We Live In Public
Ten years in the making and culled from 5000 hours of footage, WE LIVE IN PUBLIC reveals the effect the web is having on our society, as seen through the eyes of “the greatest Internet pioneer you’ve never heard of”, artist, futurist and visionary Josh Harris. Award-winning director Ondi Timoner (DIG! – which also won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize in 2004 – making Timoner the only director to win that prestigious award twice) documented his tumultuous life for more than a decade to create a riveting, cautionary tale of what to expect as the virtual world inevitably takes control of our lives. Timoner, explores questions that many in the social network community never pondered such as, is the Internet good or bad? How Facebook is bad? Why Facebook is bad? How the bad things about Facebook can ultimately harm you and your family? In addition to all the negative effects of the internet.
After watching the film the viewing audience started to question themselves and the negative effects of Internet use. A frequent user of social media stated, “I started to see why the Internet is bad, its only hazardous when it is overused. When I look at my friends and how much they use the web it makes me see that the internet is bad when there are no set boundaries. There is definitely a negative effect of Internet use and this film proves it.”
Harris, often called the “Warhol of the Web”, founded Pseudo.com, the first Internet television network during the infamous dot-com boom of the 1990s. He also curetted and funded the ground-breaking project “Quiet” in an underground bunker in NYC where over 100 people lived together on camera for 30 days at the turn of the millennium. With Quiet, Harris proved how we willingly trade our privacy for the connection and recognition we all deeply desire, but with every technological advancement such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, we becomes more elusive. Harris, went on to say, “I hope this film sparks a conversational debate about social media as a whole. I want people to ask questions like, is Facebook bad for you? What is bad about Facebook use if not monitored? How is Facebook good or bad? and why is Facebook bad when not monitored? Not to pick on Facebook of course, but it is one of the leading social networks in the world. With this movie Harris hopes through his experiments, including a six-month stint living with his girlfriend under 24-hour electronic surveillance, which led to his mental collapse, Harris demonstrated the price we pay for living in public.
Ondi Timoner, director / producer
Ondi Timoner is the only filmmaker to win the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival twice. Her 2004 Sundance-winning doc, DIG! about the collision of art & commerce through the lives of two bands, and her 2009 top prize-winner, We Live In Public, about an internet visionary who showed by example how willingly we will trade our privacy and eventually sanity in the virtual age, were both acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York for their permanent collection. She also directed the socio-political feature documentaries, Join Us (2007), about the cult epidemic in America, and The Nature of the Beast (1994), a hard-hitting look at the US prison system, and the short film Recycle, which premiered at Sundance in 2006, and subsequently screened at Cannes and in schools worldwide. Timoner looks forward to premiering her fifth feature-length documentary, Cool It – a film that blasts through the polarizing logjam of the climate change debate to bring a solid plan for solutions – at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010, and releasing it theatrically this fall.
In any format, Ondi loves to use her camera as a bridge to bring herself and the audience deep into worlds they may never otherwise enter. In 2000, Timoner created, produced and directed the original VH-1 series Sound Affects, about music’s effect at critical moments in people’s lives. She has directed commercials and web series for such companies as McDonalds, State Farm, Ford, The Army, and others, and is currently helming the next two short films for Honda’s innovative series, entitled “Dream the Impossible,” which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011.
Having made dramatic documentaries with strong narratives (and witnessed many documentaries that fit this bill) Ondi likes to call her next directorial effort a “pre-scripted actor film.” Entitled The Perfect Moment, it will be her first of this kind, and will be about the life of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, which her company Interloper Films and Eliza Dushku’s Boston Diva are producing. She attended the Sundance Director’s and Screenwriter’s Lab as a fellow in June to develop The Perfect Moment and is aiming to shoot the film in 2011. She is also developing Cycler to direct, with Don Murphy’s Angry Films and Susan Montford producing.
Born in Miami, Florida, Timoner graduated Yale University, Cum Laude, with a double major in American Studies (concentration in Film and Literature) and Theater Studies.
Keirda Bahruth, producer
Keirda Bahruth is a freelance producer / director based in Los Angeles. She began her career working on music videos for bands such as Jane’s Addiction and Jesus Jones before transitioning into the commercial world on ads for Toyota, Apple and many others.
