Johnny Physical Lives!
How It started
In 2013, first-time director Joshua Neuman came to me for one of the most challenging collaborations I’d ever had the honor taking a part in: he wanted to tell the story of his brother’s bout with with very limited amount of home video footage, having to animate on a shoestring budget, and without any of the cancer-movie cliches. The result was a 22-minute short film that took us three years to make. I signed on as a consultant for the project, but by the end I’d shot, edited, produced, and directed Josh’s heart-wrenching voiceover performance in this love letter to his brother. The animation was directed by the Toronto-based Style5, with additional music by Kimya Dawson, and additional footage shot by the late legend himself, Albert Maysles.
The film went on to play in quite a few major doc fests, including Hot Docs International Film Festival, Sheffield Film Festival, Doc NYC, among others. It received an online premiere a year later via a Vimeo Staff Pick premiere.
To explore Jonathan’s inner-life, we created an alternate rock’n’roll universe, linking Jonathan’s real-life traumas to the misadventures of his alter-ego Johnny Physical.