I occasionally stumble over to Julien McArdle’s website, and specifically his weblog, to see what he’s up to. I had the pleasure of co-presenting a talk at the 2006 HOPE Conference, with the two of us talking about documentaries. I was particularly touched by all this because it was his idea to contact me in the first place, nervously asking me if I would at all be interested in being on his two-person panel to talk about the film I’d made and the new one I was working on. Nervous! About talking to me! How sweet! Here’s a photo of us together.
He’s like a little brother I never had. (I have a little brother, but he’s nothing like Julien). Look at this silly grin in his photo and tell me you don’t want to give him a video camera and 30 days to shoot something cool. OK, maybe that’s just me.
Luckily, Julien didn’t need my opinion on anything to complete his documentary. Called On Piracy, it’s an attempt to give a balanced overview to the “piracy” debate (from a Canadian perspective), which he has done by trying to interview representatives from all sides of the issue. Some of these people wouldn’t get the time of day from me, but Julien’s a more open-minded/methodical sort, and he got a bunch of footage from all over the place, and then cut it together several times, restarting the project after extensive test audiences. That took a lot of bravery, and he even mentioned me in the weblog entry about redoing the project, where he said he took a cue from my dedication to getting things just right. I’m such a sucker when someone butters me up.
Julien could have sat on his documentary and gone on endless begging runs for distribution and sales, holding the project back for months or years while doing so. Not ol’ Julien! He actually shoved a .NFO file on it and put it right on Bittorrent! BANG!
He has a donation page, and he’s definitely getting a few bucks from me, just like he should get a few from you if you enjoy it. But here’s the best part of all: He even took the effort of showing you his budget. All his travel costs, equipment costs, and the rest. Talk about hanging it all out in the open….
The kid’s a treasure. I hope he makes 20 more movies and never stops his obvious dedication to quality.
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