Great World of Sound

I read Simon Houpt’s “New York Diary” article today on a mock-umentary that’s playing there by the title of Great World of Sound. You can find the article here.

The concept: Advertise for “Serious Talent” and “Major Label Record Deal Search” and see who comes crawling in.. the “record producers” are fake, but the performers and wannabe songwriters aren’t… some get hurt too in the end (but they get their money back at least if they were scammed out of it – lesson learned for entertainment purposes…). As the creator of the movie, Craig Zobel, put it:

“There’s just something that is so much more empathetic when watching it with the real people, that I felt made it jump off the screen,” he said. “I feel like they’re the heart and soul of the movie.” He swears he wasn’t trying to exploit them. No one was paid; but then, even the professional actors deferred payment.”

That led me to the research the movie and has a full plot summary here, reproduced below, and the trailer from the movie website follows. Just wish that I could find this playing in Toronto somewhere…

Martin answers an ad to train as a record producer, where he’s excited by the prospect of signing undiscovered artists. The company, called Great World of Sound, partners shy, unassuming Martin with the gregarious Clarence and sends them on the road, visiting southern towns where the company has placed newspaper ads and turning motels into makeshift audition studios. Though an unlikely duo, they sign more acts than anyone else at the company. But when Martin takes a special interest in a young girl’s “New National Anthem,” putting up his own money and following her progress, he discovers that something’s amiss with the enterprise. As things threaten to unravel, he’s forced to weigh his nagging conscience against both his loyalty to Clarence and his own financial ruin. A playful, contemporary take on the classic American story of the confidence man, “Great World of Sound” evokes conflicted hucksters from Willy Loman and the Mayles Brothers’ salesman to the seedy charmers of seventies Altman. With real-life audition footage weaved into the fictional narrative, Zobel’s provocative debut explores the outer limits of our desire for celebrity, where big dreams beget bigger illusions, and fame always has its price.

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