Posted on Monday, July 13th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
Crowd-sourced music documentaries are hardly new. Many a rock doc over the years has included fan-shot footage, and the Beastie Boys made their own explicitly fan-shot film, Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!, released back in 2006. Now Canadian filmmakers Bruce McDonald and Don McKellar, who collaborated in the past on the very fun Highway 61 and occasionally sublime television show Twitch City, are looking for the help of regular folks to assemble a movie featuring acclaimed Toronto indie band Broken Social Scene. The film, called This Movie is Broken, will have a dramatic story written by McKellar that centers around a couple who attend a Broken Social Scene show, but it will be set in summertime Toronto, as partially shot by fans.
McDonald has been getting more experimental over the last few years. Highway 61 (’91) was a kooky, fun road movie written by and starring McKellar, but by the time of The Tracey Fragments (’07, starring Ellen Page) McDonald was fracturing his screen and storyline like mad. Then Pontypool, which I quite liked, went in the opposite direction, making almost a horror movie stage play. McKellar has his own experience writing atypical films (32 Short Films About Glenn Gould, his own Last Night) and will anchor the film with a story about a couple who’ve newly become lovers. The centerpiece should be the Broken Social Scene show, however, with a large part of the performance already filmed at the gig the band did in Toronto last weekend.
(Broken Social Scene is also working with Edgar Wright on Scott Pilgrim vs the World along fellow Toronto band Metric. Emily Haines from Metric will be in This Movie is Broken, too.)
Thanks to Twitch for the heads-up. The website for This Movie is Broken has a statement detailing what the filmmakers are looking for, which I’ve reproduced in part below, and a (non-embeddable; shame, guys!) teaser for the film.
The idea behind the film is to create a portrait of a hot July day in Toronto and so over the next few weeks we’re looking for you to help us out by capturing footage from around the city. We are interested in the weird and wonderful images that define for you the Summer of 2009: it’s the sun rising over Rexdale, it’s a Fringe play taking over the loading dock of Honest Ed’s, it’s couples making out on the TTC, it’s the growing piles of garbage at Christie Pits — it’s whatever catches your eye.
We like kissing. We like heat. We like faces. We like romance. We like neighborhoods. The important thing is to be interesting and be artistic. Nothing’s too small. Just pick images that are significant to you and keep your lens on them. THE ONLY THING WE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN IS ANY FOOTAGE OF THE BAND… SO PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR CAMERAS TO THE SHOWS!
So, use whatever you’ve got lying around — digital cameras, cell phones, handheld video cameras, your dad’s old Super 8. — and try to capture something original. Experiment. Have fun. Our hope is that by integrating your footage with ours, we’ll be able to create a visual mosaic that captures the city and the summer.