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Armenian Filmmakers Hit Jackpot

By Frank Zeytouni

There was a big wave of fans waiting to get autographs from the self-made celebrity filmmakers of Machiavelli Hangman, the first ever community-financed motion picture to hit the Hollywood market.

The idea was ingenious. How did a few filmmakers raise enough money to produce a mainstream Hollywood film? The answer is simpler than it really is, just like every magic trick that is revealed. The filmmakers reached out to the Glendale, California community of 200,000 to contribute a single dollar in order to complete the project.

The motto is "One dollar, one cause!" "Shervin Youssefian (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1352346/), the writer-director on the film originally came up with this crazy notion that if we could fund a big hit feature film with one-dollar contributions. The craziest part of this though was that he really thought that people would contribute!" says an amazed Artin Nazarian, the producer of Machiavelli Hangman (http://www.hangmanmovie.com).

To date, the website has been up and running since May and it has received up to 85,000 dollars in contributions. Machiavelli Hangman is said to be the film of 2006 that will revolutionize the way the industry is run. It will open the doors to other filmmakers who cannot afford to shoot on 16mm or standard 35. It will mark the birth of digital filmmaking and expand the range of creativity that will flood the market.

"These days, we all see the same thing come out into the theatres. All they change is the title. If you think about it Batman Begins wasn't so much more different than Spiderman. War of the Worlds was just like Armageddon, Deep Impact or even Men in Black. Harry Potter films are often confused with the Lord of the Ring series and the new Peter Jackson King Kong will be compared to Mighty Joe Young. This independent film wave will either completely throw studios out of the loop or it will give them such a forceful jolt, that they will go back to the Golden Age of Hollywood when filmmakers took time and care in their craft and stories.

On Saturday July 16th, the filmmakers received journalists to answer questions about the production of the film and when they expected to raise enough the intended budget to begin production. "It's not about the money anymore, we can get the money. We just have to make sure that we get all the right people on the team and deliver the goods. After so much support and encouragement, our goal is to show everyone that a little unity can go a long way," said Julia Strumfeld, one of the producers on the project.

About the author:
Frank Zeytouni is a movie reviewer.
His current review is of the upcoming
movie, "Machiavelli Hangman".

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