Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Indiewire
July 15, 2011 3:03 AM
62 Comments
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Vote on the Project You Most Want to See (There's a Prize at Stake)

This week's projects.

Every day this week, we’ve highlighted projects in the works seeking support from people like you. Below find the four profiled this week; you can learn more about them by clicking on the film title.

CLICK HERE FOR AN IMPORTANT UPDATE ON THE PROJECT OF THE DAY.

We want to know what project you most want to see. Vote now! The votes will be tabulated and the week's winner will be determined next Monday at 10AM, so spread the word! We will be announcing the prize very soon.

This Week’s Projects:

"In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey"

Pitch: The self-made mythology of a self-taught guitarist, prankster and raconteur is lovingly examined in our film about a man who inspired Pete Townshend of The Who, Chris Funk of The Decemberists and Joey Burns of Calexico. (All participants in the film.) He was also influential to Sonic Youth and Beck among others. With the support of the John Fahey Trust, Executive Producer JoAnn McCaig and the creative participation of The School of Creative Arts and Animation of Seneca College of Toronto, Tamarack Productions will ponder Fahey’s enduring legacy in a film that will employ both animation and live action.

"The Illusionists"

Pitch: The film will explore the influence that corporations have on our perceptions of ourselves, showing how mass media, advertising and several industries manipulate people's insecurities about their bodies for profit. The preoccupation with physical beauty is as old as time; what is different today is the central role that the pursuit of the perfect body has taken. It has become our new religion. Everyone is affected: boys, girls, women and men from Los Angeles to Tokyo, passing via Mumbai. "The Illusionists" will examine the historical roots and the economic motives behind the marketing of unattainable beauty.

"Riot on the Dance Floor"

Pitch: What does it take to turn a lifeless, concrete bunker into a legendary club that hosted some of the biggest bands? What does it take to forge a thriving, vital scene in a downtrodden, dangerous city like Trenton, New Jersey, with nothing but flyers, postcards and pre-internet word-of-mouth? It takes passion and a dedication to the independent spirit that drove the underground music scene. It requires the ear of someone attuned to diversity and a set of balls big enough to book the envelope-pushing bands that most promoters wouldn’t touch. That man was Randy Now, and this is his story.

"My Brooklyn"

Pitch: "My Brooklyn" chronicles the dramatic changes that have occurred in Brooklyn over the past decade, and shows how they are not natural, but fueled by public policy. The film documents how an obsession with upscale environments driven by the Wall Street bubble, and more than 100 re-zonings by the Bloomberg administration, are destroying the racial and economic diversity and neighborhood character that have drawn generations to the borough and made it unique. This process has led to a fierce battle over the soul of the city, the themes of which resonate with urban communities across the county.

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62 Comments

  • Vicky Mohieddeen | July 22, 2011 7:27 AMReply

    I vote Illusionists - yeah it's been done before, but not in any significant way since the 70s. And it's worse...

  • Kat | July 22, 2011 2:32 AMReply

    Well, I'm a rat, a snitch and a crybaby. But at least I'm not a cheat.

    It's weird, because so many people are saying "IT'S NOT CHEATING" but well, the person who encouraged this activity obviously thought it was, because that is what he called it.

    So if the person who encouraged it says it was cheating on the post, and still encourages it knowing that he is being unfair, it's still unfair.

    And to whoever said "Snitches get Stitches"... Really? Seriously? How old are you, 12? Excuse me while I quake in terror of someone threatening me through a screen.

  • Tricia | July 21, 2011 5:03 AMReply

    The Illusionists gets my vote

  • Bananahamock | July 19, 2011 6:28 AMReply

    Who cares....if you believe in your film and ability you don't need some poll to validate it.make your dopey films and shut up.

  • Marc Cottrell | July 19, 2011 5:51 AMReply

    The Illusionists really should get the go ahead

  • Hector | July 19, 2011 3:12 AMReply

    Excellent. Thanks for the update Dana Harris

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  • CL | July 19, 2011 2:37 AMReply

    The makers of ROTDF should donate some of their $26K in two days to the other projects as a goodwill gesture for this debacle.

  • Rachel | July 18, 2011 12:32 PMReply

    RIOT ON THE DANCE FLOOR have called on their supporters to cheat on their Facebook page : http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150380710074908&id=220813869907

    This has effectively cancelled out your voting system as it is not truly representative. They must be disqualified immediately...they might think this is all a big joke and terribly amusing but this kind of attitude is undermining the serious and committed work that has gone into the other projects.
    A Riot on the Dance Floor maybe... but there are rules and regulations off the dance-floor that should be respected otherwise IndieWIRE and the 'vote on the project you most want to see' loses all credibility and kudos.

