A digital entrepreneur is offering $1-million and a berth on Cineplex screens to anyone with a two-minute trailer and the smarts, energy and talent to garner lots of buzz. Robert Everett-Green reports on J.
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"Any three-person team with a two-minute trailer and $150 can sign up from now till Feb. 21 for a 17-week program that will run participants through a series of competitive “missions,” designed to build a following and refine film ideas. By the end of June, one team will emerge with up to $1-million in funding (from private sources and tax credits), six months to make a film, and a release in Cineplex Odeon theatres in January, 2014.“My whole disruptive model is based on getting filmmakers to focus on audiences first,” says Joly. “It’s not an afterthought to making the movie.”
CineCoup is an unusually audience-aware part of a small but vigorous movement toward what could be called dramatized or impatient filmmaking. Filmmaker Ingrid Veninger’s recent 1K Wave: $1,000 Feature Film Challenge was also about vaulting over the steep cash barriers that often deter or delay filmmakers. (The next 1K Wave will be announced later this month.) The 48 Hour Film Project, which challenges people to make a movie in that time, has iterations and imitators around the world, including Bloodshots, the festival of 48-hour horror shorts that screened at Vancouver’s Rio Theatre on Halloween. Joly’s twist on these speedy, rule-based ventures is to put up more money and get the marketing into the process from the beginning.
“If we can get Canadians to fall in love with Canadian filmmakers early,” he says, “we believe we can be the Oakland A’s to the New York Yankees of the big studios.”