News: A new twist on movie-making… hint: it’s you.

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It’s common these days for filmmakers to use social media as a primary means to generate buzz about their next project. What’s really unusual is using social media to actually create a movie. In what is most easily described as a mash-up of marketing and crowd-sourced filmmaking, computer maker Toshiba has found an interesting way to promote their newest utrabook by means of product placement in what may be the world’s first “social movie.”

The film in question is called The Beauty Inside, and stars Topher Grace (Spiderman 3) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (The Thing, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World). Directed by Drake Doremus, the sci-fi-ish story revolves around Alex, who wakes up every day inhabiting a different body (reminiscent of the 90s TV show Quantum Leap). The challenge of having a completely different outward appearance every day is compounded when he meets and falls in love with Winstead’s character. He chronicles the whole experience on his… you guessed it, brand new Toshiba Protege.

But the real twist is that you can go to a Facebook page and audition for the part of Alex, or at least one of the many forms that Alex takes, because he can be anybody- young, old, male, female. Between now and September 13, aspiring actors can send photos and an audition video to be reviewed by Doremus and a team of casting directors. You can improve your odds of getting chosen by “sharing” your audition and getting people to “like” it.

Toshiba will release the movie in web-series fashion, with the first of six episodes hitting Facebook on August 16. Fans will be able to interact with and give input to the filmmakers, and actors will be able to shape the story, as their audition videos will be incorporated into the film.

The marketing aspect of this project may be a turn-off to some, but the combination of well-known actors, a director with indie cred, and the collaborative potential of Facebook, makes for a really interesting filmmaking experiment.  As long as the product placement doesn’t beat us over the head, I think it’ll definitely be worth checking out.

If you’re interested in being Alex, visit this Facebook page to audition:
http://www.facebook.com/thebeautyinsidefilm

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About Dave_P

Dave_P studied fine arts and film history and is a graphic and web designer, and a diehard movie fan. David has been involved with a variety film festivals including the Cinephile Film Festival, the PRIDE Film festival, and the Manhattan Short Film festival, and is currently the director of the Dark Carnival Film Fest in Bloomington, Indiana. (www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com)

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