Ondi continues a panel discussion from the Ashland Film Festival, where some of the most celebrated filmmakers of the event discuss their films, trends for docs, and elaborate their visions for their work.
The makers of “We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists,” “Tchoupitoulas,” “Smoke Songs,” “Holy Rollers,” and “Aquadettes,” all present their work and explain their shoots and stories. We discuss getting access to strangers, the impact of the internet, and give a surprising endorsement for piracy.
Briar March is a documentary filmmaker and Fulbright scholar. Fascinated by polarizing and colorful subject matter, and angered by environmental and human rights issues her films are diverse in style, but consistently grounded in a passionate desire to communicate. She directed the documentary features “There Once was an Island,” “Allie Eagle and Me,” plus a number of music videos, magazine shows, and commercials.
Bryan Storkel was born and raised in Seattle, WA. His editing credits include television shows for The Hollywood Reporter, National Lampoon and the Starz Channel, as well as several 30-minute national infomercials. The film “Strictly Background” was his first feature-length documentary about ten extras trying to make it in Hollywood. He shot and edited the film. His current film is the feature-length documentary “Holy Rollers,” which centers around a team of Christian gamblers taking Vegas for millions.
The Aquadettes are a group of elderly synchronized swimmers from Leisure World, a retirement community nestled in Orange County, California, who regularly practice routines and new water stunts to maintain their health and strength. Set to an amazing burlesque soundtrack, “Aquadettes” shows how ‘California girls’ hold on the their vibrancy. It is an intimate and beautiful portrait about maintaining quality of life.
“We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists,” is a documentary that takes us inside the world of Anonymous, the radical “hacktivist” collective that has redefined civil disobedience for the digital age. The film explores the historical roots of early hacktivist groups like Cult of the Dead Cow and Electronic Disturbance Theater and then follows Anonymous from 4chan to a full-blown movement with a global reach, one of the most transformative of our time.
“Tchoupitoulas” (pronounced “chop-ih-TOOL-us”) follows three young brothers from the West Bank of New Orleans as they cross the river on the ferry and spend one night in the shining, peculiar pleasure island that is the French Quarter. Our hero, 11 year-old William, a budding novice at the flute, is particularly drawn to the sounds that emanate from the bars, the clubs, and the sidewalks — all places we roam in “Tchoupitoulas.” In short, it’s a movie about the feel and sound of New Orleans at night — all night — through the eyes and ears of a kid.
00:01 BYOD welcome
00:36 Living in the golden age of documentaries–thanks to the black market.
04:18 The value of live interaction vs. online information.
07:42 Going beyond the one year window of filming on “Tchoupitoulas.”
08:53 “Tchoupitoulas,” clip.
11:36 Financing “Tchoupitoulas,” and kickstarter.
13:21 Music rights in docs and expenses.
15:29 Getting access to subjects.
17:09 “Smoke Songs,” clip.
18:00 Getting releases, “A recipe for mental anguish.”
18:45 Walking cold into stranger’s lives.
20:19 Struggling to connect with an unlikeable subject.
21:34 “We are Legion,” clip.
23:40 Finding value in whatever subjects have to say.
28:46 Keeping up with “We are Legion.”
29:22 “Holy Rollers,” clip.
31:00 Financing the films.
37:22 “Aquadettes,” clip.
37:58 Funding, “Aquadettes.”
40:00 The “Wild West” of the Internet.
42:20 If the Ross brothers have made films about their midwestern upbringing.
44:55 The story of the children in “Smoke Songs.”
48:44 Other films that have played at Ashland previously.
50:41 Keeping up with the films.