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Summer 2010 Big Joy Newsletter -

Thanks To Our Sponsors...

 4culture Color Logo - Small

North West Film Forum

California Humanities Documentary Project

Independent Filmmaker Project

Horizons Foundation

Summer 2010 Big Joy Newsletter

Big Joy News Summer 2010
PO Box 2003, Vashon, WA 98070

in this issue
:: Money and Success!
:: Poetry
:: Moments in Port Townsend
:: Embodying James' Philosophy
:: Animate poems! Contest!
:: Next steps! We need you- yes you!
:: Big Joy Salons - A guide to more revelry
Ruben O'Malley on location in New York

We have some exciting news!

Read on for more on James Broughton, the Big Joy film, living Big Joy, and how you can help. 

Thanks for your precious time -- and remember what's on Broughton's gravestone: "Adventure, Not Predicament"

With bubbling gratitude,
Stephen Silha and the Big Joy Team
Money and Success!

Big Joy Project receives grant from King County Arts program 4 Culture 

This is a big deal! 


Recently 4 Culture deemed the Big Joy Projectamong the vibrant and unique voices of the Puget Sound region that deserve money from their grants program.  We were one of 80 out of 304 applicants to receive funding from this program.  This is the first public grant that the Big Joy Project has received and we feel really proud.  According to their mission, "4Culture stimulates cultural activity and enhances the assets that distinguish our communities as vibrant, unique, and authentic."  They gave us $3,000. 

With this grant, we've raised $67,000 of our budget -- only about $300,000 to go!  Stay tuned for more success stories!


Round Table
It's all in your head,
the first man said.
It's all in your heart, 
said another.
It's all in your stars,
said the man with scars.
It's all in your guts,
said his brother.
It's all in your soul,
said the man who was slow.
It's all in your balls, 
said the fast one.
It's all in your things,
said the fellow with rings.
It's in no thing at all,
said the last one.
- James Broughton
Moments in Port Townsend

Recently our interviews took us to the last place James lived: Port Townsend (PT), WA -- and literally to the house where James lived, the home in which he 
d Joel Singer in PT
Joel Singer in Port Townsend

We were there with James' life partnerJoel Singer, and what a moving time it was.  Sitting in the house the two of them shared, Joel recalled moments of his life with James.  Touched tears were glistening all around when Joel read us a poem that James had written about them.  The beginning of it goes, 

Since we are gods to one another
shall we acknowledge our sublimity?
We are as holy now as we shall ever be
I am not only consecrated by your caress
I am enshrined in my own amazement 
Luminous moments were many in PT, where we shot the Rhododendron Festival parade, the bunkers at Fort Warden, and the historic downtown.  We met many friends of James who are still moved by moments they shared with him, and some whose lives have been touched by James' words and films, even after his death.  Colleagues, friends and relatives including James' son Orion [who stars in the film 'This is It' (the original, not the Michael Jackson)] described their lives with Big Joy.

We also held a ritual at the grave site on the 11th anniversary of James' death.  Click here for details and photos of this event.
Embodying James' Philosophy
Stavo Craft
Stavo Craft

Stavo Craft has had a long-time connection with James Broughton.  What started with a discovery of their mutual love of unicorns grew into correspondence, mutual admiration, and now continues via the web.  

An office manager by day and an artist and musician at all other times, Stavo is a true example of living Big Joy.  His life is about creating his own unique brand of art and music.  

You can check out his handiwork every week  on our Broughton Facebook page, where he posts Broughton quotes.