A move to New York via Coppos Films teamed her up with legendary Saturday Night Live director Jim Signorelli, famous for his wildly popular commercial parody sketches. He mentored Keirda and instructed her to shoot behind-the-scenes footage of life at SNL for the show’s 25th anniversary special, which gave her complete access to the inner workings of the show. SNL was an unlikely place to develop a taste for documentary filmmaking, and yet this was the breeding ground for Keirda’s love of filming extraordinary people in their day to day lives.
After three full seasons at SNL, Keirda returned to Los Angeles and joined the nascent world of reality television, which had just begun to sweep the nation. She has worked as a director and producer on shows for the Discovery Channel, E!, Fox, The WB and BET.
By 2004, Keirda was accumulating a wealth of experience and felt it was time for her to pull the trigger on her aspiration to become a documentary filmmaker. Keirda had always had a nagging fascination with punk music cult hero Bob Forrest. She had regularly seen him play in the 80’s during the thriving punk rock and metal scene in Los Angeles that included bands such as Guns and Roses, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Forrest’s band, Thelonious Monster. She convinced him let her make a film about his life and began documenting the story of this musician that has been critically acclaimed and roundly admired by music legends such as Tom Waits and Joe Strummer, yet had somehow wallowed in the outskirts of success as he colorfully and tragically undermined his own opportunities due to various inner demons including drug addiction.
While filming BOB AND THE MONSTER, Keirda met director Ondi Timoner and they joined forces to produce the documentary feature WE LIVE IN PUBLIC. The two women put virtually everything else on hold in order to take the film through an intensive production process that eventually led them to many successes, including a Grand Jury Award win at Sundance 2009, an acquisition by MoMA, massive amounts of incredible press and a theatrical release.
Keirda is currently focusing full-time on BOB AND THE MONSTER, while developing her first narrative screenplay titled BIG TIME NOWHERE. With all this experience Keirdra no longer has to ponder how to be a film producer? what do film producers do? How does documentary film production work? and how to become one of the independent film makers? As a result of her film production school and her film production degree she is on the list of film producers that people want to work with for post production film.
Joshua Altman, editor
As a young boy Joshua wondered, what is film editing? How do you edit videos? What does a film editor do? And how to become a video editor? He wanted to become part of movie editing programs that involved film editing techniques with the best editing software. In his teens he experimented with home video editing, then he read classified that read “job editor” and he immediately took it. On that job he viewed a video editing tutorial that taught him how editing in film works, he took video editing training that allowed how editing videos online is run, and learned all he could from video editing sites.
Joshua Altman had a choice between many film editing schools, but he chose to enroll in a movie editing program to become an editor for the film industry at Penn State University. With a degree in Film & Video learned how to become a video editor officially by using the latest film editing software on the latest video editing system. He used this software program to edit videos. Upon graduation, he learned as much as he possibly could about how to edit video clips and video editing techniques. He moved to Los Angeles, and realized that there were numerous jobs for editors and he fit the film editor job description for every career opportunity on the market.
While WLIP is the first feature length documentary he has cut, Josh has spent years crafting programs to edit videos as well as stories out of non-fiction content for reality television shows on NBC, FOX, Bravo, Discovery Channel, VH1, and others. After these high profile gigs he became one of the most famous film editors in the business, in fact he was known as the official “movies editor” person because he edited several scripted pilots, music videos, and short films. He also taught others how to use the movie editor program, movie editor online. In addition he taught interns the newest video editing softwares, and answered their questions like, what is editing?
He told interns, “you do not need the best video editing program you can download a video editor free online. There is plenty of free video edit software. In fact you can get a free movie editor download from any of the free sites online. You just have to know where to look in order to get a free video editing software download”
Joshua’s unique style has been said to bring together music and storytelling in a way that is both exhilarating and engaging for the audience.
In addition to editing, Joshua recently wrote and directed a short comedy, /Fresh Squeezed/, which his talented and beautiful wife produced. The short can be viewed in full at www.freshsqueezedfilm.com
Currently, he’s finishing up his first feature length screenplay.
Jeff Frey, co-producer
Jeff Frey a master in independent film production and considered one of the top movie producers has produced everything from music videos to feature narratives and, most notably, documentaries. One of his movie production jobs that has garnered numerous awards including the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary 2004 & 2009 Sundance Film Festival, the Sustainability Award, 2006 Media That Matters and Silver and Gold Promax/BDA awards for his work in branded content.
