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WATCH: The BRIC Documentary Intensive

1 Feb

I’ve had the pleasure of co-creating and teaching the first two Documentary Intensives at BRIC.
This short video highlights some of the participants in the class, as well as the goals of the program in the larger context of Free Speech. Enjoy!



Adult Education Specialist!

8 Jan

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!

In December of 2016, I joined the staff at BRIC in downtown Brooklyn as their first ever Adult Education Specialist! I’ve worked at BRIC in various capacities for 3 years, and I’m thrilled they have asked me to join them as a full-time staff member!

There’s a lot to this position. I’ll be developing new classes, as well as finding ways to enhance the technical skills of our community producers. I’ll be managing our off-site classes at Brooklyn Public Libraries, and I’ll be continuing to run the Documentary Intensive.

Most excitingly, I’ve been in charge of a new class called Intimate Eye: Capturing Theatrical Performance. This class is focused on the development of new work at the intersection of cinema and black box theatre. As someone who has done theatre and film since he was 13, it’s a really exciting program to be heading up!

You can read all about BRIC at – hope to see you there!


Read my piece on Fandor.

17 Oct

Hey all,

I’ve been awfully quiet here working on a few projects, but I thought I’d send out a piece I wrote recently.

A year ago, Chantal Akerman took her own life. She was a huge influence on me, and actually the reason I attended film school at City College. I wrote about being her student for Fandor. You can read it HERE.

In case that doesn’t work, here’s the full link:

On Being Chantal Akerman’s Student

Thanks for reading!


Watch ‘Future Perfect’ now.

15 Jan

Hey all,

My short film, Future Perfect, which most recently played at The Portland Film Festival, is now available to watch below. Enjoy!

Thanks all,

Short documentary to air on Brooklyn Independent Media tomorrow!

1 Jun


Hello all,

Several years ago, my friend Harmony starting dating this painter. When I first met him, he was quiet and reserved. After a few meetings, Sam and I started talking a lot more. I became interested in his focus and concentration on painting, and would often ask him about making art.

Eventually, we collaborated on Harmony’s one-woman show, Human Fruit Bowl, and spent some time together in Prague where the show premiered. We drank a lot of beer and talked a lot about art. He lent me a few books about the artistic process, and we bonded over our shared interest in Tarkovsky films.

Sam has a studio in Red Hook. I went there first a few couple of years ago, and I thought it was the coolest place. It was filled with art and coffee cups and paint brushes. It smelled like what art should smell like. I was envious of Sam’s space, and I wanted to watch him work.

Last summer, we got together and I filmed him a bit working his studio. We talked a bit about art, and about his process.

That piece will air on Brooklyn Independent Media tomorrow from 12-1pm, and will re-air throughout the afternoon.
Brooklyn Independent Media airs on Cablevision 70, Time Warner 756, Verizon FiOS 46, and streams online at

Sam’s work is at Check it out. He’s my favorite painter.

Thanks for watching. If you miss it, I’ll post the piece later this week.


What the Summer holds: a Gallery show at BRIC!

13 May

Hey all,

It’s an exciting summer. This is my first in a series of posts about what I’ll be doing this summer, film and art wise.

First of all, my work is being screened with a bunch of other incredible artists in a gallery in downtown Brooklyn!

8d41f987-d8b5-4095-a705-029db701c422_img_5647_instaselfieparadise_abigail-b-clark_webBRIC’s downtown gallery space.

That’s right, BRIC, that wonderful multidisciplinary space in downtown Brooklyn, is highlighting the work of a group of their Teaching Artists, and I’m excited to be one of them. They will be screening my short film Purple, as well as Our Neighborhood, a piece I helped make with the 4th and 5th grade blogging club at PS 297 Abraham Stockton school in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 6.13.22 PM

Purple was a film I made with a group of actors. You can read more about it’s genesis on Edwin Nieves’ great site, A-Bittersweet-Life. It deals with divorce from the perspective of a child, and is something of the precursor to my feature film, The Cape House, currently in development.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 6.20.12 PM

Our Neighborhood was created by teaching our group of students a bit about filmmaking, then having them draw pictures of a few things they liked and a few things they disliked about their community. They then interviewed one another on camera, and we used their drawings as storyboards. The film was shot over several class sessions, and the resulting film is a bit of mosaic that shows the ups and downs of their community, specifically those living near Marcy.

The opening of the show is May 20, and it will run for one month . You can read more about it here. Hope to see you there.

More soon.

My best,

#CapeHouseMovie: Casting Call!

19 Mar

Hey friends,

We are having a reading of The Cape House next Saturday, March 28, from 6pm to 9pm, around Union Square in Manhattan.

We are looking for local actors willing to volunteer their time to help us hear the script, but it will be a chance to read for the parts, as we will be casting them in the near-ish future.

Here are short descriptions of the characters.

Jack: 12, anxious, still plays with action figures and has a strong fantasy life. His parents’ relationship has made him sensitive and very aware, but he is unable to process how he feels and deal with the anger arising from a situation over which he has no control.

Dad: 35 – 42 born and raised Bostonian, hard working, emotionally repressed. He had a son a bit before he was ready, but has adapted to the role fairly well. He is prone to anger, but is also gentle and shows a lot compassion, he does not want to separate from Mom.

If you know anyone who would fit these parts well, please get in touch with me. You can e-mail me at, or find me on twitter @liamgbillingham.

Thank you!


Understanding The Work: Kurosawa and ‘The Cape House.’

5 Mar

Hey all,

Last week, I delivered a new draft of The Cape House to my producer Carolyn, and we are gearing up to start raising funds.

This got me thinking: I have to direct this thing.

Of course I’ve known that all along, but suddenly it’s becoming very real.

