Busker Alley: In Production
(BOULDER, COLORADO) Let's catch a glimpse of Busker Alley - The Movie as we meet Zoobie yet again at a local cafe on Pearl Street.
This may be a different kind of interview. We're high in the mountains of Colorado so things may move a bit slower than, say, the big bustling city sizzling at sea level.
"We're still at it - don't worry," says the producer, director, writer, key grip, gaffer, and general menace to buskers everywhere. He continues, "By Summertime come, Thy will be done - One Busker, under God, Invincible, with Liberty and Entertainment for All."
Boulder is a spiritual Mecca for those in need - and even not in need. It has more religions and spirituality than any city in the USA. It's not uncommon to discuss your relationship with the Great Spirit and fellow believers as conversation over coffee.
"You lookin' at me? You lookin' at me?" Hey, it's Bobby De Nero. Quit it. No, don't. It's good. It's all good. "Keep in mind that when it comes to this busker film, I'm quite literally a one-man band. I'm hoping people like my sense of humor. The only thing that's not Kosher is there's some campy violence in it. But I'm not trying to be PC here. I'm trying to tell a story."
"It takes a village idiot to...," quotes Zoobie as I get a call on my cell. Hold on that a sec. Hello? Yeah. OK. Bye. Zoobie has fallen asleep. I wake him and continue. When is this film to be expected and why the Hell isn't it finished yet? I always enjoy adding pressure to directors.
"Actually, a lot of the time has been spent having fun behind the scenes. Lucky for me, music is my forte which really simplifies things. Trust me - video has nothing on music. But I will soon be the proud parent of a brand new 5 pound bouncing baby film. When? Soon - monsoon - Octoberish when all the ghosts and goblins are out. The credits will run with the chapters then inserted. You're essentially building a movie online. That's the beauty of it."
"I shall spend the glorious Summer high in the mountains and finish it in cool comfort. It's only been 5 years. What's the hurry?" [May, 2013]
(BOULDER, COLORADO) The Summer of 2012 brings busking & film enthusiasts a free screening of the invigorating Busker Central movie Street-Performer Extravaganza featuring over 500 performing buskers.
Boulder is known for it's street-performing pitches along the famous Pearl Street Mall where hundreds of buskers were filmed. It is expected that many performers attending will see themselves somewhere in the production.
The movie will be shown at the Main Library Canyon Theater as part of the Summer Cinema program. The spacious theater will project the larger-than-life buskers and street-performers in all their magnificent glory.
As a Special extra, the Busker Alley movie Sideshow will follow the main event featuring even more gaga street-performers doing their thang. Sideshow is the first public screening of those awe-inspiring performers including Those Bloody Buskers, the world's first docu-comedy all shot in brilliant HD. Both movies are produced by Busker Films and feature almost 700 street-performers in total.
Both free films will be shown at 6:30pm on Monday evening July 9th in downtown Boulder's Canyon Theater - 1000 Canyon Blvd. - with ample free parking. More information can be found at Summer Cinema Program. [Feb, 2012]
Busker Alley: In Production
(BOULDER, COLORADO) Let's check-in with Busker Alley to see what's up. The film was announced eighteen months ago but, such is often the case, independent film-making has untold trenches and pitfalls. We catch up with Zoobie as he exits through the book store onto Boulder's Pearl Street Mall on a sunny Thursday.
"We are building a movie. We are building it better. However, that seems to be the problem. Some of it had to be re-shot because it was so depressing. This is pure comedy. I'm just now beginning to edit it all together - sprinkling some magic dust on it. I can even romanticize a bit to bring out an interesting and funny story with all those bloody buskers," says Zoobie, the executive producer of the film Busker Alley.
"There's still a lot to do but the trailer should come together by the middle of next year. As I've told the buskers when I shot them, this picture may actually take years to create. I'm kind of a slow-poke. It's already been a few seasons since we've started filming. We should be approaching the finishing line soon. The nice thing is - the longer you take, the better the production."
