9.19.2013

In The Clearing Stands a JuntoBoxer

Forest Whitaker started following your project. Keep up the good work! Congrats--The JuntoBox Staff

Oh, what happy words to the ears of a young filmmaker, although in my case I use that term loosely on both counts. The point is, whether you are an Oscar-winning actor or a low level screenwriter with a dog named Oscar who is eighteen years old and waiting for some good news so he can go off and die in peace, a whole new Hollywood is happening online.

There used to be a smoke-filled office where a script like mine might have managed to make it onto the desk of some cigar-chomping fat cat who couldn't help but chuckle over a kicky line of dialogue here and there. "Who wrote this crap?" he'd demand of the nearest suck-up. "Julie Ann Sipos," a voice would croak from behind a tower of competing screenplays far more likely to reach the shredder than the screen. "Also known as Julie Goes to Hollywood. She has a blog." In the old days they called it a "column," and it turns out I began gathering an internet following long before anyone knew what to do with one of those. 

A relative newcomer to the digital space, Juntobox Films is an online community set up by Whitaker and his partners to mentor, fund and distribute micro-budgeted features among an open membership. Only dressed up to look like forward thinking innovation, it's actually an ancient concept to invite the folks in the cheap seats to make clear what does and doesn't interest us simply by virtue of showing up and making some noise. 

Though movies were born in a place called a "nickelodeon," somewhere along the way, your nickels stopped mattering. Filmmaking became so expensive that films evolved into events rather than on-screen stories, and only a bunch of rich guys deemed themselves equipped to determine what got made and by whom. Then the Red camera and the MacBook appeared, allowing the random penniless storyteller to get back in cahoots with the audience and make movies about people of all things. 

Next up for JuntoBox funding is a comedy, so if you find yourself on the planet with Internet access anywhere in the vicinity of your yurt, please consider logging on to support my film. Seneca Falls is a tiny little heist movie with big, universal themes like sex, death, love, loss, a bossy sister, an asshole brother and a bunch of small town relatives fighting over an inheritance too insignificant to be the point of any of it.

If none of that works for you, forget me and log on and vote for something, anything you'd like to see up on the screen. You may be one of my students, a longtime reader of this blog or that scary guy in his basement who got here trolling for porn using the search term "Linda Carter's big gold tits." If you love movies, yours is the hand on the greenlight and this is the smoke-filled office where dreams are made.

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