We have some great news to share - our backers at the $30 level and up can watch AN HONEST LIAR!
After a successful festival run, AN HONEST LIAR will be coming to movie theaters in the US beginning in March! The film will premiere in New York and Los Angeles on March 6th, and roll out in different markets soon after! Keep your eyes on our Facebook page or website and we'll post updates listing additional cities and theaters.
Now, most importantly, we want you to see the film YOU HELPED US MAKE!
For everyone who donated $30 and up - for the digital download, DVD, Bluray, and so on - we're sending you a link to an online screener of the film. Plus, at the end of the movie, there are a few bonus deleted scenes just for you!
This is the full theatrical version of the film that will be shown in theaters!
As you may know, the film cost significantly more to make than the amount we raised on Kickstarter. We are therefore depending on the box office return and future sales (of DVDs, Blurays, on iTunes, Amazon, etc) to get out of debt.
Our distributors didn’t want us to risk releasing the film to our backers before it was officially released in theaters and for sale in the U.S., but we insisted our backers get to view it before then as we've always planned.
However, because it has not yet been released in the U.S., PLEASE help us keep the screener confidential! Piracy will damage both our chances of paying off our debts and our ability to make more docs like this in the future. We greatly appreciate your discretion!
Beginning this evening, we will be sending each $30-and-up donor an individual link to a VHX-hosted online screener within the next few days. If you are supposed to get a link but don't, please check your spam folder. If, after you still haven't gotten it within 3 days, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll figure out what the issue is.
Once you open the link you can watch the film as many times as you like within 5 days. The link will expire five days after being activated - so wait to activate it until you plan to watch!
Note that when the film is released in full distribution, we will provide our digital download donors with a fully downloadable link.
We really hope you enjoy the film, and thank you all so much for you help in getting it made!!!
Have a great holiday season and a happy and healthy new year!
It’s time to update our supporters now that we have a few days break from traveling!
(We’re sorry for the length of this message, but it’s important info and long overdue.)
We’re thrilled to report that AN HONEST LIAR has been having a very successful festival run. We’ve shown it at dozens festivals around the US, in Canada, England, Australia, Iceland, Norway, Moscow and more. We’ll also be taking it to Ireland, Napa Valley, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Key West, and Calgary in the next month with more to come.
We’ve won awards for Best Documentary as judged by a jury or audience vote at a number of festivals and audiences and critics have been consistently supportive and enthusiastic.
What's more, Randi and Deyvi love the film and continue to attend festival screenings and Q&A’s. Randi is so proud of AN HONEST LIAR that he’s sat through the entire film every time he attends – and claims that he finds something new every time he views it.
Taking the film on the festival circuit is can be fun and exciting, but it's also hard work. We don't get paid to do it, can't take any other paying work while we're traveling, and have to delay other projects to travel with the film. Some, but not all of the festivals pay for travel expenses, and in either case we still end up paying quite a bit out of our own dust-filled pockets. Many don’t reimburse for anything and we can’t afford to accompany our film.
We're not complaining: we're devoted to our documentary and this process is extremely important for its success. We’re in it for the long haul and have been devoted for years to making the best film possible and now to ensuring that it has the best chance for success.
Our measure of success for AHL is based upon how many people we can reach with it. The festival run is an essential part of publicizing a film - the reviews, awards, and publicity that come from the festivals help generate interest and awareness and result in more people seeing it when it comes out in theaters, on VOD (iTunes, Amazon etc.), streaming (Netflix), and broadcast (PBS).
Our initial plan was to deliver the film to YOU - our supporters - at the first public release of the film in theaters after the festival run. You helped us get the film made and we can’t wait for you to see it!
We planned to get the film into theaters around now – fall 2014 – and have spent a lot of time working on the details of distribution. We wanted to find someone who cares for the film the way we and Randi do, who sees the importance and potential of the film and it’s subject matter, and who will treat it as more than just a commodity.
