The digital revolution has changed the way media is distributed around the world. In keeping with its strong history of fostering technological change, Lexus played an important role in bringing the world’s first major motion picture specifically distributed via the web to an audience of millions.
Girl Walks Into a Bar is the title of Sebastian Gutierrez’s online feature film, which premiered through the YouTube Screening Room this past March. The YouTube Screening Room is a new platform for bringing feature films to the web, and now offers a regular rotation of artistic efforts on a weekly basis. Lexus sponsorship was a key component in bringing the work of Gutierrez to the masses through the incredible reach of digital distribution.
The plot of Girl Walks Into a Bar is a multi-layered affair that ties together a series of seemingly unconnected stories set in 10 different bars around Los Angeles during a single evening. Gradually, Gutierrez intertwines each tale until they become a single, vital narrative that brings viewers deep into the world that he has created on the screen.
The film features more than its fair share of star power with recently minted Hollywood faces like Zachary Quinto (Star Trek
) and Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage
) joined by veteran players Danny DeVito and Carla Gugino. Josh Hartnett and Rosario Dawson also put in appearances throughout this neo-noir cinematic effort.
The pace of Girl Walks Into a Bar is as rapid as the dialogue is effortlessly offered up by its not-as-they-seem characters, but the plot never feels disjointed or rushed. Instead, Gutierrez has managed to bridge the gap between traditional theater-focused storytelling and the expectations of a digital audience. The director said that he was inspired by classic slice-of-life films by masters such as Robert Altman (Short Cuts), as well as the crime prose of Elmore Leonard.
Gutierrez also mentioned that one of the most unusual aspects of the entire direct-to-web distribution angle was the fact that he never actually saw it with an audience during the post-production phase. The Internet-only aesthetic of the film made its eventual theatrical debut at the South by Southwest® (SXSW®) creative arts and emerging technologies festival, which made it that much more nerve-wracking.
Girl Walks Into a Bar redefines expectations for the quality and execution of a web-released cinematic project. You can view the film in its entirety at www.youtube.com/shangrila.