×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Watch: First Look at Zac Efron’s ‘We Are Your Friends’

Series of video updates could pay off at the box office and provide filmmakers with an example of how to speak to younger moviegoers

“Catfish” co-host Max Joseph is looking for more friends to support his directorial debut starring Zac Efron.

The director has launched the first in what will be a series of videos that provide a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, lensing now in and around Los Angeles.

In a charmingly self-deprecating manner, Joseph invites viewers to follow the production process. And if it pays off at the box office, the strategy could provide an innovative way for filmmakers to take a little more control in the way they market their own movies.

Joseph, who also co-wrote the film, has launched a YouTube page on which he will “be posting weekly updates from the set, rare peeks into the filmmaking process and some intimate moments with our cast and crew,” he said.

The first post introduces Joseph and provides a quick glimpse at the production.

The video posts are a smart move for a smaller-budgeted film that boasts a big star but little awareness — especially if it casually invites a young audience to observe the process of making the movie. Getting audiences interested early could prove especially beneficial at the box office when it’s released in 2015.

In the age of social media and content-hungry blogs, the videos are designed to be easily shareable, guaranteeing “We Are Your Friends” considerable exposure.

Yet the tone in which Joseph speaks to his potential audience will be key in getting them viewed and widely distributed. Simply giving them soundbites or throwing traditional marketing materials at them won’t work; making them feel invested in the project will be crucial.

If Joseph’s strategy works, it could easily be borrowed by other filmmakers, especially those with projects that don’t boast the mega-marketing budgets of summer tentpoles.

Efron already is throwing his support behind Joseph’s effort, enthusiastically posting the video on his Twitter and Instagram feeds, for example.

The film, in which Efron plays a young DJ hoping to launch his first hit track, also stars Jonny Weston, Shiloh Fernandez and Emily Ratajkowski.

Joseph, who co-wrote “We Are Your Friends” with Meaghan Oppenheimer, is familiar with the electronic dance music space, having directed the documentary “DFA Records: Too Old to Be New, Too New to Be Classic,” the music label for LCD Soundsystem, Holy Ghost! and Hot Chip.

Working Title is producing the film that Studio Canal is financing. A 2015 release is planned.

More Film

  • Yao Chen

    Xiamen Woos Film Industry, Becomes New Home of Golden Rooster Festival

    China’s government-led Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival has found a permanent home in Fujian province’s coastal city of Xiamen, starting from this year, municipal representatives said Monday at a Shanghai Intl. Film Festival press conference. “Xiamen has the confidence and the perseverance to be up to the task,” said Dai Zhiwang, the assistant [...]

  • TheReturn press launch at Shanghai Film

    Qin Hailu's 'The Return' Makes Emotional Debut at Shanghai Festival

    “This is the final film that seals my acting career,” said 95-year-old Chinese actor Chang Feng, of “The Return,” which plays this week in competition at the Shanghai International Film Festival. “The director, the screenwriter, and the entire crew have put so much heart into this film, I hope it wins the award.” The film [...]

  • Dami Im and Bong Joon-Ho'Parasite' premiere,

    ‘Parasite’ Wins Sydney Film Festival

    “Parasite,” the South Korean black drama that previously won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, was Sunday named as the winner of the Sydney Film Festival. After collecting a cash prize of A$60,000 ($41,200), at Sydney’s State Theatre, “Parasite” director said: “This Festival is really amazing, especially the audience…really special and extraordinary. This is the most [...]

  • China Film Group's Jiang Ping

    Shanghai: China Studio Chiefs Debate Winter Chills and U.S. Rivalry

    The Shanghai International Film Festival pulled off the impressive feat of assembling leading executives from seven of China’s top film studios. Their discussion focused on the problems that have recently beset the production sector and the industry’s relationship with Hollywood. “The film industry achieved great things in 2018, but it was also the year that [...]

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping claps while

    Propaganda Films to Dominate Chinese Theaters in Anniversary Year

    A presentation at the Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday shed light on the welter of propaganda films that will compete with Hollywood blockbusters for the attention of Chinese cinema goers in the second half of this year. This year is laden with political significance for China’s ruling Communist Party. It is 100 years since [...]

  • Leung Chiu-wai

    Tony Leung to Star in Shanghai Film Group's 'Fox Hunt' Police Action Film

    Hong Kong’s Tony Leung Chiu-wai and mainland China’s Duan Yihong will head the cast of the Shanghai Film Group’s upcoming “Fox Hunt.” The film is based on real live events and depicts the activities of Operation Fox Hunt, a worldwide anti-corruption initiative managed by China’s Ministry of Public Security. The operation seeks to find and [...]

  • Wings Over Everest

    Terence Chang's 'Wings Over Everest' Set to Swell China's Rescue Film Genre

    “Wings over Everest,” a new action adventure film from veteran producer Terence Chang and “Wolf Warrior 2” producer Lu Jianmin, is poised to join the burgeoning Chinese sub-genre of rescue movies.   The Chinese- and English-language film stars Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu (“Project Gutenberg”; “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”), Japanese actor Koji Yakusho (“Babel”; “Memoirs of a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content