Mosaic goes multi-platform for It’s Not My Fault

Production has begun on the feature, starring Alan Thicke and Quinton Aaron, which will bow as a web series before its theatrical run. (Mosaic's Jesse Lipscombe pictured.)

Jesse LipscombeIn an increasingly crowded market, creativity is key to building successful strategies to help audiences find your content, especially for movies headed for a theatrical run.

And Mosaic Entertainment is getting increasingly savvy about working all the angles to finance, distribute and promote its projects using a multi-format and multi-platform approach.

Exhibit A: its latest project, It’s Not My Fault (and I Don’t Care Anyways), will be released as both web series and feature film, much like Mosaic’s previous feature, Truckstop Bloodsuckers.

With production underway on the $1 million film – which will be top-lined by high-profile leads Alan Thicke and Quinton Aaron (The Blind Side) – in Edmonton and set to wrap up in July, Mosaic already has its launch plan in place.

The first promotional element will be a mock newscast about a high-profile kidnapping that occurs in It’s Not My Fault, set to air on Super Channel (which provided the initial funding for the project via a licence fee) and pointing viewers to the web series. This aspect of the release will likely launch in late 2015 or early 2016.

The web series will have the same story as the feature film version, but with a different ending. After a three-month window for audience building, the feature film will be released theatrically and air on Super Channel. The goal is to build up a fanbase via the web series to drive audiences to the feature once it’s screening in theatres later in 2016, said Jesse Lipscombe (pictured), ‎executive producer and partner at Mosaic Entertainment.

“We’re not a tentpole with a $100 million budget [to] blanket North America and Sunset Boulevard with posters. We need to make sure that we can do something that is original and different enough to start a grassroots following for our show and it’s going to be sticky enough that they show up in theatres as well,” Lipscombe told Playback Daily.

The transmedia-style approach extends to both the marketing and financing of the film, building it as IP rather than a single media entity. With a web series secured, Mosaic added CMF funding to its Super Channel licence, tax credits and Telefilm financing.

Lipscombe argues that the multi-platform approach works out to the benefit of all parties by increasing the film’s exposure and chances of success. “These other elements are things to generate more audiences, generate more attention, leverage more money and use what we have in Canada – it’s a win-win-win for everyone,” Lipscombe said.

While a theatrical distributor has not yet signed onto the project, Lipscombe said a number of companies have expressed interest in the film. Ideally, Lipscombe said he would like to partner with a distributor who would work with Mosaic on a long-term basis for future projects. The producers also want to get It’s Not My Fault into the festival circuit – ideally the Toronto International Film Festival or Sundance.

While It’s Not My Fault tells the story of a selfish motivational speaker whose daughter is kidnapped, the producers want to use the film as a way to give back to their community and the world at large. It’s Not My Fault is the directorial feature debut of Edmonton playwright and actor Chris Craddock, who Mosaic has worked with in the past on their Tiny Plastic Men series. The film is using mostly local cast and crew, and the executive producers have decided to take no fees on It’s Not My Fault to help support the rookie director’s project. In addition, all profits from It’s Not My Fault will be donated to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Every aspect of the film’s strategy is designed to increase its chances of garnering earned media, Lipscombe explained.

“Every single time we get a writeup or someone sees the show, it’s more money in the hands of people who need it. Ideally, we will be able to make more movies in the future because more people will see what we have done and we can use this as our calling card. It’s win-win on both sides,” Lipscombe said.

It’s Not My Fault is an adaption of Craddock’s one-man play, Public Speaking. Along with Thicke and Aaron, the film stars Leah Doz, Allen Belcourt and Lipscombe. Camille Beaudoin and Eric Rebalkin also serve as executive producers on the film.