I spoke with NYC based Paul Bright about his most recent project, a sci-fi feature film called “Goliad Uprising.” This is his sixth feature film and is set to premiere June 21st at the Spirit Theater at the Bob Bullock Museum in Austin at 7:30 p.m.
Tell me about your film and why you choose the name “Goliad Uprising”?
The film is really a David and Goliath story. It’s about a small underground group of people who are trying to fight a large corporation. Goliad and the name Goliath are so very similar, they kinda suggest alliance. The town of Goliad in Texas where the local citizens were revolting against the government in power at the time, in this case, the Mexican Government. So it has a similar tale in some ways and the local citizens were rising up to assert their rights to gain their freedom. That’s why I thought “Goliad Uprising” was an appropriate title for the film.
How have recent events such as “The Occupy Movement”, “Arab Spring” and the “Syrian Rebellion” all which have been supported through Social Networking sites, make your film more timely?
When I wrote the script it was before anything was coming about in the Arab Spring and certainly before the Occupy Wall Street came into play. The script is about how large media in the United States influencing how people think and feel about whats going on in the world based on the information that they give or that they fail to give.
What I’ve been seeing is that our country has become very polarized in terms of personal opinion but a lot of that has to do with the fact that people aren’t really getting the whole story or balanced views from the media.
Whats going on with the Arab Spring and Occupy Movement is that there is a whole group of people who are rebelling against the people who are in power in each of these countries and It’s very similar to what’s going on in the film “Goliad Uprising”.
The way “Goliad Uprising” originally came about is that I noticed that in the United States, people were starting to protest at political rallies and they were being arrested and tasered and dragged off. I am a bleeding heart liberal, I will gladly admit to that. However, what I was seeing is at these rallies was that people who were not protesting, the people who I thought would be concerned and empathetic to different points of view of those who were demonstrating, were not at all. The security was in fact very harsh to the people who were very silently standing up and protesting.
So I realized that we have a real problem in our own country here…that it’s no longer acceptable to even exercise our first amendment rights of disagreeing and the act of disagreeing somehow becomes an illegal act. and so that is why I wrote this film as a statement of protest of how our society is evolving and starting to accept that we will approve of and tolerate and go along with whatever the people in power are doing.
How do you see Social Networking movements like the “Goliad Uprising” fitting into the plans for your movie?
In the story of the film, the way the rebels, the protesters are getting together is through tweets and online text messages and basically having flash mobs. Same that was going on with the uprisings in the Arab World, the Middle East, is that people were finding a place to protest because it’s so easy and instantaneous nature a lot of this can take place anonymously allows people to gather very quickly and protest. Much can be done without having to risk the full extent of one’s identity. That is very similar to what’s going on in the storyline of the film, people are able to get together rather quickly using social media. In the film, even just the basic nature gathering together just to do this, they put on a performance rallying people around realizing and informing them that the technology is very dangerous. Just the simple act of stating this, is ruled to be illegal. Compare it to a fire in a theater, in the film there are 4 police raids and people are being held down because they are there to protest the power of this corporation.
How do you see media sites assisting you in your endeavor?
It’s about spreading the word. It also gives people a chance to interact back and to give feedback to what their experiences are in life. Social Media has put me in contact with people who have seen his films literally, all over the world. I hear from them what they think about the movie and what issues are going on in their lives, their concerns. By interacting this way and commenting on each others’s posts with the these people in the greater community, separates it from broadcast media which simply puts the news out there and there no way to hear your audience.
In the film world, what has happened very recently, within the last couple of years, is that filmmakers are starting to realize that the only way that we can do our work is with the support of our community.
This film, “Goliad Uprising” was funded entirely by donors who came to him through his social media contacts, through Facebook none of which he knew personally, at all. This was all from people who he meet online and who have supported his work in the past by watching it and wanted to see me continue to make these stories that they relate to that mean something to them.
Why did you choose Austin for the premiere?
Well that’s a no brainer, Austin is where the film was shot, there are 97 actors in the film and most of them are from Austin and it is where I have shot my previous 5 films. Austin is known for being a really cool town and very receptive to film.
Yes, Austin has a reputation for being loved, people say good things about Austin.
For detailed information on the screening go to: www.nowplayingaustin.com/event/detail/441586509/GOLIAD_UPRISING_World_Premiere
Also see Facebook page: /www.facebook.com/goliaduprising
Blog by Lucas
Interview courtesy of AM/FM Magazine