[The Canyons project trailer, by Joey Fantastico]
REASONS TO BE STUPIDLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS PROJECT
THE PLOT: It’s not The Hills… THE CANYONS is a contemporary L.A. noir about the dangers of sexual obsession and ambition, both personally and professionally, among a group of young people in their 20’s and how one chance meeting connected to the past unravels all of their lives, resulting in deceit, paranoia, cruel mind games and ultimately violence. Which, sure, it’s been done before, but there’s a reason for that, and also, not technically for this generation. Besides, it’s written by Bret Easton Ellis. Which leads us to…
THE PEOPLE INVOLVED: Writer Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho, The Rules of Attraction, Less Than Zero, master of cynicism, psychological horror, and portraying our inner vapidity). Director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Obsession, American Gigolo, author of the much-referenced essay Notes on Film Noir so who else are you gonna turn to to direct a modern one?). Producer Braxton Pope (Shrink, Pete Smalls Is Dead, Inspired By Bret Easton Ellis which I can’t find anything about but at least he knows the writer he’s working with, website makes him seem like a pretty cool dude). Actors include Lindsay Lohan (The Parent Trap, Mean Girls, A Prairie Home Companion, still the most talented starlet of her generation, glorious hot mess), James Deen (literally the only Likeable Male Pornstar ever, most amusing person on twitter), Amanda Brooks (Stiletto, This Thing With Sarah, also does theatre which automatically makes her rad). Scored by Brendan Canning (co-founder of Broken Social Scene, Canadian indie music scene legend).
And, possibly most importantly: IT’S INDEPENDENT AND CROWDSOURCED: Ellis, Schrader, and Pope are taking the digital age and running with it for this one. They’re mostly financing THE CANYONS out of their own pockets in order to be able to do exactly what they want with the project without any studio interference, but to get a little extra money to work with (while simultaneously and savvily raising awareness of the film) they created a Kickstarter for it. Even cooler, they did the majority of their casting through social media. It’s really exciting to see creators realize that new media isn’t the death knell for old, and deciding to adapt with and use it.
They’re also regularly updating on the status of the project, at the official Facebook and Twitter pages. Check it out!