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Fall 2012 Big Joy Newsletter


Big Joy Project News Fall 2012 Newsletter
PO Box 2003 Vashon, WA 98070
in this issue
:: Behind the scenes of making a movie: What's that sound?
:: A Drawing by James Broughton
:: We're in Lambda Literary this month!
:: Pro bono! Thank you Big Joy Hero Madie Gustafson
:: Color finishing... What's it to ya?
:: Poetry by James Broughton
:: Money and Success
:: More cool products!
Dear Gorgeous, 
We are getting so close to finished it's amazing.  It will still take another $130,000 to get to the finish line, and we are planning and preparing for the next stage of the Big Joy master plan: film distribution.

First, we want to really thank you for making our Big Joy Kickstarter campaign a huge success this summer (we know, it can be a lot of e-mails!).  Then, we're going to update you with some juicy bits 
about the filmmaking itself.  Don't miss out on all the fun stuff below.
With joy and thanks,
                                                    -- Stephen Silha, Eric Slade and the Big Joy team

Behind the scenes    

That's the sound of... a train?  

No, a bell?   

In many cases both sound and color correction make the difference between a film that feels professional, and complete, and, well, one that does not.  But they are additions you might not notice outright because they blend with the film.  They make the scenes look, feel, and sound like a natural and cohesive whole, instead of a series of random images.

The San Fransisco Chronicle recently featured our sound guy Jim LeBrecht in an article.  
But for us, sitting in the studio and watching him effortlessly weave sounds and make transitions in the film was mesmerizing.  

"There are so many layers to sound that you might not think of," shares Director Eric Slade.  For instance, at one point in the film a train goes by.  LeBrecht is responsible for adding the sound of that train to the original footage.  But not just any train.  He's so precise about what he does that he found the sound of a train from that precise time period.  

Just after that scene, the film moves into a part about Broughton's thoughts of suicide.  To transition into that next piece and create the right mood, LeBrecht took the same train clip and altered it until it sounded like an eerie screech.  

Director Eric Slade said, "He makes the sound fit the mood perfectly.  In that case he just beautifully transitioned from the sound of a train to this otherworldly noise in a seamless way."

In another instance he recorded the sound of one of Gordon Barnett's bells.  To underscore a part in the film, during the animation of one of James' poems, he played the recording backward and slowed it way down.  It ends up making sort of a "Waaaaaah" sound.  You would never know what the sound was made from, but you feel it in your belly as it highlights what is being shown in the images perfectly.

In the final stages of the film this is the kind of creativity that shines though and adds the final magic.  

 A Drawing  

       by James Broughton  



Big Joy Press   

        We're in the Lambda Literary  

this month! 


Check out our article here:  




  Pro Bono:  

That's something we love!  

Big Joy Hero Madie Gustafson    


It all started at a community theater production, where our Producer Stephen Silha happened to bump into Madie Gustafson.  A conversation was started, details exchanged, a friendship began. The next thing we knew Madie had gotten the law firm she works for 
-- Davis Wright Tremaine (DWT), one of the biggest entertainment law films in the country -- to offer the Big Joy Project pro-bono legal work. 


Madie's taking the lead and initiative on this has literally saved us tens of thousands of dollars, all on just the regular legalese that is necessary to make a movie.  Of course, Madie is the first to point out it is the entertainment lawyers at DWT who are actually reviewing our rights agreements and getting the film "vetted."  
When we asked Madie what inspired her to help the Big Joy Project, she shared that it was her brother's love of documentary filmmaking that really started the ball rolling.  It turns out that in 1980, a year before he was killed by a drunk driver, Madie's brother was awarded the Best Documentary Film Prize by the American Film Festival.  Inspired both by her brother's love of documentary films and Stephen's enthusiasm for his project, Madie connected us with DWT for pro-bono work.
"At DWT there is a culture of pro-bono and a committment to it.  Associates get credit for pro-bono work.  There is even a pro-bono Director at the firm," said Madie.  Recently DWT won awards in both Washington and Oregon for this commitment to helping others for free.
We asked Madie what things provided regular inspiration in her life and one of her answers was her sons.  She has one son who is an actor and another who is a musician.  "I'm a lawyer," she said. "To have two sons who have the passion and creative energy for the arts like they do is a constant inspiration to me."
"I've also been inspired by Stephen Silha," she continued.  "His enthusiasm and devotion to this project have brought many of us into its wake."

"I love the joyousness of this project and Broughton's work.  I love the unhinged part.  How he says, stop worrying about convention and the rules, and what society may say about you.  It's really about freedom, authenticity and the joyousness and that.  And that's how Stephen is, too."


Thanks again, Madie, for connecting us to the right people!  We appreciate you! 


