A FOOL’S IDEA is an independent documentary project, created by Brian Bernhard, exploring the lives, loves, passions, fears, inspirations and work of some of the worlds most eccentric performing artists.

Spanning two seasons, over 20 podcasts and reels of extras, no matter how well you’ve learnt to hide your inner idiot, these tales are sure to bring it right out.

A spectacular portrayal of creative personas, this non-fiction web series highlights the talent, dedication and the frustrations of a performing artist.

Having worked with so many interesting and out there individuals how easy or difficult did you find the task of successfully capturing their character and conveying it to the audience?
The challenge of capturing the character of an eccentric performing artist is always different with every individual interview.  Some artists are open books and they allow me to thumb through their pages with ease during the interview and others are more guarded and bitter from negative past experiences or a lack of time in front of a camera.

The key is allowing the artist to reveal their character once they feel comfortable doing so, if you don’t; they tend to not give you the good stuff. Once the interview is captured to video, and I have learned more about whom the individual artist is, I then work with them to create a visual narrative that best represents who they are and how they want the public to perceive their character in the most genuine way possible.

What (and/or who) inspired your series?
I give my friend and teacher Jef Johnson (Slava’s Snowshow & Cirque Du Soleil) full credit for inspiring me to produce this series. I was taking physical comedy training in NYC at his Clown Lab workshop, where we became friends. Through him I got to meet Jango Edwards (International Physical Comedian); one evening in Manhattan, the three of us were hanging out talking about comedy theory and clown theater, I coincidently happened to have a small video camera in my pocket and I decided to record the conversation… and the rest is history.

What do you want audiences to take away from your series?
My intention is to inspire and activate the creative parts of the human brain. I want people to be motivated and connect with the things that make them passionate enough to do something. Don’t be afraid to take risks, to get in touch with their inner idiots and fools, to rediscover, play, freedom and to remember how to be truly happy.

How do you reach your audience?
My series currently has no budget or wide distribution platform. Its been entirely funded out of pocket and for those reasons my only distribution has been through online portals like YouTube, Video, Blip and Daily Motion. There are a few companies I have been speaking with about developing the series into an international television series; in which case I would be able to find some kind of a marketing budget to help bring more inspiration hungry eyeballs to the series.

Is your series an ongoing project? If so can you give us some clues about what comes next?
I have about 100 episodes of the series in the can, sitting on hard drives waiting to be edited into something amazing; however, for the last few months I have been focusing on developing the audience and raising awareness of the project so that new episodes can be presented to more eyes. Additionally, I have been working on some potential TV deals, holding back some of the content in hopes of finding a budget for the project has also been a priority in recent months.

When are you completely satisfied with your work?
Personally, never, but for a few minutes, while watching an episode truly connect with a live audience at a screening. When I know all the beats have hit their marks and I can see the wonder in the spectators eye, I find some satisfaction in that.

Are there any web series, other than your own that inspire you?
I am inspired by the work of many creators… from Travis Betz’s work on his Receptionist series, to Morgan Spurlock’s “Day in the Life” on Hulu. The work of Blackbox TV, Fools for Hire, Ze Frank and many, many others have provided me with endless amounts of inspiration and motivation.

How many people worked on this project?
The crew is me, my composer Carmela Sinco and on occasion I manage to get a friend to do second camera.

What’s your background as a content creator? And how did you approach this project differently to previous projects?
I am an EMMY winning TV producer, I have been producing docu-style series since 2005 for the broadcast television world; however, I have always been attracted to the freedom and interactivity that the internet provides. I am more attracted to the potential for an accessible global audience than an inaccessible one directional limited audience.

Your list of skills is extensive as is your portfolio, and it seems to me that your ability to relate to your characters comes from the fact that you yourself are an artist. Apart from motion picture, are you passionate about any other forms of art?
Well, I am pretty passionate about almost all creative media – I draw, I sculpt, I perform and lately I have been diving head first into portrait photography. I like to create in the flow, so I just go with what ever inspires me in the moment.


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