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Talk About a ‘Super’ Twitter List

How I got Rainn Wilson, and everybody else on set, to tweet our shoot of ‘Super’

Perhaps the greatest contribution the AmerIndie scene has made to film culture has been the demystification of the filmmaking process. It once was a very closed-door operation, and as a result shut out many people from joining by sheer intimidation.

The studios are evidently very concerned about opening it up further, since so much of the hype/sell is about control (and the timed release) of information. Reports have been in the media about contracts prohibiting Twittering from set. I have also heard about other stars being contractually required to Twitter a few times each week.

Now, granted, I think that anarchy never gets a fair shake, but I also believe that a community is also about responsible behavior. And adults don't really need that defined for them: They know it whey the are in it.

I am really excited by the possibility of looking into a movie process by the Twitter Feeds of the cast & crew. We have one for the movie "Super" that we are shooting right now.

OK, perhaps seeing into the operations of this endeavor might send the folks in the white suits off to every indie film shoot. Blood. Drugs. Potty talk. We have got it all. But hey, I'm encouraging it.

I sent this letter out to the cast and crew after the second day of filming, and we are now finishing up our third:

First off, let me just say: WOW! I was told that this was impossible, but you are all proving it otherwise. It's been a short prep with a tremendously ambitious schedule, and we've been making the days (54 set ups today!), and everyone has such a great attitude and spirit. I am loving this film, this crew, this town, this total experience. Thank you.

Secondly though, let me tell you that by working on the film "Super" you are participating in only part of the experience. You now have the chance to get inside the minds of the cast, crew, director and producers — thanks to the miraculous and free broadcast platform know as Twitter.

Did you know that our star Rainn Wilson is one of the leading Twitter communicators? Over 1.6 million people receive his daily tweets. (Director James) Gunn is no slacker himself in that department, with over 20,000 receiving his feeds. And both these guys are really funny.

Me, I use twitter primarily to try to figure out where our film business is going and to try to point it in the direction I want. Everyone on it use it to promote and spread the news, music, and information they want. Hey, even some folks I know have found their significant others on it.

And know what? I found this project on Twitter when Rainn posted about it. This movie would not have happened because of it.

Registering is free. Just go to http://twitter.com/ , select a screen name, and start selecting some people to follow. Or take my advice and write some tweets before you follow them, but really do what you want to do. You can find interesting people to follow by looking at whom your friends follow and clicking on them to follow.

But here is where I think it gets really interesting: I have set up a "Super" group where I list the feeds of everyone involved in the making of the movie. I would like to add your Twitter Feed to the group. So if you join, email me and tell me what your Twitter name is and I will add you to the list.

You can also find all the other Super folk there to follow.

It will give you and the world a new perspective into the film. I am encouraging you to do this, because I have had a lot of fun doing it, and I think we will all learn from doing it. And I think it will be really cool to show the world "Super" from the inside out. But we need your help.

I do request your confidence and discretion, though. There are some things we may like to not reveal to the general public, like how the story goes or how things look, and we hope you can respect that, and after all you've read your contract and know what you can and can't do any way, right?

Anyways, thanks for working with James, Miranda, Lampton and all of us on this film. Together, we can make something really great that we will all be proud of. Let's spread the word about what we are doing here.



Anyway, check out the feed, and you can see what it is like to be on set, sort of …

BIO Ted Hope

Ted Hope has produced over 50 films and co-founded both This Is That and Good Machine. His eye for talent is demonstrated by the feature directing careers he’s initiated, including Ang Lee’s, Hal Hartley’s, Nicole Holofcener’s, Todd Field’s, Michel Gondry’s and Bob Pulcini & Shari Berman’s. Three of his films have won the Grand Prize at Sundance. He blogs at TrulyFreeFilm.blogspot.com and co-founded the Indie Film review site HammerToNail.com.