Brant Pinvidic, president of Eyeworks USA, is moving beyond the small screen and premiering his documentary directorial debut this week.
Why I’m Not On Facebook, Pinvidic’s examination of social media in general and Facebook in particular, has its world premiere Thursday at the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival. The film follows the reality TV producer as he dissects the appeal and impact of the social networking site by connecting with others who have used it for myriad reasons – ranging from a woman who caught out her cheating husband via the site to a criminal who scopes out potential robbery victims through information users post on their profiles – while trying to decide whether he should join the site after years of resisting, and also allow his 13-year-old son to join.
Eyeworks USA produces such series as Spike TV’s Bar Rescue, ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss, and Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell, which each have their own official Facebook pages. Its survivalist competition series, Remote Survival, will debut on National Geographic Channel in winter 2015.
Prior to joining Eyeworks USA, Pinvidic held the role of SVP, programming and development at TLC. But while his career to this point has revolved around reality, he tells realscreen that documentary has long been a passion.
“Documentary film is an extension of what we do at Eyeworks USA every day; it’s what gave me the love of this TV genre,” he says. “I wanted to do a documentary feature because it felt so natural, so raw, the truest sense of storytelling. I’m a huge fan of the feature doc world and I love real story-telling; it’s why I gravitated to non-fiction TV.”
Over the course of making the film, Pinvidic says he experienced something common to doc-makers: the realization that the film you are going to end up with is quite different than the one you set out to make,
“I originally set out thinking this would be more of an exposé, thinking I would cast Facebook in a light that was in line with my preconceived notions; I even pictured the ‘gotcha!’ Michael Moore moments,” he says. “It turned out to be quite different than I expected. The film explores Facebook on a more personal level, how Facebook really affects people and impacts users’ lives.”
Pinvidic’s directorial debut premieres at the Woodstock Film Festival on Thursday, Oct. 16, with another showing on October 17. Also appearing at the 2014 edition of the Woodstock Film Festival, which runs from October 15-19, are actor/director Courteney Cox, documentarian Joe Berlinger, and filmmaker Darren Aronofsky. For more information on the festival’s documentary slate, click here.