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 expectas the virtual world inevitably takes control of our lives.
Harris, oftencalled the “Warhol of the Web”, founded Pseudo.com, the first Internet television network during the infamous dot-com boom of the 1990s. He also curated 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,becomes more elusive. 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.
Joshua Altman, editor
Joshua Altman graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Film & Video. Upon graduation, he moved to Los Angeles, and realized the need for talented and hard working editors. Since then, he hasn’t had a day off.
While WLIP is the first feature length documentary he has cut, Josh has spent years crafting stories out of non-fiction content for reality television shows on NBC, FOX, Bravo, Discovery Channel, VH1, and others. He has also edited several scripted pilots, music videos, and short films.
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 has produced everything from music videos to feature narratives and, most notably, documentaries. His projects have 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
Austin Wilkin is an independent writer, producer and filmmaker living in Los Angeles. Starting out in the art department on independent films in his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts, Austin has 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 the over all machinery Hollywood. 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” 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 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 program in Film Production 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 serve as Associate Producer 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.
Sunday, August 30th 2009 at 11:05 am
Please send me a screener. Check out my program by visiting our website. Thanks.
Tuesday, September 8th 2009 at 4:51 pm
I’d like to make contact with someone about a possible booking.
Sunday, September 20th 2009 at 2:56 pm
If your trailer is any indication of the film I’m looking forward to seeing it. And seeing an interesting perspective and commentary on my cohorts. Congratulations on the film.
Monday, September 21st 2009 at 4:15 pm
I just heard your segment on ‘On The Media.’ -It was a great segment and thanks, especially, for the way you ended it, by offering the lessons you learned via this film. I’ll check it out here in CA. I really appreciate what you said.
Saturday, October 10th 2009 at 12:01 am
Hi, I’d like to contact someone for a potential booking. Thanks.
Monday, October 12th 2009 at 4:41 pm
Hi. Just wondering if there will be any screenings in Australia. Heard interview on Net at Night… Keen to watch.
Monday, November 2nd 2009 at 9:02 am
When will the video be available for purchase?
Wednesday, January 20th 2010 at 9:10 pm
DVD’s will be available march 1st, 2010. Copies can be purchased in the We Live in Public Store
Thursday, February 18th 2010 at 5:51 pm
This film is one of the best I’ve seen.
I saw it in Mexico.
Tuesday, March 2nd 2010 at 8:05 pm
Will there be any screenings coming up in theaters in the San Francisco Bay Area?
I can’t seem to find any info on that on your site.
Sunday, March 7th 2010 at 3:16 pm
We are starting a TV Talk Show out of Collective Hardware at 169 Bowery, and I would be interested in interviewing Josh Harris there for one of our first shows, which will be broadcast before a live audience. Can you contact me via email?
Daniel Pinchbeck –
I am the author of Breaking Open the Head and 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, and co-founder of http://www.realitysandwich.com and http://www.evolver.net .
Sunday, March 14th 2010 at 5:06 am
I have tried to buy the DVD on this site, but the links are not activated. I see you are still playing to cinemas around the world,
COULD YOU PLEASE HAZARD A GUESS AS TO WHEN THE DVD WILL BE FOR SALE?
My friend Jim Walsh who worked on your movie recommended it and i am dying to see it – why did it get such scant publicity for its UK release, and so few screenings? I am sure if it was properly advertised in university and academic circles it would have attracted a fair audience. As it is it only played ONE date in Norwich (at 25 miles, the nearest to me.) It played NIL dates in Wales.
All the best