Harmontown

In November of 2013, Neil Berkeley got a call from Dan Harmon (NBC’s Community, Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty).  Harmon was planning on taking his incredibly popular podcast on a 9000 mile, 22 city national tour and he wanted to know if Berkeley would film it for a potential documentary.  What ensued was an incredible journey around the country and into the mind of a brilliant, yet flawed writer.

The Production

Going on a 9000 mile road trip on a shoestring budget means being incredibly efficient and organized.  Berkeley recruited DP Ryan Carmody to set the film's look. With one additional shooter and three C100's the team went about capturing EVERYTHING.  "Everything" means over 300 hours of footage across a wide range of media including GoPros, iPhones, ear cams and even VHS.  At times, the crew filmed 24 hours a day as Dan’s story unfolded over the course of the tour. 

Distribution

In March of 2014, the film made its worldwide premiere at the SXSW Film Festival.  Reviews were solid and fans were ecstatic.  The movie was quickly picked up for distribution by new-at-the-time distributor The Orchard and a theatrical release was quickly put into the works.  The film ended up in over sixty theaters with several of them hosting successful screenings followed by a podcast with the whole Harmontown gang.  Netflix also added the documentary to its queue and the film is enjoying successful runs on other digital platforms including iTunes, Hulu and Amazon.

Marketing

While the overall marketing initiative was handled by The Orchard's outside vendors, the team at BRKLY knew Dan's fans would want irreverent content that the distributor might not make available.  With that in mind, a series of weekly vignettes were released to tease the film.  These vignettes were single shot moments that didn't make it into film, but which added another layer of excitement to the film's release.  

Digital Release

Having been through the distribution process once before, Berkeley knew that maintaining control over the ability to release the film on harmontown.com was essential.  With over 300 hours of footage, we knew that we would be able to put together an incredible amount of content that Harmon's fans would be dying to pay for.  Throughout post-production, our editorial team was constantly banking any and all material that could be built into stand alone content. With 22 shows to feature, they ended up with over 50 hours of material.  A director's cut and commentary were also made available. This allowed the Harmontown web site to become the most lucrative of all the distribution platforms by far.