AUSTIN — Aug. 5, 2014 — Does the guy holding the microphone always hold the truth? Already ruffling feathers, and with over half a million views on its teaser trailer, Riot Studios now releases the official theatrical trailer for their religious satire BELIEVE ME, which challenges the power of platforms. BELIEVE ME debuts simultaneously in theaters and on demand Sept. 26.
Riot Studios, the Austin-based “Millennial” production company, also has released an original and booming grassroots marketing campaign to pay fans who share the trailer on social media. “The online generation suspects sponsored content,” producer Alex Carroll, explaining Riot’s proprietary system said. “So we’re paying fans, even motivating them, to do what fans do: to tell their friends. What better way to hear about a new movie?”
As of today, the BELIEVE ME Promotional Team has more than 6,000 active marketers in nearly all 50 states. Collaborating with influencers like the rapper LeCrae and capitalizing on their huge social media followings, one small independent film is gaining a staggering reach.
VIEW FULL-LENGTH TRAILER HERE
VIEW TEASER TRAILER HERE
VIEW PROMOTIONAL SYSTEM HERE
The trailer is powered by Jack White’s “Salute Your Solution,” a song recorded by the rock star during his time in The Raconteurs. “Music signals the tone of the film,” Will Bakke, writer and director of BELIEVE ME said. “‘Salute Your Solution’ is the musical version of the onscreen plotline: unbridled chaos and unexpected turns at every juncture.”
Why are audiences responding to BELIEVE ME? Pew’s 2014 Millennial research shows a few possibilities:
- The Millennial mind is not made up. Millennials (now ages 18 to 33) are relatively unattached to organized politics or religion (three in ten have no religious affiliation), linked by social media, burdened by debt (average student loan debt is $27,000), distrustful of people, slow to marry—and optimistic about the future.
- Religious institutions are less sticky. Adults of all ages are less attached to religious institutions but Millennials lead the phenomenon. Only 58 percent say they are absolutely sure of a God.
- Millennials have networks. The first generation of digital natives also has taken the lead in seizing digital platforms to build their own discreet networks of friends, colleagues and causes.
- Millennials reached adulthood with low levels of social trust. In response to a long-standing social science survey question, “Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people?” 19 percent of Millennials say most people can be trusted (compared with 31 percent of Gen Xers, 37 percent of Silents and 40 percent of Boomers).
BELIEVE ME SYNOPSIS
Sam (Russell) stands on stage as thousands of fans go wild. Smart, charismatic, handsome, he moves them with his message, and when he calls for donations to his charity, the money pours in.
Only thing is, Sam doesn’t believe a word he’s saying.
Just months earlier, Sam was a typical college senior focused on keg stands, hookups and graduation. But when a surprise tuition bill threatens his dream of law school and leaves him thousands of dollars in the hole, he’s forced to think outside the box. He convinces his three roommates they can make a killing on the gullible church crowd and the guys start a sham charity, campaigning across the country, raising funds for a cause as fake as their message.
For Sam, embezzlement is easy compared to getting attention from the only person he cares about. When Callie (Johanna Braddy), the tour manager and Sam’s love interest, finally discovers the guys’ ruse, it’s Sam’s moment of truth.
On the final night of the tour, before a packed auditorium and alone in the spotlight, Sam must decide what he really believes.
BELIEVE ME is written and directed by Will Bakke, co-written by Michael Allen, produced by Alex Carroll and co-produced by Sandhya Shardanand, Gary Cogill, and Richard Toussaint. John Rutland is the director of photography with casting by J.C. Cantu. A Riot Studios Production in association with Lascaux Films, BELIEVE ME is distributed by Headline Features and Gravitas Ventures. The film releases in theaters and on demand Sept. 26, 2014.
To learn more, visit: BelieveMeFilm.com /pressroom
About Riot Studios Riotstudios.com
Riot Studios exists to tell stories that compel viewers to challenge their beliefs, weigh the alternatives, and laugh while doing so. They aspire to make transparent and thoughtful art through film.