  • Lisa | July 18, 2011 10:45 AMReply

    To the indieWIRE webmaster:

    The Riot on the Dance Floor people have ADMITTED CHEATING with votes – voting multiple times and deleting the cookie history ON THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE:

    http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150380710074908&id=220813869907

    Can they be disqualified? This is incredibly unfair to the three other projects.

  • Dana Harris | July 18, 2011 9:56 AMReply

    Hi, all. Thanks for everyone's feedback. Here's what we're going to do about it.

    http://www.indiewire.com/article/project_of_the_day/

  • Hector | July 18, 2011 9:36 AMReply

    1. I bet if the shoe were on the other foot people would still be calling foul

    2. Assuming all those that vote also have knowledge about how to clear cookies in order to vote again is highly unlikely. Most users are not sophisticated enough to know the right set of steps required to do this. This means that someone had to test out the procedure and ensure that cookie clearing steps worked for this poll specifically.

    3. Publishing this knowledge and directing the instructions to a specific audience and
    targeting a specific poll is the root problem that needs to be pointed out. While I agree that no rules were posted for this poll, the action of providing a set of instructions to a targeted audience that outline how to skew results in a direction that favors a single party is the problem.

    4. Based on the screen shot, the instructions were given to favor one poll selection overall others. Why not provide the instructions in this comment section so anyone could do this for any poll entry?

    What we can learn from this:

    1. The IndieWire site needs to use polling mechanisms that capture more information that help weed out cheaters/abusers

    2. Some people lack the talent to stand on their own two feet which requires them to skew results in their favor or they simply do not care for other fellow artists and would prefer to play games

  • Francis Minton | July 18, 2011 9:31 AMReply

    If the option is available to anyone wishing to use it, how is it an advantage to any one particular film?

  • Rex Kuntz | July 18, 2011 9:29 AMReply

    @Kimberly: do you really think the people working on the other films didn't ask people to vote multiple times? do you think the fans of those other movies didn't vote multiple times? come on.

  • Mark | July 18, 2011 8:59 AMReply

    this has been stated already, multiple times, but i think it's important for everyone involved to hear again...it's not cheating if there are no set rules...nowhere did it say vote once. i voted once for rotdf but that's because im a busy busy man

  • Tim | July 18, 2011 7:19 AMReply

    I haven't voted in any indiewire.com contest.
    I won't bother speaking about what folks could have, would have, should or shouldn't have done as participants. Let those passionately noble experts on the hearts and minds of the good, bad, and ugly hash it out.

    In my humbly offerred opinion...
    if the organization has created a buzz and generated revenue for itself by advertising a contest whose winner is chosen by popular vote, but the organization did not provide an entirely accurate and tamperproof poll, the organization has failed its sponsors, its supporters/readers/viewers, and all of the (current and previous) contestants.

    I believe the embarrassment belongs to indiewire.com, and they would probably do well to own it.

  • Kimberly | July 18, 2011 7:19 AMReply

    @Rex - everyone has the opportunity to cheat at lots of things, all with varying degrees of badness and legal standing. This certainly isn't the worst of them. Acting on this sort of "opportunity" makes me question the values of not only the people who did it, but of the producer who actually encouraged it. I don't want to put my money or voice on someone like that.

    And while Francis actually has a leg to stand on in the legal department of the issue, there is no doubt in my mind, and possibly the minds of others who've weighed in, that accountability has to be placed in some part on the encouraging party for essentially shilling the votes to tip in their favor. Not just IndieWIRE.

    I was really looking forward to seeing ROTDF. Now, not so much.

  • Cheech | July 18, 2011 7:11 AMReply

    I only voted once. Although, there were no rules stating that voting multiple times was not allowed. The majority of internet polls are same way. ROTDF voters were the only ones that admitted to voting more than once. Everyone has the same opportunity to do so. Don't seem like cheating to me. More like a bunch of sore losers, crybabies, and rats.. Grow up..

  • Rex Kuntz | July 18, 2011 6:59 AMReply

    @Kimberly: how the FUCK is it cheating if EVERYONE involved has the opportunity to do it?

  • CKM | July 18, 2011 6:43 AMReply

    Who cares, this site lets you vote every time you come to it. Like cnn poll. dont cry, tell whoever set this system up to change it.

  • Crybabies | July 18, 2011 6:16 AMReply

    damn rats...

  • Francis Minton | July 18, 2011 6:03 AMReply

    @Kimberly: your GG Allin analogy is...well, it's kind of utterly irrelevant and doesn't make much sense. If the purpose of the poll is to see which film has garnered more interest in it's being made, i think the fact that people took the time to vote repeatedly proves this even more. Again, perhaps I am cynical, but i don't think the producers of the other three films didn't exhort their fans to vote multiple times out of some sense of "ethics" or "fairness" they probably just didn't think to do it, or did it privately. again, if the option is available to ALL voters, there is no advantage to one film specifically. The fact that there were prizes of some kind involved makes it even more irresponsible of indiewire to not regulate their voting system. To use examples: professional sports, television shows...these all encourage people expressly to vote often, and even then they limit the number of votes one IP address can tally. This is a common practice. Without these rules being clearly stated by indiewire you cannot blame the producers or fans of Riot on the Dance Floor for trying to win. I'm sorry you feel an injustice was done, but your fight is with indiewire, not the people making the films.

  • Dan | July 18, 2011 5:36 AMReply

    Folks... don't have an open poll if you don't want people to vote multiple times... they could have very easily required an email address for each vote preventing this for the most part. The creators of the poll did not bother.

  • Walt BTB | July 18, 2011 5:27 AMReply

    There is nothing stated that says you can't vote more than once in any manner, be it refreshing the browser and clearing cookies or simply coming back each day and voting or whatever. The way many contests go these days, you are encouraged to vote as often as possible. And even with Steve asking people to clear cookies, etc and vote often, all he was doing was encouraging the people who want to see this film get made to get involved with this site and make it happen. These are good people involved with the ROTDF film and I find it irritating that they are being painted as villains here. An easy system that could have been implemented would be to require an email address to vote which would eliminate multiple votes as well as give the website the chance to send info and updates regarding the site's projects to the people who vote. But again, no measure was taken to avoid multiple votes so yes, that fault lies with the website. Sorry if the passion the people voting for ROTDF drove them to do whatever they could to do something positive for the film we are dying to see made.

  • Not Ebert | July 18, 2011 5:27 AMReply

    what a bunch of fingerpointing crybabies. just because a few people were savvy enough to utilize their gadgets. Here's a punk rock idiom for you: "snitches get stitches". I can't wait until your stupid films that no one wants to see lose this voting contest whatever & backing you adult infants. ROTD made over $21,000 in TWO DAYS just by asking... can you say the same? No.

  • Francis Minton | July 18, 2011 5:19 AMReply

    Clearing cookies off one's internet browser is very common knowledge, anyone who's ever touched a PC can pretty much figure this out. while the producers of Riot on the Dance Floor may have encouraged their fans to do so, I am quite sure many of them could have figured it out on their own. Liability lies with indiewire, not with the people voting.

  • Billoney | July 18, 2011 4:39 AMReply

    EVERYONE at that show had the right and obligation to eat their poop AND fling it. GG just wanted it more than the other people there. We used to call this "Clearing ones cookies" back in the punk days of yore.

  • Kimberly | July 18, 2011 4:24 AMReply

    **Correction - Joe Shanahan owns Metro - Joe Piekelko owns Exit.

  • Kimberly | July 18, 2011 4:22 AMReply

    @Francis - actually, the advantage did tilt in the FB fans of ROTDF favor. The producer encouraged them to cheat. I don't see the other films' teams doing so.

    A memory from my youth: GG Allin on stage at the original Exit shitting on stage, then eating part of it and throwing the rest at the audience. It wasn't illegal, but it also wasn't right (wish I had an italics option here). Exit's owner, Joe Shanahan, must've forgotten to write that into the artist agreement. His bad.

    If IndieWIRE is at all interested in preserving their credibility, they'll restart the competition with explicit rules, so that there's no misunderstanding.

  • Ted nugent | July 18, 2011 4:19 AMReply

    Nerd fight.

  • Francis Minton | July 18, 2011 4:19 AMReply

    Cheating is a relative term. is it cheating if people used 5 different devices to cast votes? just because the fans of one film are so passionate about it that they'd take the time to vote multiple times, i don't see that as cheating when anyone else could have done the same thing. again, indiewire devised the rules and parameters in this contest, so indiewire imposed a set of ethics within this specific contest. Call me cynical, but if the fans of other films had thought of doing the same thing; had figured out you can vote more than once by clearing their browser and cookies, i feel certain they would have done so.

  • John Smith | July 18, 2011 4:09 AMReply

    Francis Minton, please don't use expressions like "subvert the system" when referring to cheating in this poll, that's just parvenu-punk language, and it still means cheating to the rest of us anyway.

  • Francis Minton | July 18, 2011 4:09 AMReply

    @Kimberly: yes, indiewire is at fault. everyone else had the same chance to vote repeatedly, therefore there was no advantage to anyone.

  • Kimberly | July 18, 2011 4:06 AMReply

    @Francis - so really, IndieWIRE is at fault, is that what you're saying?

    So much for personal accountability and individual standards, eh?

  • Francis Minton | July 18, 2011 4:02 AMReply

    @kimberly: yes, that's what I am saying. what about people who voted several times over using different devices? phones, ipads, pc's etc.? Again, all four films had the same option available to them; the playing field was level. You can argue ethics for sure, and I'm not even contesting that. what i am saying is, in any other contest that requires voting there are usually explicit rules and regulations to follow. this one didn't seem to have them (or if it did, they don't seem to be posted in an easily found section). The website defined the parameters of this contest, and that is all the people voting had to work with. If the option to clear a computer's browser is open to one and all equally, i don't see how that can be held against ANY of the films

  • Kimberly | July 18, 2011 3:55 AMReply

    @Francis - we're not talking law here though, we're talking ethics. What I'm gleaning from your posts is that just because it's not expressly written out, it's ok.

  • BIlloney | July 18, 2011 3:51 AMReply

    But what if it's a BMW? Is that still wrong?

  • Francis Minton | July 18, 2011 3:47 AMReply

    @Kimberly: there's a law against stealing cars.

  • Kimberly | July 18, 2011 3:40 AMReply

    @Francis - are you kidding me?

    That's like stealing someone's car because the keys were left in it.

    There's right and there's wrong.

  • Francis Minton | July 18, 2011 3:33 AMReply

    @Linglu: what i am saying is that it is not cheating if the same options are available for ALL four films. The fans of any one of the films could have done the very same thing, and there's no reason to think that they didn't. If only one film had the option of voting multiple times, then, yes it would be an unfair advantage. Because thousands of people figured out how to vote multiple times is not the fault of the people working on Riot, or any of the films. Everyone had the same chance to subvert the system, and, again, I am looking for expressly written rules that state people cannot vote more than once. If one film's fans are passionate enough to go ahead and vote several times over, I don't think that should be held against the film or it's crew.

  • Kimberly | July 18, 2011 3:30 AMReply

    @Steven D - not to kick a guy when he's down, but what you encouraged your FB fans to do is completely against the ethics of the punk scene. Growing up in the 80's Chicago punk movement taught me a few things, the most important thing being that fair is fair, which this clearly was not.

    @indieWIRE - level the playing field. The votes garnered via this stunt rival the political voting system here in Chicago 2 decades ago, where "vote early/vote often" was the motto.

    If anything is to be learned here, it's that honesty always wins out, and even if Elena has to push a little harder to have her film come to fruition, it'll be all the sweeter when it does. I'm behind her and the film even more so now.

  • Steven DiLodovico | July 18, 2011 3:05 AMReply

    To all concerned: This is Steve DiLodovico writing here, co-producer for Riot on the Dance Floor. It was I, alone, who encouraged people to vote multiple times for ROTDF at indieWIRE; it had nothing to do with Steve Tozzi, Ken Salerno, Amy Yates Wuelfing, or Pete Tabbot. I control the facebook page for "No Slamdancing" and I took it upon myself to encourage our fans to vote multiple times. I alone asked people to clear their browsers and vote several times, and for this I am sorry. I apologize for embarrassing the team, the fans, and the film as well as the other filmmakers we were competing against. Please do not hold this against the film or the other members of the production crew; as I have stated I alone undertook this campaign. Sorry and thank you for taking the time to read this.

  • Linglu | July 18, 2011 2:38 AMReply

    @Francis - just because it's a loophole does mean it is not cheating. This contest is OBVIOUSLY geared towards gauging how many people want to see which film - not how many votes can be achieved through repeated voting by the same people. If they allowed voting multiple times, there wouldn't be an extra step involved to delete your cookies. It is clear what the goal of the contest was and playing around with loopholes and semantics is useless.

  • Elena | July 18, 2011 2:33 AMReply

    @Francis - they explicitly asked their 3,000 Facebook followers to cheat by deleting their browser's history and cookies. Screenshot here: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/845/screenshot3zn.png/

  • Kimberly | July 18, 2011 2:32 AMReply

    It might not technically be cheating, but it's underhanded and dishonest to the spirit of fair play.