This process took some time but it was worth it. Unfortunately, the calendars of theaters were mostly booked for the fall and winter months with a few openings in smaller theaters. We were then presented with two options, open in 3 – 5 theaters in November 2014 or another to wait a few months and then open in 30 – 50 larger theaters around the country in March / April of 2015.
As much as we wanted to hold to our original planned timing, the purpose of making the film is so as many people can see it as possible. We struggled with this choice because waiting to release in the spring also means we can’t deliver the film to our backers until then.
Our distributor, who is investing time and money into getting the film into theaters, will also not allow us to release it prior as they fear the ease of spreading a digital download or copying DVD’s will hurt the earnings of the film. We understand their concern and have to respect it.
Our belief has always been that Randi’s work and mission and the ideas in the film are important enough to devote years of our lives to making a film that will help spread these messages. By releasing it in the spring we’ll be able to open in many more theaters across the country, get more press, get more viewers, as well as increase the audience for James Randi and his mission.
This was not an easy decision for us because we don’t want to disappoint our backers. You supported us, helped us get the film made, and we owe you the fruits of our labors and your donations.
We hope you agree with our reasoning for choosing a later release for the film and consequently a later deliver of the film to our backers. It’s possible that a certain percentage of our backers are less concerned with the bigger picture and will be upset at the delay. For this we apologize. We’ve succeeded and indeed exceeded all of our goals in making a great film about James Randi except one: delivering to our Kickstarter backers when we thought we could.
Please also understand that we set the Kickstarter delivery date for the film almost 2 years ago in January 2013, and it was an estimate on our scheduled finishing of the film. Had we completed the film a bit earlier and premiered at an earlier film festival things would be different.
We’re proud of the film we made with your help and hope you will be proud of it as well, but also excited for it to be as successful and popular as it can be. While it may be disappointing to wait a few months longer, it is just that – only a few months more.
We're thrilled to update everyone on what's been happening with the film!
We premiered AN HONEST LIAR at the Tribeca Film Festival followed by an international premiere at the Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto!
Many of the people in the film attended the premiere, including Randi himself, Deyvi Peña, Richard Wiseman, Banachek and Mike Edwards (of Project Alpha), Jamy Ian Swiss, Bill Nye, and Ray Hyman (photos below).
Screenings at both Tribeca and Hot Docs were sold out, and the audiences were fabulous, giving Randi & the film standing ovations. Randi attended many of the screenings at both festivals and it was fabulous to see the appreciation he received. He was always happy to spend time with fans afterwords, staying until the last person got an autograph or picture with him.
The reviews of the film have been overwhelmingly positive as well, and we've included some review quotes at the end of this email.
We were a Top 10 Audience Favorite at Hot Docs, and also won the Jury Award for Best Documentary at the Newport Beach International Film Festival! We are now continuing to take the film to festivals - coming up next are Mountainfilm Telluride, Sheffield Doc/Fest (UK), San Fransisco DocFest, and the Nantucket Film Festival, with more to be announced soon. You can keep up on where we are screening by checking in at the "screenings" page of our website - http://anhonestliar.com/wp/screenings/
The film will also be screened the film at Randi's annual AMAZING MEETING (TAM) in Las Vegas. All proceeds from those screenings are going to support JREF (the James Randi Educational Foundation). We're making no money off this ourselves - we are providing the film as a thanks to them and to help fundraise for JREF.
Several people have asked why we are showing it at festivals before delivering the downloads and DVDs to our Kickstarter donors, and we want to be clear why it's necessary for us to do this.
Festivals are important for getting publicity for the film and attracting distribution so that we can make the film available to the most people possible. We don't make any money showing the film at festivals - in fact, it costs us a lot of money because the festivals don't cover most of the expenses involved.
The film also has archival footage and music that is only licensed for festival showings and we can't legally distribute online or by DVD. We couldn't afford to pay for that licensing (tens of thousands of dollars) but the licensing cost solely for festivals is much cheaper.