"It's such a beautiful concept with everything falling into place very nicely. The music is coming out better than I could have ever imagined. I've finally found some more to add to my stuff so I think we're in the clear. It's easy for me because I have fifty or so originals laying around - so it's more of a matter of recording just the right ones."
"I completed a busker music-video that came out earlier this year called "Road 2 Freedom". You can watch it on the Busker Alley website. It's appropriate for these global times. It's also kind of a preview of the film. It seems it takes years to make mere minutes - but the footage came out amazing."
"I'm getting excited now as my own stuff is being integrated. It takes me back to silent cinema. A piano player was usually down front looking up at the screen trying to match the music to the scene. That's the spirit of this movie." [Sept, 2011]
Busker Alley finding undisclosed detours
(BOULDER, COLORADO) Let's catch-up with the crew of Busker Alley as they shoot their way into history. "Now, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. When you get close to editing, the show is about to begin," says Zoobie, writer, director, and producer of the new film Busker Alley - The Movie. "We're still taking our sweet time before we now go, strangely enough, inside the studio."
Nearby fidgeting is producer Jack Carter who also has a hand in the film. "We wanted to be sure there was enough creative footage as well as including some of the classic routines. This film is a lot different from shooting on a regular set. Out here, the street is the actual set. We don't have the slightest control of what's going to happen. Like Zoobie said, we can't wait to get inside the studio now to apply some finishing touches."
It was snowing outside the café on a dark night as Zoobie continued - the snowflakes catching in his long brown hair under a shop's light on the corner of "The Hill". "This is what happens when you become a busker for 20 years. I can call on my own experiences when it comes to telling this story."
Zoobie continues, "Writing and performing the film's soundtrack, I tend to be a perfectionist in the recording studio. When it comes to shooting buskers, however, I've somehow gotten hooked. I've filmed over a thousand of them - maybe two counting stills. I know that ending this film is inevitable but I'll keep shooting them for future shorts."
"This is a narrative that's pushing comedy in a direction never pushed. We're aiming for a perfect 3-point landing with the online debut of Busker Alley - The Movie," said Carter. "I can't wait. Maybe we'll enter a few film festivals to see if people relate. They probably won't." [Nov, 2010]
Busker Alley: In Production
(BOULDER, COLORADO) And away we go! The film "Busker Alley" is currently in production featuring those crazy buskers and street performers in a quite original movie unlike any before it. Let's check in on producer Jack Carter and writer/director Zoobie and see how things are going.
"We've gotten some really great shots of what we're trying to portray with some excellent performers," starts Zoobie. "It's fun to write, direct, then shoot something that's kind of different than anything else around. Both narratives and documentaries are valid and unique by their natures. In contrast to this film, the documentary is way easier to make because you just film the subject matter and add a voice-over. I've made quite a few. You're simply documenting. With this comedy, I've discovered pure creation and it's a lot more fun. I'm not going back to 'bleh'."
"Competition is fierce out there. Some of my comments have been mentioned a few times in some other crazy documentaries and I didn't even perform. These days, it's like smash and grab - scrounging around for ideas - then ripping everyone off and moving on to the next film. That just goes to show how competitive any area of indie movie-making really is. It's totally exploding."
"This a lot more involved than I've ever dreamed or imagined. There's some really cool stuff out there. We've extended our shooting schedule twice. We were simply going to go out and shoot documentary style but now we've found a different angle. We're going to keep everything pretty much under wraps since these websites are really raked over by other film-makers. I guess the internet is probably the first stop in this whole process. I've even seen an attorney para-phrase something I've written."
Co-producer Jack Carter chimes in, "I never thought it would take this much effort, either. I'm not a perfectionist and neither is Zoobie. However, I think we are having more fun making it than we anticipated. Now that the economy has gone bonkers, it should be interesting to see whether it increases the number of people busking both here and globally."
"It's pretty strange trying to communicate to fellow buskers exactly what we're doing because I'm not sure myself," Zoobie continues. "Some love it, some want money, and some don't get it. We used to give everyone cash but that's expected. The busker now gets a nice DVD which ties them over until they see the movie. One busker said the disc was the greatest thing he'd gotten all year."
