Award-win­ning film about fly-fish­ing leg­end Humphreys is com­ing to State Col­lege

Centre Daily Times (Sunday) - - Good Life In Happy Valley - BY FRANK READY

Lu­cas Bell isn’t sure that he and his wife Meigan were ready to make a fea­ture-length doc­u­men­tary. But make it they did so ei­ther he’s ly­ing or sev­eral pop­u­lar the­o­ries link­ing prepa­ra­tion to suc­cess just went to heck in a hand­cart.

“Live the Stream: The Story of Joe Humphreys” clocks in at 93 min­utes culled down from 24 ter­abytes of 4K 1080 HD footage of Joe Humphreys be­ing Joe Humphreys — an­gling, men­tor­ing, what­ever you con­sider verb ver­sion of the lo­cal fly-fish­ing leg­end to be.

Bell and his wife ex­pected the en­tire process to take around 6 months. In­stead it took three years. For­tu­nately there’s am­ple ev­i­dence to sug­gest that they are in­fin­itely bet­ter at film­mak­ing than they are at es­ti­mates.

“Live the Stream” has racked up a se­ries of awards since its de­but at Colorado’s Breck­en­ridge Film Fes­ti­val last Septem­ber, where it took home the man­tel of Best Ad­ven­ture Film and a stand­ing ova­tion for Humphreys.

“And he’s never stopped talk­ing about how much it’s meant to him,” Bell said.

The film will fi­nally touch down in State Col­lege — “fi­nally” be­cause Bell gets asked about it all the time — on Jan. 18 at The State Theatre, just a day shy of Humphrey’s 90th birth­day.

Bell de­scribed it as a semipri­vate event that just so hap­pens to have sold well over 370 tick­ets, so good luck work­ing out the dress code for that one. There are two screen­ings sched­uled for 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., but fail­ing that, erst­while view­ers will just have to wait for the DVD.

“We’re work­ing on all of that now and that’s kind of like the last big hur­dle and we’re get­ting close to that,” Bell said.

The op­er­a­tive ques­tion is ex­actly how close is close? It’s cer­tainly not “who is Joe Humphreys?” If you’re one of the few peo­ple left in Cen­tre County still ask­ing that ques­tion try go­ing to Google and plug­ging in any com­bi­na­tion of the words “fly-fish­ing,” “huge trout” and pos­si­bly even “Humphreys, Joe” just for good mea­sure.

The same gen­eral prin­ci­ple ap­plies to find­ing one of the many books writ­ten about him on Ama­zon or the sev­eral pages worth of videos stacked like fire­wood on YouTube. No­to­ri­ety is good. No­to­ri­ety puts butts in seats. It does how­ever present some­thing of a sto­ry­telling chal­lenge.

“He’s a nor­mal guy but so many peo­ple know about him,” Bell said.

No­body wants to be the kid who has to stand in front of the class and de­liver the fifth book re­port in a row on “The Catcher in the Rye.” The Bells knew and were per­fectly fine with the fact that they would in­evitably be con­tribut­ing an­other in­stall­ment to the pan­theon of Humphrey’s cen­tric fly-fish­ing cin­ema.

What they hoped to find — and what they’re pretty sure they got — was some­thing a lit­tle more emo­tional along the way. Bell said that there are things that hap­pen in the film that a lot of peo­ple might not know about. And the man has al­ready sold well over 300 tick­ets, so if that’s just a sales pitch he prob­a­bly should have saved it for the DVD.

“I think we thought that it was just go­ing to be about the sport of fly-fish­ing and while it is that, it be­comes more about how much he truly loves na­ture and how im­por­tant his fam­ily and friends are to him,” Bell said.

But again with the DVD ... the Bells are still try­ing to iron out a dis­tri­bu­tion deal with the goal of tak­ing “Live the Stream” in­ter­na­tional, which would hope­fully in­clude stops on iTunes and other dig­i­tal stream­ing or down­load­ing plat­forms.

In the mean­time there’s al­ways the fes­ti­val cir­cuit. The doc­u­men­tary will screen at the Up­town! Knauer Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter in West Ch­ester on Feb. 11 be­fore head­ing back out on the road again in March.

“It lasted a lit­tle bit longer than we thought but it’s one of those things where you have to keep go­ing. Our goal was to get Joe’s film to film fes­ti­vals and to have Joe be at the film fes­ti­vals and we did that and we won awards, which is fan­tas­tic,” Bell said.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to pur­chase tick­ets to a screen­ing, visit thes­tateth­e­atre.org/live-the -stream-the-story-of-joe -humphreys.

Photo pro­vided

Film­mak­ers Lu­cas and Meigan Bell worked on “Live the Stream,” a doc­u­men­tary about Cen­tre County fly-fish­er­man Joe Humphreys, for about three years.

Photo pro­vided, file

The doc­u­men­tary “Live the Stream” will be screened Jan. 18 at The State Theatre.

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