Film Mentors: Filmmaker: Narrative - Bob Byington
Bob Byington is an award-winning independent American film director, screenwriter and actor living in Austin, Texas. He is most noted for his films RSO (Registered Sex Offender) (2008) and Harmony and Me (2009). His latest film, Somebody Up There Likes Me (2012), won The Special Jury Prize at the 2012 Locarno Film Festival. Byington grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. He studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz and received a major in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
Byington's work has been called literate, bawdy, sardonic, and quirky. The Los Angeles Times described his film Harmony and Me as a "collision of joyous whimsy and bittersweet melancholy. Byington considers his films thematically different from mumblecore and has resisted the label. Unlike the extreme naturalistic dialogue of many mumblecore films, Byington's work leans towards exact dialogue and, according to Roger Ebert, "perfect timing" which is "unreasonably funny". Filmmaker Magazine has likened his rich humor to the New Hollywood comedies of the 1970s. Byington often reuses performers, including Nick Offerman, Kristen Tucker, Pat Healy, Keith Poulson, Kevin Corrigan and Suzy Nakamura. Offerman starred in Byington's latest film, Somebody Up There Likes Me, which premiered at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, and is slated for wide release Spring of 2013.