I’ve always viewed The Cape House as something of a thriller, believe it or not. A thriller about understanding your parents and understanding yourself. But I figured it would be a hard thing to do: how to make something so domestic and small feel thrilling?

Then I saw this.

Kurosawa uses composition, shape, and subtle performance to racket up tension, and clarify storytelling. No one has done it better. The second I saw this video, I e-mailed it to Carolyn and said ‘we need to show this to our potential DPs.’

But there’s also something deeper about this video, and how it relates to my life and my first feature film.

One of my first exposures to foreign cinema came at the public library in my hometown of Duxbury, Massachusetts. One summer, when I was about 15, they were screening Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai on an August night. My family was actually on the Cape that weekend, but my mother had to come home, and I asked her to drop me off at the library so I could watch the film.

It was an incredible experience. Watching the film made me realize how influential Kurosawa was. I recognized shots from Star Wars, Saving Private Ryan, and many more films I loved as a teenager.

After the film, there was a discussion about the significance of the film. It was my first exposure to cinephiles, and I was in heaven.

There’s no doubt that was a defining moment, and that Kurosawa is, as for many, an important figure in my life. That this video appeared around the same time I started picturing my film in my head feels pretty significant.

Coincidentially, High and Low, one of Mr. Kurosawa’s best films, is screening at MOMI this weekend. Check it out if you can. It’s amazing.

See you all soon.


Understanding the Work: Collaborative filmmaking as the future.

28 Jan

If we reduce social life to the smallest possible unit we will find that there is no social life in the company of one. 

– Jerzy Kosinski

‘Purple,’ my short created in collaboration with the cast.

Hey all,

I hope you all survived the blizzard intact.

2015 is here, and I have big filmmaking goals. One is to shoot my feature, The Cape House, but another is to adopt a new way of working.

Almost 3 years ago, I made a short film called ‘Purple.’ ‘Purple’ was unique in how I made it. There’s a longer post about this specific subject on A-Bittersweet-Life today, but, briefly, I didn’t write a script before casting. I instead came up with a basic idea, cast the film, then, through rehearsal and conversations, wrote the movie in collaboration with my cast.

This is not a new approach. Many great directors, like Mike Leigh and John Cassavetes, have already done it or something similar. But it was a revelation for me.

I come from theatre (Yea, I’m the one rocking out). The best part of theatre, to me, was always rehearsal. Seeing the finished show open was always a rush, but there was never anything more exciting than a group of people in a room trying to solve dramatic, comedic and experimental problems.

This is the approach that I took with Purple. Four people in a room solving problems, writing the story on our feet. It was the most fun I’ve had making a film. Ever.


The actors warming up before rehearsing for ‘Purple.’

However, traditional screenwriting dominated my short ‘Future Perfect‘ and has been the main approach for ‘The Cape House.’

But a few things have happened in the past few months, which have led me back to collaborative movie writing.

I am currently writing a film with writer/director/actress Victoria Negri, who has a feature called ‘Gold Star‘ in post-production. Victoria and I connected through twitter, and had a few long conversations over coffee. We talked movies and running. Eventually, I showed her a script I had written about the weird connections people make (and don’t make) while running in New York City.

Victoria was interested, but we decided to throw out the script as it was and start fresh. But we weren’t sitting in a room with pens and paper. We’d meet and talk. We tell each other stories about our running experiences. A huge part of this script is based on things people have said to us and thoughts and feelings we’ve both had.  It was informal, but focused. Every so often, I’d write down some notes.

As a result, what we’ve written feels true. Plus, it’s proven remarkably easy to get words on paper, something I’m terribly slow about. We already have a first draft after only 3 meetings, and I feel more confident about it than any script I’ve written this far.

This is a beta test of how I want to proceed going forward. Get a group of people together, ideally an already-decided-upon cast, several other writers, and experts/advisors on the topic, and have long sessions where we work together through conversation and improvisation. I believe the alchemy of people could get something really interesting going.

Most of all, I think it will get out of my own way, which has always been my goal. No idea of mine has been made worse by collaborating with others. It reminds me of why we tell stories, and why I wandered into a theatre when I was kid anyways: to meet and be close to others who understood me. The energy of collaboration always brings out my best.

I am also in the early stages of putting together a collective of filmmakers to make features. We are ironing out the details, but I am excited about its potential. More to come.

As it gets cheaper and cheaper to make films, more films are being made and less are getting equal levels of attention. Great films receive little-to-no traction. A good way, I believe, to counteract this trend is to give your team ownership on the film, thus getting them excited about the film. How to do that? Involve your team in the creation. Make them part of the conversation. Filmmaking is a social art.

So make it social.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out the post on ‘A Bittersweet Life.



Understanding The Work: #BKMediaMaker event (and Video!)

19 Nov

Hello all,

Last week, BRICArtsMedia, formerly BCAT, hosted a #BKMediaMaker event at their space on Fulton Street.

BRIC’s Mission:

BRIC presents contemporary art, performing arts and community media programs that reflect Brooklyn’s creativity and diversity. BRIC also provides resources to launch, nurture and showcase artists and media makers. BRIC presents contemporary art, performing arts and community media programs that reflect Brooklyn’s creativity and diversity. BRIC also provides resources to launch, nurture and showcase artists and media makers. We advance access to and understanding of arts and media by presenting free and low-cost programming, and by offering education and other public programs to people of all ages.

I work for BRIC as a teacher, consultant, media maker, and Videographer. More than that, I believe that BRIC is doing good work, and they are doing it in the place I call home.

The event itself was a blast. I knew a lot of people, met some new ones, and got excited about the future of media in Brooklyn. When I was asked to cut a video of the event, I jumped at the chance.

So, here it is:


Enjoy, and check BRIC out. If you’re thinking about becoming a #BKMediaMaker, there is nowhere more supportive or affordable.