a Brian Nunes film

produced independently with the help of passionate individuals


 Seattle busker in Pike Place Market

Joshua Bell


Chris Ballew

Seattle Weekly article

Chris started his musical career  performing on the streets of Boston.  It was there he learned to harness stage presence in overwhelming environments and says he felt successful and content just being able to get people's attention.


After meeting the now world famous musician known as Beck through a fellow busker, the two collaborated briefly and Chris toured with his band as a bassist during Beck's rise to stardom.  Eventually  the two went their separate ways and Chris formed his own successful band, The Presidents of the United States of America.


Today Chris lives happily in Seattle doing what he's always been destined for: entertaining children as his alter ego, Casper Babypants.

Joshua Bell live at Lincoln Center
Chris Ballew
Mark Leithauser

Mark Leithauser


Mark is Chief of Design at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  Gene Weingarten interviewed Mark after running his experiment with Joshua about the nature of context and how it affects our perception of value.


Mark recognizes that the art world, like the music industry, can be a fickle and sometimes confusing landscape where the frame in which we may or may not find something (or someone) can determine its worldy value.



Pete Stewart grammy winning producer

Pete Stewart is a grammy winning music producer.  Taking an interest in young emerging talent, he works with up and coming musicians to hone their sound and produce high quality albums ready for mainstream audiences.


After years in the business he's learned a thing or two about "making it" as a creative individual and strives to be happy with his work first and pleasing an ever changing and demanding music industry second.


Every once in a while that special project will come along that seems to  validate all the years of hard work - like engineering Macklemore's platinum album The Heist.


 Gene Weingarten Interview

Gene Weingarten


Gene is a two-time pulitzer prize winning columnist who wrote an article in the Washington Post, Pearls Before Breakfast, that impacted the world in ways he never expected.


 After walking passed talented street performers day after day who were repeatedly snubbed by passersby in  shameful fashion, Gene concocted an experiment with world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell.  That experiment   went "viral" and today it's a well known cultural story that continues to gain attention for what it says about the way we perceive artistic value.


Could one of the world's most talented musicians cut through the hum drum noise of D.C. rush hour?  This was the question Gene asked, and the results may surprise you.



Ronn Benway busker
Greg Paul
Bob Rivers Morning Show
Sadie Ava
Emery Carl busker

Gregory Paul spent most of his life as a musician in upstate New York  before moving to Seattle in  2009. His work has been heared by millions of people, although they might never know it. 


In 2004 an NBC broadcast of the summer olympics featured one of Greg's original recordings, much to his suprise.  The BBC and PBS have also used his music and at one time his up-and-coming band signed a lucrative record deal to the tune of six-figures.


Currently making a living as a full-time street performer, when asked if he has a backup plan he responds, "I'm living it."

Gregory Paul


Sadie Ava has been performing since she was 14.  Finding her way to Seattle with her mother Holly and their musical friend Greg Paul, she's currently gaining attention as an up-and-coming indie grunge star with her funky and talented group The Sundries.


Sadie tried her hand at street performing but her real passion is on stage in front of appreciative crowds.  She takes her music very personally and takes it personally when others don't.

Emery has been performing for people on the street for over 10 years.  After leaving behind a life in the military and a job as a youth minister, he dedicated himself to bringing joy to people in a raw and emotional way.


You can find him almost every day on the same corner playing his heart out.  He has dedicated his life to street performing and sees it as a spiritual ritual that keeps him in touch with a higher path.

Ronn Benway left behind two record stores to become a full-time musician.  After raising a daughter and seeing his way out of a troubled marriage, he set out on the road with nothing but a guitar, a backpack and a book of songs to see where they could take him.


Today he hosts a local television show and open mic in York, Pennsylvania and plays music with friends whenever he gets a chance.

Whitney Mongé


After studying audio engineering Whitney Mongé realized performing was her true passion and began as a busker  on the streets of Seattle.

Whitney is on the rise with powerful vocals to project her powerful lyrics, gaining attention from local radio, television and even ESPN. Currently on a self-propelled west-coast tour promoting a new single, it's only a matter of time until the world notices her.

 About the film



Seattle 1st ave

 News & Happenings

Worldtree Films, LLC  

© 2014  Most rights reserved

Ronn Benway
Violin Busker
Whitney monge
Washington Post experiment
piano busker

coming this fall to 

In this honest and heart-felt documentary, one busker turned filmmaker takes us inside the world of street musicians.


Filmed over the course of three years, five talented artists bare all as they cope with "making it" in a society driven relentlessly by the allure of fame. While some dream of more, others are resigned to life on the street - and even embrace it.


Featuring 90's rocker Chris Ballew of the Presidents of the U.S.A. and violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, this hour and a half journey will make you think twice about who you're passing on the street.

Joshua Bell made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1985, at age 17. He has since performed with many of the world's major orchestras and conductors.


In 2007 he participated in an experiment where he performed in a D.C. Metro station during rush hour  to witness how crowds of busy commuters would react to a world-class violinist passing himself off as a common busker.


The results were published by Gene Weingarten in the Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post article, Pearls Before Breakfast.

Distribution status:  Festivals & limited theaters



Coming up: 


Seattle, WA

SIFF Uptown - September 11th 7-9PM, 2014


Santa Monica, CA

Awareness Festival - Sept. 11 - 21st, 2014


Portland, OR

Portland Film Festival - August 27th & 30th, 2014


Breckenridge, CO

Breckenridge Film Festival - September 18-21st, 2014


Bellingham, WA

Pickford Film Center - October 2014


New York, NY

CBGB Music & Film Festival - October 9th - 13th, 2014


Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Film Festival - October 9th -16th, 2014


Past screenings:


Spokane, WA

Magic Lantern Theater - July 11th - July 18th, 2014


Seattle, WA

Jewelbox Theater - May 29th, 2014


Houston, TX

Worldfest Film Festival - April 12th, 2014


Spokane, WA

Spokane International Film Festival - January 25 & 26th, 201