We recently had the privilege of interviewing him in Brooklyn, New York and were inspired and delighted by what we found.  Look for his face in our film and websites as an example of Living Big Joy!
The Big Joy Team

Journalist and Executive Producer Stephen Silha founded the Big Joy Project. Award-winning filmmakers Eric Slade and Ian Hinkle are director and cinematographer of Big Joy, the documentary film. Aimée Cartierwrites, coaches, and keeps things organized.Peter+Trudy Johnson-Lenz provide creative pathfinding and intellectual support. Javier Sanchez conceived and designed the website and Big Joy materials, and continues to advise on music and art. Among others, we've had great assistance from crackerjack photographic directors Art AdamsRuben O'Malley, and Josh Litle.
Animate Poems!
Upcoming contest

The Big Joy film isn't one of those ordinary documentaries.  We've never endeavored to follow a traditional route of reporting on the life of one man in a standard way.  That wouldn't be like us-- or James Broughton.  
Toad Stool

We have always intended to c
reate something beautiful and truly weird in an uplifting and inspiring way, and we believe wehave found a key for the spine of our unique film.

Animated or visual poetry.

That's right.  The Big Joy film will bring some of Broughton's poem to animated life. 

This fall we'll be holding a competition to collect animated or video versions of Broughton poems that may be included in the movie.  If we select your poem, you'll be paid.  If not, you will still receive film credit, YouTube posting, and possibly a prize.

We're giving away things like Adobe Creative Suite ($2,700 value), signed James Broughton books, "This is It" broadsides hand calligraphed by William Stewart, and 

Here's what to do:

Find a James Broughton poem you love and turn it into a short video (preferably under 2:00)  using animation, montage, film, photographs, music, spoken word, special effects, or whatever. 

For inspiration check out this Billy Collins animated poetry video:


To be eligible to be included in the feature film, please produce your work in HD, 1080p, 24 fps. (Other formats are welcome in the contest, too, but may not make it into the final film).

Submit your creation by midnight, October 15, 2010 by posting your video to YouTube, Vimeo or any other online video hosting site. Then, let us know where we can watch it by sending an email (including your name, address, e-mail and brief description) to

Questions?  Call or e-mail Stephen Silha at (206) 567-4363,


For a sampling of James Broughton poems, visit  and clickEnter Flash site and then works - words. There are also poems to download undergoodies.


James wrote hundreds of poems, so there's an abundance to choose from.  There's one in this newsletter to spark your imagination.  A bibliography of his poetry books are also listed on the Broughton wikipedia page.

Contestants will be featured on our JamesBroughton YouTube channel.
Next steps!
We need you!!!

Toad StoolWe've finished the interview stage of our production.  

The next steps are to film reenactments from Broughton's life, and visual poems.  

But to do that we need your help!

We're looking for $20,000 to do our next shoots.

Help us make this happen by donating today, and/or let us know who we should approach and how!
Big Joy Salons Making a Difference
Inspiration and Support!

On location at our New York shoots, we held what we call a Big Joy Salon.  You know the scene-- people gather together with good food and drink, poems and videos and just generally enjoy themselves.  Reading poetry out loud to each other from the books of Broughton and watching the Big Joy trailer as well as other short Broughton films we set ourselves up for an evening of revelry, and in our case too, fundraising.  It's a fun way to celebrate creativity and raise money for Big Joy.  

Last month, our unique brand of fundraising while enjoying ourselves raised $4,000 that will help the film move forward!  

In July our friend David Schraer will host a Big Joy Brunch Salon in Seattle to also help us raise the next chunk of money for the film (for details, e-mail David at

Are you interested in helping us by organizing a Big Joy Salon of your own?  We'd love to have your help.  

If you are up for an evening of joy and would like to use it to support art and inspiration in the form of our film, we would welcome your aid.

We'll help you put it together if you'd like to invite your friends.  Contact us at 206-567-4363 if you'd like to support us and art in this way.  Or check out our Create Your Own Big Joy Salon blog. 
To support the power of art and poetry to change lives - please send us your donation today!
TO DONATE: Send us a check to PO Box 2003 Vashon, WA 98070 
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 Northwest Film Forum
BLOG WITH US: Living Big Joy Blog or James Broughton and Me
TRAILER: Watch the trailer now!
BIG JOY INTENTION:The Big Joy Project creates more joy in the world by inspiring people to "follow thier own weird," using the life, joy, and work of James Broughton- filmmaker, poet, writer, wildman-as inspiration.
QUESTIONS: call (206) 567-4363 or email