"It's nuts but we've actually got another busker movie in the works after this one..." Carter interrupts, "...but we'll cross the Charles bridge when we get to it." [Aug, 2009]
Busker Alley - The Movie
(BOULDER, COLORADO) It seems there's just no love for buskers. To celebrate the start of Busker Alley's third year, an announcement to start the filming of "Busker Alley" this summer was made official by producers Jack Carter and Zoobie at the Boulder Café July 4th, 2008. Unlike previous movies of buskers and street performers, Busker Alley will not portray the classic busker love story gone wrong. There's just too much talent.
"We got very tired of this overused format. Almost every studio film ever made features a busker falling in love with another. It goes all the way back to the silent film "The Street Singer" and always with the same result. It's time for something different," said Jack Carter of the film.
"This movie will represent the finest in busker comedy mainly because there isn't any. Instead of love, Busker Alley will be an outrageous, wild, and filled with hilarious escapades. They go on a fun-filled journey featuring lots of authentic buskers," Zoobie added.
Zoobie, himself a busker for twenty years, will write and direct the effort drawing on his years of experience filming buskers worldwide. Exclusive distribution will be on BuskerAlley.com with the movie streamed over the internet. Shot in full HDV, it is yet another in a long series of firsts developed from the Busker Central reference site Zoobie created in 2005 and published in 120 Jobs That Won't Chain You to Your Desk - 2007 (Princeton Review).
"We're going for creativity in this production. I'd rather see a good narrative than another sleepy documentary at this point. We can't reveal the crazy plot to the film but let's just say it's a study, refinement, and result of standing on the shoulders of giants in the industry with several funny twists and turns. But you'll find no love story here except the pure love, humor, and joy that resides deep within the art of busking."
"It's really quite a technological achievement to be able to create, direct, then distribute this Indie production conveniently on the web. It's great. Independent film is exploding and this is indicative of the art now being produced, thanks to the internet, that may not have been created otherwise."
The film will premičre online @ BuskerAlley.com [July, 2008]
Busker wins Academy Award
(HOLLYWOOD) A stunned Glen Hansard was already in Heaven. He had just performed his nominated song center-stage at the world-famous Oscars. Although the odds were against his winning, the magic of the moment was more than enough to satisfy his artistic prowess.
Here was an Irish lad at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles waiting for the proclaimed winner in the wildest contest ever conceived. His dream was in full bloom as he stood starry-eyed out at the audience filled with famous Hollywood writers, producers, directors, and even stars.
Hansard flashed back to the time he was a busker on Dublin's Grafton Street for five years before forming the band The Frames. Although a rough and tumble lifestyle for a mere muse, his homeland was now on the other side of the world. He had made it to America and was honored to be here in more ways than one.
Then, it all turned into a fuzzy blur as Hansard heard "Falling Slowly" announced as the winner and suddenly would be speaking to the Hollywood elite. As he returned to center-stage to accept his Oscar, through the fog he realized an incredible thing had happened. A bloody busker had just won an Academy Award for Best Original Song from the Indie film "Once".
"Thanks! This is amazing! What are we doing here? This is mad! We made this film two years ago. We shot on two handycams. It took us three weeks to make. We made it for a hundred grand. We never thought we would come into a room like this and be in front of you people. It's been an amazing thing. Thanks for taking this film seriously, all of you. It means a lot to us. Thanks to the Academy, thanks to all the people who've helped us, they know who they are, we don't need to say them. This is amazing! Make art. Make art! Thanks!"
Hansard was ushered offstage where a huge round of paparazzi awaited his presence. The dream was just starting when he thought it was ending. "The Oscar for Best Original Song goes to...Falling Slowly...words and music by Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová" kept playing over in his head. He was now famous. He had made Oscar history. The film was famous. Speilberg had mentioned it at Cannes. Now all that was left was the red carpet receptions and floating through the mist all the way home to the Emerald Isle.
Glen Hansard's accomplishment is an inspiration to us all.
Strive to be the best at what you do best. [Feb, 2008]