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

  • Colombia’s ‘Valley of Souls’ Wins Marrakech’s

    Colombia’s ‘Valley of Souls’ Wins Marrakech’s Etoile d’Or

    The 18th edition of the Marrakech Intl. Film Festival awarded the Etoile d’Or for best film to Colombia’s “Valley of Souls,” directed by Nicolás Rincón Gille. In his acceptance speech the director said: “Colombia is a country that people know very little about. But in this film I try to offer a glimpse of the [...]

  • SAFF Winners 2019

    ScreenSingapore: Philippines Projects Take Top Prizes at SAFF Market

    Projects from the Philippines took away the top prizes awarded Friday at the conclusion of Screen Singapore’s Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market. The event is part of the Singapore Media Festival. The winners included director J.P. Habac’s musical comedy drama “Golden” about homeless gay seniors who reunite to perform as drag queens to [...]


    'The Favourite' Wins Big At The 32nd European Film Awards

    Yorgos Lanthimos’s “The Favourite” scooped the 32nd European Film Awards, winning best film, best comedy and best actress for Olivia Colman who previously won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Queen Anne in the film. “The Favourite” was leading the nominations along with Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory,” Marco Bellocchio’s “The Traitor” and Roman [...]

  • Ed-Skrein-Erica-Rivas-Fernando-Trueba-Lucia-Puenzo

    Ventana Sur 2019: Big New Titles, Argentina-Mexico, Deals, Trends

    BUENOS AIRES   —  The last few years have caught Ventana Sur – Cannes Festival and Market’s biggest initiative outside France – taking place as the industry debated radical change. This year saw the Latin American industries in a state of  transformation themselves, wracked by headwinds – Jair Bolsonaro’s government in Brazil – or looking [...]

  • 'Free Guy' Trailer: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie

    'Free Guy': Ryan Reynolds, Taika Waititi, Jodie Comer Star in First Trailer

    The first trailer for Ryan Reynolds’ “Free Guy” premiered Saturday at the CCXP convention in Brazil. Reynolds stars as Guy, a bank teller and NPC (non-playable character) who discovers he’s living in a video game. In the trailer, hostage situations, buildings being blown up and people shooting guns off in the street is depicted as [...]


    Asier Altuna Preps Basque Historical Drama ‘Karmele the Hour of Waking Together’

    Basque cinema is booming, and director Asier Altuna is part of the vanguard leading it forward. The Spanish filmmaker, behind 2005 Youth Award winner “Aupa Etxebeste!” and 2015 Best Basque Film “Amama” at the San Sebastián Intl. Film Festival, attended this year’s Ventana Sur Proyecta sidebar with his next project, “Karmele, the Hour of Waking [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content