Featured Filmmakers: Joel Ashton McCarthy & Bryant Boesen, Co-Directors, Co-Editors, and Producers of Taking My Parents to Burning Man

Joel & Bry burning manWould YOU take your 60 year-old parents to Burning Man?

Well, one man did, and made a documentary film about the whole experience.

We caught up with Taking My Parents To Burning Man‘s Bryant Boesen, and his cast-mate, co-director, co-editor, co-producer Joel, this morning as they arrived on Maui and began to prepare for tonight’s 10pm screening at Celestial Cinema.

Q: How did your film come to be? 

A: After attending Burning Man with his older sister, Bryant felt the need to make a documentary about the event to get the mindsets and values that it promotes out to the larger population that might not ever see “Black Rock City”. They talked their parents into attending the event, and Bry teamed up with his best friend/classmate Joel Ashton McCarthy.

In their final year of film school, they began shooting and developing the project with some of their classmates. Though many had their doubts, they managed to get a budget together through “crowd funding,” and began prepping for their trip to the desert, and their first feature-length film.

Q: What was the most challenging thing about making this film?

A: The two most challenging things about making the film were, making a feature film on $10,000 budget and editing the 40+ hours of amazing footage into a cohesive 80 minute documentary. When it came to finishing the film, Joel & Bryant would pull 24 hour editing days in Joel’s bedroom where Bryant would work all night and Joel would work all day while the other one slept five feet away in the bed.

Q: What type of experience do you hope the film will bring to viewers?

A: We hope that this film changes peoples perspectives on what Burning Man is, and removes some of the debaucherous stigma that many have regarding Burning Man.

Q: What do you think our Maui audiences will appreciate about your film?

A: We feel Maui audiences will connect to the film because Burning Man is essentially an Island community surrounded by dessert. Burning Man has such a close community feel, as well as a laid back outlook much like Maui folks; so we are excited to see how they react.

Q: What is your connection to Maui? 

A: We were never expecting our film to play at Maui, we just felt as two recently graduated film school grads that a festival of this magnitude were out of our league. Luckily for us we won two audience choice awards at our first two festivals and the festival director of Maui personally contacted us about the film. We are beyond thrilled to be here with the film.


The Featured Filmmaker series is coordinated and written by the Maui Film Festival’s Filmmaker Liaison and Social Media Director Sara TekulaClick here to see all of the Featured FIlmmaker posts and be sure follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get live updates from the festival.