The bad news is that “Non-Transferable,” the rom-com travel movie from What’s Trending alum Brendan Bradley and “Lizzie Bennet Diaries” star Ashley Clements, did not premiere on Valentine’s Day as they originally planned. The good news is that the movie is still on the way – and it could be a bigger deal than we thought.
On the latest episode of the What’s Trending Podcast, Brendan and Ashley couldn’t give us any details about their new release date, but they did say that the successful launch of Rooster Teeth’s “Lazer Team” movie was opening new doors for filmmakers in the online community.
“There are opportunities that are starting to enter the space, where people are really taking this type of content seriously,” Brendan said. “So we have the opportunity to possibly explore the option of a much larger release than we originally believed was possible.”
“Non-Transferable” is about a young woman who books a surprise trip to Europe for her boyfriend just before he breaks up with her, and she has to search the internet for another guy with her ex’s name to go with her. If that sounds familiar, you may remember the viral news story about a Canadian man who offered a free round-the-world ticket to a woman with the same name as his ex-girlfriend – a case of life imitating art.
“I wrote this script five years ago,” Brendan said, “and everyone told me while I was pitching it around the typical Hollywood script process, ‘This would never happen! This is too unrealistic!’ And the project didn’t get any traction because everyone thought the premise was too crazy. And then it happened in real life.”
Brendan worked with Turkish Airlines, the Turkish Ministry of Tourism and VIP Tourism Agency to fund the trip, in exchange for featuring the airline, hotels and tourist attractions in the film. The same journey that the characters take in the film is available as a travel package through VIP Tourism.
Ashley said the movie was a great way for these companies to promote Turkey as a tourist destination.
“You watch ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ and you think, ‘I must go to Tuscany! So beautiful!’ Whichever country that this ended up getting shot in, which ended up being Turkey, we could showcase the country in a way that would make you go, ‘Wow, Turkey is so beautiful and I had no idea!’ Which was very much our experience going there. It’s a country that’s really at the epicenter of so much history.”
More importantly for the film crew, this allowed a group of YouTube personalities to create a full-length movie on almost no budget. Brendan came up with the strategy after reading Anita Elberse’s book Blockbusters, which explains why it’s so difficult for new filmmakers to break into the industry. “I thought, what if a smaller company, what if a bunch of young creators, could use these same techniques of the sharing economy and social currency to do trades with brands to absorb different parts of the production cost?”
Of course we couldn’t let them go without getting their take on the biggest trending topics of the last week, including why Vanessa Hudgens vandalizing a national park could be a teachable moment, how Kanye’s latest meltdowns reinforce the myth of the “tortured artist,” and why they don’t really understand the appeal of rainbow bagels.