Filmmaker Stephen Silha says he grew up with ink in his blood and “Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton” was another story he needed to tell. Silha has worked in newspapers, for private foundations, non-profits, and the United Nations. He credits all of those experiences as an important background for the crazy intensity of filmmaking. His co-director Eric Slade has a lot more experience in long-form filmmaking and they were able to mesh their skills to create this film.
What it’s about: Pre-Beat poet melds poetry and sensuality in a life embracing experimental film, hippie play, and gay liberation.
What else he wants audiences to know: “Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton” evolved and blossomed by our diverse team “following our own weird.” The film combines interviews, animation, journals, and snippets from Broughton’s 23 poetic and sensual films. We had lots of ideas and lots of poetry to work with, and we pared it down until it made sense to his story. Come prepared to be surprised. When you experience this guy’s path, it may just help shift your own.”
What were your biggest challenges?: “The incredible wealth of material, and the surprising lack of knowledge about him. Therefore, fundraising is a continuing challenge. But ultimately it was deciding what parts of his complex story to tell, and how to tell them in the most compelling ways. Our team was geographically spread out – Victoria and Vancouver, B.C., Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Mexico City.”
What he hopes you will walk away with: “Inspiration! I want people to walk out fired up to find their own “weird” – which means simultaneously being on your creative edge and true to your core reason for being.”
Indiewire invited SXSW Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they’re doing next. We’ll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2013 festival.