MASSENA — A Massena man’s movie has been picked up by a major streaming service.
Tubi TV is now showing Elijah O. Winfrey’s “The Ballad of Billy Badass,” which he wrote and directed. The film was released in 2021.
He made the announcement during his morning show on WMSA radio.
“It was so hard not to try to go to Facebook Live over the weekend and tell you about it, but I wanted to wait until my show because I know there’s a lot of people who support me that don’t use social media. So, I wanted to make sure those folks on the radio side could hear about it on the radio side,” he said.
The movie, which was filmed in Massena, Norfolk, Winthrop and Brushton and included local talent in front of and behind the camera, was available for viewing on YouTube and Vimeo and, most recently, Stash TV. It also appeared on the big screen at the Ogdensburg Cinema for a one-night showing in 2021.
Now, Mr. Winfrey said, the movie has hit the big time with its inclusion on Tubi TV, a free streaming service.
“Stash TV was a distributor that was close to 40,000 users that could see the film, and that was a big deal. Well, this weekend my movie, ‘Ballad of Billy Badass’, was picked up by another streamer, and this is a much bigger deal than the first announcement. Tubi TV is a streamer that has 64 million monthly users. Now, that doesn’t guarantee that 64 million people are going to watch my movie, but it does give them an opportunity to,” he said.
He said that was huge deal for him.
“I’m excited about it, but I think it’s also a big deal for our community because, if we think about it, if this movie picks up traction, that means our area could potentially be seen by 64 million people. So, I’m pretty excited about this,” Mr. Winfrey said. “What’s really cool about this is if you have a smart television, chances are you already have the app downloaded to your television, but you don’t know it yet. If you go to where your apps are, kind of scroll over and you’ll find Tubi TV.”
What made the movie’s inclusion on Tubi TV even bigger is that the service offers only free movies and television shows, giving it an even easier opportunity to be seen.
“I’m not going to turn this into a commercial for Tubi TV. But, my point is that it’s easily accessible,” he said.
Mr. Winfrey said that’s a huge step up from 2021 when the film was screened at the Ogdensburg Cinema.
“Two years ago when we released the movie, I was excited about the 50 people that showed up to watch it in the Ogdensburg theater when we got a chance to show it there. I’m still very appreciative to all those folks who went and watched the movie in the Ogdensburg Cinema, and I’m super excited and super appreciative for folks that go and check it out,” he said.
He said the movie takes place in 2025 and is inspired by feature films like “Goodfellas” and Casino.”
“It’s not for kids. If you’re into those types of movies, you’ll probably enjoy ‘Ballad of Billy of Badass’. I wrote it back in 2013, but it’s a movie that takes place in the year 2025 after a collapse of the government in 2020. Organized crime takes over, and you have everybody in America kind of migrating to one spot and making one megacity, and that city is split into four districts,” Mr. Winfrey said.
He said Billy, the main character, lives in the poorest district and is trying to make a better life for himself and others around him.
“The only way he can make a better life for himself is if he goes and takes out all the other mob bosses and takes control of the whole thing. So, he can’t just make his piece of the pie better. He’s going to steal the whole pie, essentially,” he said. “We follow Billy and we follow his brother, Axle, and we see are they going to succeed or are they going to die trying.”
Billy is played by Patrick J. Burnett from Massena, and Axle is played by Cody Dennis of Norfolk. Also in the main cast are Mr. Winfrey as Johnny Love, Justus Cross from Massena as Deacon, RW Martin from Vermont as Gideon Chase, Vienna Ainsworth from Plattsburgh as Anastasia Rose, Dean Gleason Sr. from Lisbon as Father Fountaine, Jennifer Wiggins from Ogdensburg as Miranda, Jim Moscatello from Lake Placid as Marcel, and Stevie Lynn from Norfolk as Stephanie.
To find the movie on Tubi TV, type “Ballad of Billy Badass” or “Elijah Winfrey” in the search bar and the movie will pop up. It’s rated R and runs and 2 hours and 5 minutes.
A blu-ray version of the movie, along with other items, can also be purchased online at https://elijahwinfreystudios.company.site/. The blu-ray movie contains extras, such as a tour of the former Norfolk school, where some of the film was shot, and a blooper reel.
Mr. Winfrey also hosts a YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/@ElijahWinfreyStudios. Among its features is a weekly Detroit Lions podcast, Mr. Winfrey’s favorite team. Joining him on the podcast are Bobby Bless from Toledo, Ohio; Nate Rocker from Detroit; and Reggie Funchess from Detroit.
“We do weekly giveaways. Like, for the draft, we gave away an Apple watch. We’re giving away shirts. Sometimes we do cash prizes. Different things like that for various things that people do,” Mr. Winfrey said.
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