I am now proud to announce the forging of a solid friendship between myself and the good people at Amsterdam’s PostPanic studios.
Wow, I happened across their outfit as part of a routine series of researches on crowdfunding, learning about indie commercial director Mischa Rozema’s SUNDAYS in the most common way possible: serendipitous organic search. Gumshoeing, by another term, what we PMDs do best.
This is Mischa:
Sundays is a post-apocalyptic vision of the world fifty years’ hence.
Cleverly set in the chaotic confines of massive Mexico City, the short is Rozema’s bold statement on where our Big Blue Ball is headed and what we can possibly expect to witness within a half-century’s time.
Watch (duration 7-minutes):
The eclectic del Toro-esque Dutch director opted for the Mexican capital not only because he admires GdT’s work, but because for him the city embodies the most ideal blend of old world charm set within the gargantuan-est of post-industrial landscapes, folded together like playing cards, cheek-by-jowl-like, inhabited by a roiling hostile gun-toting hungry angry tired population straddling all levels of the income divide.
La Ciudad de México is emblematic of the haves and have-nots of the universe, and, incidentally, comprises Sundays’ not-so-fictional parketa.
Getting to know your city through Google Maps:
So what does Rozema proceed to do?
He gones on to explore Mexico City grid by grid by tarnished grid, using none other than Google Maps handy features. Rozema spends hours on Street View, scoping out suitable neighborhoods where to shoot, making multiple screen captures of prominent edifices, quarters, monuments, and faces in the city which he then imports into rendering software to later morph and modify.
Have a look at these spectacular images (courtesy of PostPanic/Mischa Rozema, used with permission to be gained later):
What I like about PostPanic’s majorly ballsy technique?
First of all, the strategy bleeds DIY, so in keeping with the stated mission we Producers of Marketing and Distribution/PMDs propound daily!
Lest you think Rozema’s budget-shaving gambit isn’t the same as being there in the thick of the urban Mexican pistol-whipping, car-hijacking, lack-of-a-middle-class action, consider for a minute the image quality curated by the Street View braintrust (i.e. high-res, 1080p full video, full color, copyright-free visual goodness), who treat their platform like a swaddled babe, checking back in regularly to ensure things are running swimmingly on the downlow.
Importing public domain images like the ones above back into Photoshop or another graphic design package is as simple as an Acapulco breeze, tons better than the sundry snaps you fire off yourself on the ground, plus, it’s much safer since there are no bullet holes to suture up, blood pools to absorb with lime, and no damn police report to fill out (okay, I’ll stop).
Street Views are controlled for lighting and other dependent photographic variables, so Mischa and his team have a good foundation on which to construct their story world and control all their metadata. Hip-hop hooray!
Another mega-plus is your audience will be none the wiser; that is, until you clue them in about it on your DVD Bonus Features, the process of crafting these gorgeous visuals the content of its own expert tutorial, yet another revenue source for your indie operation (getting the handle on how this works yet? Savvy!).
Stakeholders on the receiving end:
Something else I appreciate about using Street View to familiarize yourself with a terrain is how eventual high-level communications with local reccie teams/co-production partners become fluid-er.
Knowing the local landscape well in advance means you can conduct competent conversations about your film with your receiving side, avoiding making you look all noob-y, like you haven’t done your homework.
Also, if you’re keen on not getting swindled by unscrupulous indie crews in wild Eastern Europe (kidding, I spent years there), best to know what you’re diving into so they don’t lead you down dark paths you don’t want to traverse (hence, Mexico City).
With production shekels at a pressurized premium, you don’t have extra days to blow on getting your bearings and correcting post-Communist skullduggery. Street View cuts out of a ton of clutter and slims down jiggly fat.
Doing your homework also garners you greater respect from the local team because it demonstrates you aren’t into mooching off them like a eurozone parasite economy – local partners who likely aren’t getting paid much for the solid they’re doing you anyways, so save them time and they’ll go down on all fours for you. Given how ours is a “relationships business,” there is really no substitute for, um…increasing the industry peace.
Basically, I admire the commercial-type work Mischa performs, and that design team surrounding him looks like they’d leap over a parapet for him, no matter how trench guns were arrayed against them on the opposite side. They might even jump off one of those tall buildings set in Sundays’ story universe.
Like the name says, we’re talking about PostPanic here…sure, there’s plain old arresting panic, a state in which filmmakers yank out their hair follicles and coat stomach ulcers with milk, complaining to anyone within earshot about how much our indie film business is “cruel, anonymous, and disrespectful.” But then there’s an existence beyond panic. Post-panic, as it were, that halcyon Age of Aquarius reigning supreme once the mishigaas subsides and clearer heads — with pristine vision — prevail.
I suspect this is “origin story” for Sundays. Panic which existed fifty years previously suddenly vanishes, to be followed by a calm Mad Max-ian Metternich-ian peace.
This is the brainchild of Mischa Rozema. Welcome to a new way to spend your Sundays…
Adam Daniel Mezei, PMD | Producer of Marketing and Distribution
Indie Audience Engagement Services for Independent Feature Films and Documentaries
LIKE PMD-For-Hire at:
TWEET PMD-For-Hire at:
ADD US to your G+ circles:
JOIN PMD-For-Hire on LinkedIn:
EMAIL PMD-For-Hire at:
SUBSCRIBE to PMD-For-Hire’s YouTube channel:
SUBSCRIBE to PMD-For-Hire’s Vimeo channel:
SUBSCRIBE ON FLICKR: