UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter tells us that Aubrey Peeples (Nashville) has landed her first major film role as Jem in the forthcoming Jem and the Holograms movie. Additionally, Stefanie Scott (Disney's A.N.T. Farm) has been cast as Jem's sister Kimber, while Aurora Perrineau (Pretty Little Liars) and Kayley Kiyoko (The Fosters) will play other Hologram band members, Shana and Aja, respectively.
And here's our first tease of them in their respective roles:
Catch up on Jem and the Holograms with our original story on the movie below.
Rocking '80s cartoon icon Jem is getting her own live-action movie thanks to producer Jason Blum (Sinister, Paranormal Activity) and director Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation), but that's not the real news here. According to the video that announced this project, which came out of left field, Blum and company want to crowd-source the making of the movie about a teenage girl who becomes a singing sensation and then embarks on a scavenger hunt (the '80s were weird).
No, this isn't another Kickstarter project for a preexisting, already popular product. They're not looking for the money to make this happen. What they're looking for is inspiration.
The minds behind the movie want to essentially get fans involved from the ground up to help cast the movie, create the songs, and even have a hand in what Jem's costumes will look like. Basically, if you have any ideas for the film, post them to various social media sites using the hashtag #JemTheMovie and their team will be on the lookout, and your ideas - or yourself, if you're an actor - may end up in the movie.
There seems to be a pretty nebulous structure to all of this, though thanks to the "upload it, we'll find it eventually, maybe we'll use it" system, so who knows if they'll actually end up using any of these fan submissions. Whether fans truly will influence the movie or not isn't really the point, though. This is actually a clever way to create a social campaign for a movie long before it ever even comes out. The best thing about crowd-sourcing isn't the money it can raise, it's the fan base it can build. Jem obviously already has a fan base, so this is just the cheapest way to put it on their radar while also introducing it to the tech-savvy generation. It's yet another forward-thinking business model from Jason Blum.
However, this isn't the only creative crowd-sourcing plan currently going on online. TentSquare , from producer Andrew van den Houten (All Cheerleaders Die, Funeral Kings) is also experimenting with crowd-sourcing the creative side of filmmaking, only they're doing it in a much more structured and direct way. Users vote on various aspects of the process, from script to cinematographer, and then once the community puts all the pieces into place, the pros actually make it all happen.
Will either of these things result in amazing movies? It's obviously too early to tell, but both of them arriving back-to-back does show that producers are trying to find ways to integrate social media into the production process. Now we just have to wait and see if it pays off for them.
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