  • Francis Minton | July 18, 2011 2:23 AMReply

    I don't think it's cheating if A) the system allows it and B) there are no expressly written rules saying that participants CAN'T vote multiple times.

  • Francis Minton | July 18, 2011 2:23 AMReply

    I don't think it's cheating if A) the system allows it and B) there are no expressly written rules saying that participants CAN'T vote multiple times.

  • John Smith | July 18, 2011 2:18 AMReply

    They've deleted that post as well, they're deleting *my* posts on the page as well -- cheaters will be cheaters. I still have screenshots of both their posts. Losers.

  • John Smith | July 18, 2011 1:55 AMReply

    They've now deleted that Facebook post, how mature, although oops a daisy here's another post where they invoke cheating to win: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=165976816804980&id=220813869907
    In all honesty, I think IndieWire should track down IPs and not allow multiple votes from a single IP being registered.

  • Dana Harris | July 18, 2011 1:47 AMReply

    Steve -- thank you. And to all the commenters, thanks too. I am currently working to craft a solution for the contest that doesn't permit gaming. Once we have that, we'll address the voting to date.

    We're really grateful that this has become such a popular feature so quickly and the popularity is likely to leap once we announce the prize(s) at stake. So again, thanks for making it so clear that this needs to be dealt with immediately.

    Dana Harris
    Editor in chief

  • Steve tozzi | July 18, 2011 1:30 AMReply

    To all the film makers and INDIEWire, I am truly sorry on behalf of the Riot and the Dance Floor crew. A Facebook fan page, one I do not over see instructed people to vote more than once for my film. I did not ask for this and do not wish to be rewarded for it's benefits. I'm sorry for any trouble this has caused. Please take our film out of contention. Thank you- Steve Tozzi

  • John Smith | July 18, 2011 1:14 AMReply

    Your team of CHEATERS: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150380710074908&id=220813869907

    Steve Tozzi, Ken Salerno, Amy Wuelfing, Steven DiLodovico, Peter Tabbot—SHAME ON YOU, you might win this but you’re a bunch of cheating LOSERS.

  • susie orbach | July 17, 2011 12:19 PMReply

    What a great project

  • Rex Kuntz | July 17, 2011 8:32 AMReply

    Riot on the Dance Floor's trailer gave me chills. I came from a very similar music scene, and the artists in the trailer really resonate with me. I, too, booked hardcore shows in the 80s and it was NOT an easy gig. No one ever made any money and most nights it seemed like more of a hassle than it was worth. But we still did it, because we loved the music. There are many "scenes" in america that share a lot of similarities with what Riot on the Dance Floor portrays; a lot of people, if given the chance to see this movie, will instantly recognize the same pumped-up feeling of freedom, regardless of where you live or where you grew up. I am excited and hope to see this film come to fruition!

  • Guy Incognito | July 17, 2011 6:40 AMReply

    Riot on the Dance Floor is going to be the better film. I'm sure they others are OK, but ROTD sounds far more exciting.

  • Karen | July 17, 2011 3:22 AMReply

    The Illusionists for sure

  • Xoxo | July 17, 2011 2:47 AMReply

    No hesitation: "The Illusionists" ! The greatest.

  • Ian Smith | July 17, 2011 2:18 AMReply

    Wait, let me get this straight. The economic reasons behind mass media's exploitation of self-loathing aren't clear to you people already? There's another backer for that film. His name is Captain Obvious. What's their next work, an expose on why we like ice cream?

  • Lindsey | July 17, 2011 1:28 AMReply

    The Illusionists needs to be made, without question. Elena Rossini's angle will be unique and will ultimately create an invaluable educational resource.

  • Jeff PS | July 16, 2011 4:29 AMReply

    "Riot on the Dance Floor" and "In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey" have already reached their goals, so I decided to pick between the other two that aren't close yet. I voted for "The Illusionists" because I'm more interested in its subject matter. I've already made a pledge to it, but I also just made a pledge to "My Brooklyn", actually. Best wishes to all the filmmakers.

  • Rachel | July 16, 2011 4:03 AMReply

    The Illusionists is a must-see before it's even made.

  • Autumn | July 16, 2011 2:10 AMReply

    Exploring the economically based reasons behind what might be termed a body image crisis is crucial to fully unraveling it--I am eager for The Illusionists to come to fruition!

  • Nicoletta Marini-Maio | July 15, 2011 10:26 AMReply

    The Illusionist is a very timely and important work. I hope it will have great visibility across the world, it can have a huge impact on our lives! Brava To the project's author, producer, and director!