'Faintheart' director won role via site
Helmer Vito Rocco’s “Faintheart,” billed as the “first user-generated feature film,” started shooting this week with a cast including Eddie Marsan and Ewan Bremner.Rocco won a U.K. competition on MySpace for £1 million ($2 million) to make the movie. Film4, Vertigo Films and the U.K. Film Council backed the contest. The MySpace community was given input into the development of the project, and casting was conducted via online auditions. Several minor roles have been awarded to MySpace hopefuls. Other pro cast members include Paul Nicholls, Bronagh Gallagher, Anne Reid, Tim Healy and Jessica Hynes (formerly Stevenson). David Lemon-scripted romantic comedy set in the world of battle reenactments concerns a weekend warrior who sets out to win back his wife after she dumps him for being childish and irresponsible. Rocco was picked as the MySpace winner by more than 500,000 voters on the strength of his short “Goodbye Cruel World.” Other candidates on the shortlist were more heavily favored by the industry judging panel, but Rocco’s victory in the popular vote was aided by an online campaign by digital studio Slingshot, which first developed “Faintheart” and is co-financing the movie. Pic is produced by Allan Niblo, Rupert Preston and James Richardson for Vertigo, along with James Fabricant for MySpace and Arvind Ethan David, Rachel Connors and Judy Counihan for Slingshot. The U.K. Film Council’s Premiere Fund is investing $650,000 in the project. Co-financiers include Screen West Midlands and Skillset, with Vertigo handling U.K. distribution.