Either we'll be able to pay for those rights when we get distribution or we'll have to make a few small changes before we can legally send the film to our backers. Luckily, the footage is basically just at the open and close of the film so it won't be a big difference, but we'd prefer to keep it if possible!
In either case, we will still have to do additional work to complete the DVD extras, find the right way to distribute to you digitally, and package the film for digital & DVD distribution for our Kickstarter supporters. We will be doing that when we promised, in the early fall!
We're about to update the website with all the names of people who donated $10 or more shortly. (If for some reason you DON'T want your name in the thanks list, please let us know by emailing your name to email@example.com!)
We're also going to update our website with a blog shortly, but in the meantime the best way to keep up with us is to "like" our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AnHonestLiarDoc) and keep your eye on the updates we post there.
Thanks so much to all of you for getting us to this point! We couldn't have done it without you, and we can't wait for you to see the film!!
The Honest Liar Team
"The film is indeed amazing...An Honest Liar is not about magic per se or about James Randi as a magician but it is a fascinating look at the willingness to deceive and be deceived... a stunning example of documentary film making" (http://thisisinfamous.com)
"One of the most fascinating docs I’ve seen this year...Charismatic, highly intelligent, and simply a hoot to watch, The Amazing Randi is the type of subject you wish every doc would have... Even if you don’t like magic, tricks or other types of illusions, trust me when I say you’ll still love An Honest Liar and the hilariously brilliant subject of the film, The Amazing Randi" (http://moviebuzzers.com)
"There’s not a dry moment in the film, and by the end, there’s not a dry eye in the theater" (http://saltlakemagazine.com)
"The film is funny, heartfelt, and pulls off a few effective narrative twists of it's own... An Honest Liar is a truly moving character study, an honest, funny and moving look at the life of a deceitful man obsessed with the truth" (http://www.andrewnadkarni.com)
"Directors Justin Weinstein and Tyler Measom apply the same relentless scrutiny to their subject that Randi brings to bear on the phonies he exposes. What they find isn’t damning in the slightest – the man’s decency comes through loud and clear – but it does offer a more complicated consideration of James Randi than you may expect. And that’s a very good thing." (http://www.nowtoronto.com)
Part of the reason I gravitate towards and often find documentary films more interesting than narrative ones are because the format allows filmmakers freedoms along with its restrictions; free from narrative conventions and the building of a traditional scene, they are forced tell a story that purports to be “real.” An Honest Liar is one such story, exceptionally told by filmmakers Tyler Measom and Justin Weinstein... Comprehensive and fascinating, filmmakers Measom and Weinstein have crafted an engaging and entertaining portrait of a man who is paradoxically a likable and honest liar out to set the record straight." (http://thefilmstage.com)
"An Honest Liar weaves these accounts with an expert flair for captivating storytelling. The film feels like an enchanting magic act with its web of lies, cheats, and reveals. An Honest Liar leaves one doubting the power of so-called-mystics, but it successfully conjures the magic of movies." (http://povmagazine.com)
"Many of the intrigues Honest documents are absolutely fascinating, bringing to mind the hit-or-miss skullduggery of Rodrigo Cortés’ Red Lights, except they are considerably more interesting. They also happen to be true. The third act revelation is also a real surprise most causal viewers will not see coming." (http://www.libertasfilmmagazine.com)
It's time! Our premiere is next friday at 9pm, and tickets go on sale tomorrow to Amex cardholders first. We'd love to meet our NY area supporters if you can come - there are 4 screenings in NYC before we head to Toronto for our international premiere at HotDocs.
We are slaving away - working day and night - to finish the film! We barely eat or drink. We are doing our best to make our Kickstarter backers proud by making the best film you've ever seen! We have little to look forward to in these agonizing days of constant headaches, technical issues, archival footage houses sending us the wrong clips. We know it'll be worth it, but we need a boost. Something to pick us up, to help drive us over the finish line.
Well, YOU can help us - help make all our hard work pay off, help us sleep better at night, and have sweet happy dreams. And it won't cost you a penny.