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Sunday, 14 February 2016

Trauma - the crowdfunding campaign for this Scifi short film

You know me, I'm not one to normally blow ones own trumpet when it comes to saying just how well my little blog is doing now since its humble (and not very well written) origins of just a few short years ago. Now, while the standard of writing (and along with it annoying little things like spelling and grammar) may not have especially improved, the diverse range of projects I've come across as a blogger from all around the world certainly have changed. In fact it has got to the point now that I occasionally have to set aside my insatiable need to hang on to the coat tails and reflective creative glory of others. 

In other words, purely in terms of the time available, I sometimes have to say no to some enquiries that come my way asking me to do whatever I can to help promote their projects. As a result I've had to resist overloading myself with some very, very interesting work going on in the world of books, music and film production.

However occasionally something comes along that catches my eye and means I choose to ignore the fact that I'm already 'juggling' any number of works in progress. This very thing happened just a few days ago. You should know me by now, I don't have much time for any sort of yucky optimistic utopian science fiction where everybody lives happily ever after  - Boring! Give me a grey dystopian story any day - after all, it fits well with my cynical glass-half-empty view of the world at the moment (I blame the winter months personally).

So a few evenings ago I was having a wander around the occasional madness of the Twitterverse when a particular crowdfunding campaign caught my beedy little eye. The Touscoprod campaign was aiming to raise funds towards an intriguing Scifi short film full of all sorts of Soviet Union inspired dystopian themes. Let me throw a brief little synopsis your way.....

"Set in a futuristic industrial dystopia with a 1950s soviet realist aesthetic, “Trauma” is the story of a boy brought to celebrate his birthday at the grounds of a factory that manufactures the must-have toy of the era. The boy has one of these toys, and is visibly attached to it. But the manager takes the toy away from him because he is now too old for such a thing. He fights to get his beloved toy back as a crowd of workers gathers in front of a ceremonial stage. The ensuing chase through the crowd leads him onto the stage where he himself becomes part of the spectacle, subjected to a brutal initiation ceremony that will see him finally “become a man”.

Trauma is the brainchild of Jethro Massey who intended the film's script and style to be directly inspired by the powerful propaganda imagery of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. We all know the imagery that he talks about, pictures of workers staring heroically into the distance as they toil for the greater good of the motherland. Sometimes they hold a symbol of all that is good for providing for the masses - tools, equipment or fists of grain. The Photography of Aleksandr Rodchenko, the films of Dziga Vertov and others were used as tools of inspiration and propaganda by the Soviet machine.  While this imagery was used to forward tyrannical regimes, the images themselves are, to Jethro's mind, amongst the most creative, striking and powerful ever made. Trauma will re-appropriate the style, the camera angles, the geometry of composition, the industrial landscapes, the poses and the wardrobe of the era in a modern-futurist science- fiction that questions our voluntary slavery to the contemporary digital technocracy.

Blimey - I told you that it sounds good!

But who is this Jethro Massey character? Yes, I heard you ask that. Well, in his own words;

"I work in video production with my team of talented professionals on studio and location shoots for commercials, web, corporate, documentary and music video in France and the UK. 

Having produced videos for some of the world’s leading brands in fashion (Givenchy), travel (Condé Nast), publishing (Random House), technology (Air Liquide), hospitality (Intercontinental Hotels) and music (LiveNation), and for TV channels in Europe, US & South America, and the Middle East, I craft films in a broad range of styles, from serious communications pieces to entertaining high energy videos."

Well he seems to know what he's talking about - which is always a good thing I suppose when you may be entrusting him with your hard earned money. So you have the synopsis, the concept and some bio about the director. The crowdfunding campaign has about two weeks to run and offers a range of excellent enticements and goodies that we've now come to expect. For example; 

Ten Euros will get you the Comrade award.... "Welcome to Trauma Industries comrade! Every woman and man who contributes to the cause will be be sent a link to view the film and its making-of online. You will also be rewarded with your name in the final credits..."

Fifty Euros will promote you to Distinguished labourer....  "Your face on a soviet poster. Send us a photo of yourself (or a friend) and we'll create a soviet style poster for the proud People's Labourer that you are. This poster for your personal online propaganda will be sent in digital format only. You will also be rewarded with your name in the final credits..."

For a tidy 1000 Euros you can become Hero of the Union.... "Receive a beautiful limited edition hard-back Trauma Industries photobook containing posters for the film, behind the scenes photographs and portraits of the cast and crew. You will also receive a vintage jacket or dress from the film, along with an invitation to the film's premiere (travel and accommodation not included), and the director himself will send you a Trauma Industries Postcard, from a surprise location, and have your name in the final credits..."

Now I'm not assuming in any way that Jethro for a moment will listen to my pleas - but the Distinguished labourer award (the poster) is something that would greatly appeal to me.......cough.....Jethro......cough........I can send a picture this week........cough!

FOR €3,000 OR MORE
We are on the right track, this will pay for the developing of the film and the transfers...

FOR €6,000 OR MORE
That's it ! We can make the film ! We've reached our minimum budget !

FOR €8,000 OR MORE
Fantastic ! Not only can we make the film, our sets are going to be even more impressive ! 

FOR €10,000 OR MORE
Wow ! Not only can we make the film exactly as we want to, this will pay for all the festival entries and prints we need to make sure the film is seen around the world...

So if you can, give this campaign your support and let's help make what could be a fabulous slice of science fiction dystopia.

Here are a few tasty links:

The crowdfund campaign page (with the intro video):

The facebook page:


And if you'd like to see some of Jethro Massey's previous work, you can take a look at his website:


  1. Wonderful post! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our website.Keep up the great writing.