Color finishing...  

What's it to ya?     

A conversation with film colorist Gary Coates  


Without color finishing, you might be watching orange or blue faces tell their story in an interview.  (That would be a bit distracting!)  When filming a scene, the cinematographer does his best to get the lighting perfect, but there's only a certain amount you can do to make it look right.  (If you need a reference, think about your home videos.  Do people look flesh colored?!)  Making the faces look natural is often (among other things) the job of the colorist.  
Our colorist, Gary Coates, also worked on some of James Broughton's films.  We asked him about his experience working on Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton. (Yes, the documentary has a name!)  "In this film, I felt like a lot of my job was the stewardship of memory.  I met the man.  I knew him. He inspired me and I wanted to be faithful to what he had done."  

Coates' work on Big Joy involved taking James' films, some of which had been changed by age, and restoring them to what they would have looked like when James originally took them home from the lab.  "I wanted to be faithful to the moment of creation," said Coates.

James brought his films to the very same lab (W.A. Palmer Films) that Coates worked at then.  "James was like a celebrity there.  Everybody at the lab loved him, even the super conservative types.  He was referred to as, 'Mr. Broughton.' He was a star with a very cheery presence."

James was also one of the reasons Coates moved to San Francisco to study film at San Francisco State in the 1970's.  

"What I remember most about James' filmmaking was his exuberant sense of humor.  His films were about having fun.  I had just started filmmaking and I wanted to make films that had that sort of sense of fun," shared Coates.

"James showed me that cinema and poetry could be combined," continues Coates.  Thanks to him, Coates' first film was a poetry film.

These days, for fun Coates takes travel sabbaticals.  He works very hard for a period and then he takes a trip to recharge.  He shared that he usually picks destinations where he can experience art, music, or architecture.  Next month, he and his wife are off to Turkey to see Islamic architecture and classic architectural ruins.  "And hopefully," he added with a smile in his voice, "a few whirling dervishes!"


By James Broughton  


Hold nothing back
Hold nothing in
Romp and commingle
out in the open
Parade your peculiar
Shine your monkey
Rout the sourpuss
Outrage the prig
Quick while there's room
revel in foolhardy
Keep fancies tickled
Grow fond of caress
Go forthright together 
or fail 
            [excerpt from SHAMAN PSALM]

Money and Success   



Well, we know we bombarded you with emails during June and July in order to succeed at our Kickstarter campaign.

And succeed we did!  Over and above what we expected.  We raised $23,904 of our $22,000 goal.  Kickstarter featured us as one of their favorite projects.  We doubled our donors (with over 300 people donating to our campaign).  And if you are one of our buddies who either donated personally or spread the word, you know who you are and so do we and we are so grateful.  Sothank you for putting up with our onslaught of emails, and for helping us pay for our archival footage, sound mixing and color correction.  It's a huge help. 

Many of you who donated have started to receive your rewards in the mail.  Of course some of them, like our DVD and t-shirt, won't be ready for a while-- but we'll be in touch. 

We wish we could say that was all the money that we need... but the beat goes on.  We continue to write grants and make personal appeals in order to garner the last $130,000 that we need to pay the bills.  But we're on the home stretch, really.  We've already raised nearly $270,000 and we feel confident that the rest will come (especially with your  help).

Among our other successes are another win at 
IFP (Independent Film Project).  In addition to being one of only ten documentaries to participate in their 2012 Documentary Labs, they have also awarded us Producer of Marketing and Distribution training.  That means that our super star, Kitten (Michael) Calfee (meow) will be making a couple trips to New York City this year to learn all that the best experts know about getting our film out to the public.  For this we are so grateful... because as you know, it's not enough just to make a film, you've got to have people see it.  We're so grateful to IFP for training us for success!

Our film will be among 20 featured during Independent Film Week, 8 p.m. Monday, September 17 at the free-to-the-public Lab Showcase Screening in New York.

 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 think will be an inspiration to all.  We still need another $130,000 to move through the rest of the filmmaking and into the distribution stage.


Click here to see more cool products like the bumper sticker above. 


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 Mannis doing animation.  Associate Producer Aimée Cartier writes, coaches, and keeps things organized. Madie Gustafson and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP are providing legal assistance. Michael (Kitten) Calfee and Kyle DeVries help with marketing and social media.  Peter+Trudy Johnson-Lenzprovide 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 donationtoday!
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 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.  Find us on Facebook
TRAILER: Watch the trailer now!
BLOG WITH US: Living Big Joy Blog or James Broughton and Me
YOU TUBE: Check out our cool videos.
TWITTER:  @BigJoyProject
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 
Praise and Thanks!

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Big Joy Project | PO Box 2003 | Vashon | WA | 98070