Friday, August 29, 2014

Indiegogo Campaign: The Talent Scout

When Martin and Anita set out to make a movie they had certain criteria in mind; for starters, they were intrigued by the notion of cinema as an illusion and the allure of Hollywood. They wanted a modern-day take on the doppelgänger myth and they wanted a flawed, amoral character for their protagonist. A person who got by as much on skill and cunning as they did luck. They came up with the story of a travelling confidence man, a second-rate chisel, running the short con in some back-water town. A story where the stakes were pathetic but compelling, so they set out to make a film about Oliver, a travelling con man, claiming to be a high-powered Hollywood talent scout, offering naive women a shot at Hollywood fame and glory for a one-time fee of a hundred dollars; only to flee cash in hand, before anyone gets wise. 

To fund the project, the filmmakers turned to crowd-funding site IndieGoGo, reaching out to friends, family, and the local arts community for support and so far the response has been tremendous; people are excited by the story they are telling - and they've assembled a talented group to help them tell it. The project is in the last stages of the campaign, having raised a 1/3 of the budget through contributions on IndieGoGo, they have a little over a week to raise the remaining $4000 to meet their target of $6000. 

Those familiar with crowd-funding sites know contributors receive perks in exchange for contributing to a campaign. For The Talent Scout, Martin and Anita opted for some novel rewards for their supporters, along with more conventional ones. Items in the former category include miniatures by co-director Martin Baena. These miniatures incorporate film iconography, historical, and literary references, as well as everyday objects and themes - shipping pallets, being among the more prominent. Martin and Anita also reached out to their friends Ink+Smog, an LA print shop specializing in urban architecture centered in and around Los Angeles; their paper goods incorporate well-known landmarks and imagery that tied thematically to the film. Several of the perks include a digital copy of the final film along with Talent Scout memorabilia. You can also get your hands on original artwork made exclusively for the film, like a matted print of the storyboard by local illustrator Anna Kwan. All in all, there is something they everyone at all funding levels.

Martin and Anita studied at Concordia University, where they begun making films together. They relocated to Toronto to continue with their film careers where they had to re-establish themselves in a new city, making new contacts, getting to know the lay of the land. Since then they have collaborated on numerous projects, of which The Talent Scout, is their latest - and most ambitious. While the film is set on the road, the duo worked hard to find locations within the GTA that fit the small town aesthetic. They did this for logistical and budgetary reasons but also because it fit so well with their dominate theme of cinema as illusion. – Martin Baena

You can contribute to the project here and visit the film's website here.

Teaser Trailer for The Talent Scout:

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