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South By Southwest Film Interview – THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE co-director Josh Barrett

This Is Where We Live - At SxSW 2013
by Jason Whyte

“"This Is Where We Live" is about the disruption that occurs when a financially and emotionally bankrupt family brings in a stranger to aide their son who has Cerebral Palsy.” Co-Director Josh Barrett on the film “This Is Where We Live” which screens at this year's South By Southwest Film. Josh Barrett and Marc Menchaca co-directed the film.

Is this your first SxSW/Austin experience?

This is our first time at the festival as filmmakers, although co-director Marc Menchaca lived in Austin for a few years and as we were filming, Austin was our travel and pre-production hub.

What do you love the most about Austin?

One of great things about Austin is the support the community gives to arts and culture.  It's a nesting ground for a lot of different creative endeavors and that energy inspires our own work. We are also big fans of Contigo Austin, East Side Showroom, Houndstooth Coffee and Yellow Jacket Social Club.

Tell me a bit about your background and how you became a filmmaker. Also would love to hear about anything else you have made in the past!

We are both actors by trade and met in Africa while shooting the HBO miniseries Generation Kill.  Neither of us went to film school, we just had a desire to make our own work, which led us to writing and then to directing.  A friend of ours and also the film's producer, Ben Fuqua, was hungry to get something off the ground and worked hard to pave the way for us to get this film made.

What was the biggest challenge, or challenges, in making the film?

Not having the same budget as Iron Man is definitely challenging. At the same time, budgetary constraints would often force us into more interesting and creative decisions.

What was your single favorite moment out of the entire production?

Marc: My favorite moment was the first time I got behind the camera and was able to see the script come alive for a scene when the family comes home.

Josh: Shooting Bob walking out to the highway.  We had to make a lot of on-the-fly decisions, and our DP Ryan Booth raced against the sun to get some incredibly beautiful and moving footage.

What keeps you going while making a movie? What drives you?

While shooting there was a fridge that was stocked with cans of Lone Star which was always a motivator to get through the end of the day.  But really there was so much joy in making this film and such great relationships between all of the cast in crew that it outweighed any fatigue.

I would love to know about the technical side of the film, your relationship to the director of photography, what the movie was shot on and why it was decided to be filmed this way.

Ryan was a pleasure to work with and really took our vision for the film to a higher level.  We shot on a Sony F3 with the S-Log and completely handheld except for one shot.  We were trying to achieve a gritty, realistic feel similar to Friday Night Lights in order to make the film personal and immediate.  

What do you want audiences to take from the film?

We hope the relationships ring true to the audience and they feel like they've walked away with an honest glimpse of our shared humanity.

How important do you think the critical/media response is to film these days, be it a large production, independent film or festival title?

Very important.  It seems like the traditional gatekeepers are less influential because film making has become DIY.  Nowadays, getting good press and having a positive critical response is essential.

After the film screens at South By Southwest, what is the future release plan for the movie? Where would you like it to go?

We would love to have a theatrical run, but really any way we can get the most people to see the film is the goal.

Alamo Drafthouse and Paramount theaters in Austin aside, if you could show this movie in any cinema in the world, which one would you choose and why?

It would be great to have IFC and BAM Cinema give us a run. We like the films they bring in and the audiences they attract.

What would you say or do to someone who is talking or texting during a screening of your film?

I think noogies would be in order.

There are a lot of up and coming filmmakers both at SxSW and reading our site. I was curious if you had any advice to aspiring filmmakers?

Write as economically as possible to fit your budget, great story doesn't need a lot of money.

And finally, what is the single, greatest movie that you have seen at a film festival?

Okie Noodling at SXSW.

This is one of the many films screening at the 2013 SXSW in Austin, Texas between March 8-16. For more information on the film’s screening, point your browser to

Jason Whyte,
Twitter: @jasonwhyte Facebook: jasonwhyte

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originally posted: 03/06/13 18:25:56
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