Jeff is currently producing the feature documentary The Independent Life of Roger Corman with Stick n’ Stone Productions and Endeavor Independent.
Austin Wilkin, associate producer
One of the most recognizable movie producers names in the business is Austin Wilkin. Wilkin is an independent writer, producer and filmmaker living in Los Angeles. Starting out with film production internships from a movie producer job description in the art department of his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts. Austin fit the production job description and decided to try his chances in film production process and spent over 10 years in Los Angeles where he’s worked a variety jobs throughout the film industry to experience and learn as much as he could about how to become a film producer. Coming to Interloper Films in mid-2008, Austin worked as story editor on the inspirational short film THE GREATEST GIFT: “The Story of the One Love Schools” where he made a decent film producer salary before joining the WE LIVE IN PUBLIC team, first as archival researcher and soon as Associate Producer. Having proudly worked with Interloper on two additional short films for the celebrated CNN: HEROES, Austin continues to work on projects that he hopes will enlighten and inspire.
Meagan Keane, associate producer
With a Bachelors degree in World Arts & Cultures from UCLA, which is one of the most prestigious film production schools in the united states, already in her back pocket, she started working full time with independent documentary production company, Interloper Films and director Ondi Timoner in 2005, while simultaneously completing a full time masters film production degree at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
During her time with Interloper Films, Meagan served in a multiplicity of roles from production coordinator to story editor, field producer to associate producer. In 2006 she completed her Master of Fine Arts from USC and continued to work with Interloper Films associate producing “Join Us”. In 2007 Meagan started working with Interloper on a freelance basis while she pursued opportunities in nonfiction commercial production as well as documentary feature film production working with award winning directors including Jessica Yu, Steve James and Timothy Warren.
From 2006 through 2008 Meagan continued to do the job of a producer Associate for Interloper’s “We Live in Public”. Recently Meagan relocated from Los Angeles to a place she has always called home, the San Francisco Bay Area. This move was sparked by two important opportunities, a contract with Lucasfilm Ltd. developing a documentary television series that is awaiting funding for 2009 production, and a position as an instructor in Visual Communications at Santa Clara University. She is excited about the constant exposure to new, young filmmakers that university instruction brings and the freedom it allows her to pursue the development of her own projects. In 2009 Meagan is producing a new documentary feature focusing on four women in their journey toward the Ms.Wheelchair America pageant, a competition which, unlike traditional beauty pageants, is based on advocacy, achievement, communication and presentation to select the most accomplished and articulate spokesperson for individuals with disabilities.
Joshua M. Harris is a professional artist. As his first professional role, Mr. Harris was the Senior Videotex Analyst for International Data Corporation from1985-1986. Following that position, he founded the online research firm, Jupiter Communications in 1986, which went public in 1998 and was subsequently merged and sold.
Mr. Harris founded Pseudo Programs, Inc. in 1994. Pseudo was, at the time, the world’s largest original producer of interactive streaming video programming.
Mr. Harris owned and operated Livingston Orchards, LLC., a commercial apple farm in Columbia County, New York from 2001 – 2006.
From 2006 -2007 Mr. Harris was the Chief Executive Officer of the Operator Exchange Corporation.
Mr. Harris holds a bachelors degree in Communications from the University of California, at San Diego.
Currently, Mr. Harris is the CEO of the African Entertainment Network based in Sidamo, Ethiopia.
Jason McCabe Calacanis is the founder and CEO of Mahalo.com, a human-powered search engine. Prior to Mahalo.com’s launch in May, 2007, he was an “Entrepreneur in Action” at Sequoia Capital, a position he held since December 2006.
In 2007, Jason partnered with Michael Arrington of TechCrunch to launch the TechCrunch40 conference, showcasing 40 of the world’s most promising startups on stage before an audience of Silicon Valley’s finest.
Jason co-founded and was the CEO of Weblogs, Inc., a network of popular weblogs that was sold to AOL in November 2005. Upon joining AOL, he was appointed senior vice president. In addition, he was named general manager of AOL’s Netscape.
Prior to forming Weblogs Inc., Jason was the founder of Rising Tide Studios, which sold its flagship publication to Dow Jones.
As a leading thinker in the startup space, Jason frequently delivers keynotes at the largest tech conferences (CeBIT, LeWeb, DLD) and is regularly featured and quoted in news outlets including Charlie Rose, CNN, 60 minutes, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and others.