'The Primary Instinct' Is Now Available On VOD

I'm pleased to announce that today, roughly 19 months after I made the first post about The Primary Instinct at /Film, The Primary Instinct is now available across all major VOD platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox Video, Vudu, and VHX (with special features). For those who haven't seen it yet, I hope you'll consider checking it out and leaving a review.

For those who don't know, The Primary Instinct is a concert film that documents an evening of Stephen's storytelling at the Moore Theatre in Seattle. It chronicles Stephen's journey through childhood, fatherhood, and Hollywood. Hit the jump to learn more about the film and watch the trailer.

When you submit your movie to festivals, one of the fields they ask you to fill out on the press kit is a "Director's Statement." I didn't really know what to write, so I just approached it from the perspective of someone trying to explain what "The Tobolowsky Files" were. Looking it over these words again, I realize how instrumental this website and the /Filmcast podcast were to making this film happen. After all, Stephen was a guest on the 11th episode of the podcast we ever recorded.

I'm grateful for everyone who's gone on this journey with us, and I hope you enjoy the film we made together.


Six years ago, I interviewed actor Stephen Tobolowsky during a regular segment on my film podcast, The /Filmcast. During the interview, Stephen recounted stories of his life as a character actor, his trials and tribulations breaking into the entertainment industry, his recent brush with death during a horseback riding accident, and the making of his storytelling film, Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party.

His stories dazzled me. Stephen appeared not only to have lived one of the most interesting lives imaginable, but he knew how to render his past into anecdotes that were intense, moving, powerful, funny, and riveting all at once.

Soon after that first interview, I asked Stephen if he'd like to tell his stories more formally, in podcast form. Together, we launched "The Tobolowsky Files," an audio podcast which became a public radio show that has aired on dozens of stations nationwide.

Listener emails came pouring in. Hundreds of people had listened to the show on car rides with family, during road trips with significant others, or just sitting at their desk at work — people who'd been changed by Stephen's stories.

In fall 2012, we had the opportunity to perform Stephen's stories live in person for the very first time, and I saw, once again, how Stephen's stories had the potential to affect people who'd heard them. Stephen is a rare performer, one who deeply understands the elements of a great story and whose acting talents have been honed over decades on stage, in film, and on television. I'll never forget the first time I saw him telling his stories in front of a live audience, and how enthralled everyone was, how willing they were to let him change their mood on a whim with a simple gesture or turn of phrase.

I wanted more people to be able to experience that storytelling power.

With the help of hundreds of listeners and Kickstarter backers, we've been able to make a film that not only documents Stephen's dramatic abilities, but hopefully illuminates the nature of why we tell stories in the first place. I hope you enjoy it.