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On Making Harmontown
On 07, Mar 2014 | In Press & News | By SBI
Neil Berkeley’s documentary Harmontown, about Community creator and show runner Dan Harmon, premieres tomorrow night at the SXSW Film Festival.
Halfway through shooting, the subject of my new movie turned to me and said, “Ya know, it occurred to me last night that I’m not changing. I’ve experienced some things but those are just accumulations. I’m 40 years old … I’m not gonna change. So you don’t have a story. What are you gonna do?” My first thought was, “you ass hole.” I had met this guy a month earlier, agreed to shoot his tour for a documentary and here we are in a parking lot in Kansas City and he’s telling me that he’s not going on a journey. Beyond that, only minutes before, he announced to the world that not only is he not the hero but, in fact, he is the villain of this story. We had four more days of shooting left and I only had half a story.
I’ve quickly learned that that’s the problem with telling a person’s story right in the middle of them actually going through it. From what I can tell Dan has accepted calls, crossed thresholds, battled dragons and now he’s gotten everything he’s ever wanted in life and according to Joseph Campbell he’s about to pay a heavy price. I’m not going to say that it’s going to be bad ratings, heavy drinking or this movie that are going to finally send him into the low point of his journey but if story circles are real then he’s about to find out that (point metaphor)…
But then again maybe not. Dan makes a very real, very honest point when he looks into the camera and admits to me that he’s all changed out. Good or bad this is who he’s going to be and as long as he’s honest about that to his friends and fans we’re all allowed to decide whether we want this person in our lives. You see, people’s lives don’t follow structure and we don’t go on a journey. We don’t cross thresholds, we don’t meet goddesses and we don’t return to our villages with elixir. We may occasionally be heroes and sometimes villains but mostly we’re just people … Truth is we’re mostly extras.Read More