare' makes best-of list

Filmmaker and critic Tom Russell, whose review I linked to a while back, has made a list of his favorite films of the past decade.  The Lionshare is on that list:
A multifaceted examination of how culture is created and disseminated and notions of ownership, all packed into a tight and sprightly sixty-five minutes. Entertaining, maturely stylish, ambitious without ever overreaching. The filmmaker has made the film available for free. It’s worth your time.
This is quite an honor to bestow upon our little film.  Thanks to Tom and everyone else who has supported it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Charm Face Music Video

Charm Face’s album release party was awesome, as was their Lionshare-tie-in video.  Check it out:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Music Video Premiere

Bracey Smith and the band he played with in the movie went on to form a band called Charm Face.  They’ve been achieving a lot of success and tomorrow night is the release party for their first album Hup.  Before they play they will also premiere the Lionshare-inspired music video for “Comfort Food,” a song featured at the end of the movie.  Bracey had a great concept that results in the video being what I consider an unofficial ’sequel’ to The Lionshare, even further blurring the line between reality and the world of the movie.
Here’s a quick behind the scenes video Bracey put together of the shoot:

So check out their free show tomorrow night and get there early to see the premiere of the video!
Friday, October 9
8:00 pm
Blarney Stone, 2nd floor
410 8th Ave
New York, NY

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Anyone go to Hell's Half Mile Fest?

Did anyone who went to the Hell’s Half Mile Film and Music Festival catch one of the Lionshare screenings? Let us know what you thought!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Russells review 'The Lionshare'

Tom and Mary Russell, husband and wife filmmakers and prolific twitterers, have written what I think is the best review of the movie yet. They, more than anyone else so far, hit the nail exactly on the had with their read of the film (at least in terms of what I was conscious of trying to do). An excerpt:
But every once in a while, there’s a film that packs its 65 minutes with ideas, explored fully yet obliquely– a film that makes you wish there was another half-hour to look forward to, yet leaves you feeling satisfied. One such film, peering a few decades back, was 1967’s The Firemen’s Ball, the delightful sociological comedy that is still one of Milos Forman’s best films. Another is Josh Bernhard’s The Lionshare.
...
I do not make this comparison lightly; to my mind, the two films have more in common than the slim running time. Both films are comedies that explore sociological phenomenon with a light but occasionally biting touch; both come at their respective subjects a little sideways, making points in such an oblique and organic way that they don’t feel like points at all, that they only register on a subconscious level– which ensures that the films will last beyond the current sociological climate, that they have things to say about life when their subjects have been regaled to relics.
The comparison to Milos Forman’s The Fireman’s Ball is quite humbling. Read the whole review here, and check out more of their film criticism on twitter: @tomandmary.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

HHM Fest Screening Dates

The Hell’s Half Mile Film and Music Festival website has posted the screening schedule. The Lionshare will be showing
Friday, October 2
9:00 pm
Masonic Temple
700 N. Madison Ave
Bay City, MI 48708
and
Saturday, October 3
6:00 pm
State Theater
913 Washington Ave.
Bay City, MI 48708
They’re showing the movie at a Masonic Temple?  Awesome.

Friday, September 11, 2009

IMDb: Some kind of milestone

The movie is as real as it was an hour ago.  But on a whim I decided to check if our IMDb submission had gone through, and, lo and behold:
As part of a generation that has relied on IMDb to tell us, well, basically everything about movies, back in the days before it was owned by amazon.com or whatever their relationship is now, this is kind of a big deal to me.  I realize it’s a little thing, but this, strangely, makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something just as much if not more than anything else that’s happened so far.

'The Lionshare' at HHM Film & Music Festival

I’ve just been notified via email that we’ve been accepted to the Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival in Bay City, Michigan. From their website:

HHM Fest is more than an event for those who simply appreciate film and music.  It’s a grassroots effort to develop a community that participates in the arts.  The festival idea developed from a “wouldn’t it be great…” conversation, into “we can do it” action.  We hope our actions will inspire others to develop new arts and culture opportunities in our community.
...
It’s our 4th year of fighting for independent film and live original music, and we have one “hell” of a line up of features, docs, shorts, animated, student and foreign language films. Plus, a Saturday night of music at the old Masonic Temple with bands Oh My God (Chicago), Baby Teeth (Chicago) and Champions of Breakfast (Detroit).
Help us fight for independent film and music.  Plan to attend HHM Fest-4 October 1-4, 2009.  For information on advance ticket and pass sales please contact info@hhmfest.com.
Sounds good to me!  Doubtful we will be in attendance, but it’d be pretty cool…we’ll see what happens. 

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lionshare Trailer

In what I can only describe as an inexcusable omission, until now I have not created a trailer for the movie.  We have a poster, a DVD, reviews, promotional stills, but no trailer.  I can only say that I had some difficulty getting something together that I was happy with, and that I am dumb. But I’ve finally come up with something I think works pretty well, so without further ado: