Yesterday, our own Landon Palmer dedicated this week’s always-astute Culture Warrior to emerging participatory cinema, films that hinge on the involvement of outside audiences to not only finance them, but actually cast them and get them to the screen. Landon paid particular attention to director Paul Schrader and screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis‘s The Canyons, one of the most tantalizing and high-profile projects out there that is relying on participation from others to get made. The pair, along with producer Braxton Pope, are relying on submitted auditions from all interested parties to form their cast, using their Facebook page and their LetItCast page to choose possible rising stars to fill out the  five major roles in the film.

While we don’t know much about the film, we do know that it’s “about youth, glamour, sex and Los Angeles, circa 2012″ and that the five main roles include “Christian, a trust fund kid, power player and major manipulator, who is a film producer that enjoys filming his own three-way sex sessions; Tara, his girlfriend and former model; Ryan, a bartender and young actor who is angling for a role in Christian’s horror movie; Gina, who works for Ryan and is in love with him and is also looking for a role in the horror pic and finally, Lindsay, a former actress turned yoga instructor who is sleeping with Christian, and falling in love with him.” (Thanks to The Playlist for those descriptions.) Both Schrader and Ellis have distinctly dark worldviews, so it’s fair to say that The Canyons won’t be playing so nice with either its characters or the current Hollywood scene that it’s going to portray.

To that end, we’re very pleased to premiere the first poster for The Canyons, which embodies the film quite well – messy, creative, and casting Los Angeles in a smoggy haze, it’s still waiting to fill in the names of its leading ladies and gents. Check out the full poster by artist Peter Stults after the break.

The film is set to have a Netflix-style release, and it’s due to start filming in July, so hopefully we will see more stuff from the film quite soon.

Thanks to producer Braxton Pope for sending this our way.


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