DREAMENTIA: (dree-men-shuh): n 1. the development, growth or awakening of creative awareness in the brain caused by the severe impairment or loss of one’s in-the-box thinking and conventional cerebral functions.

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Wednesday
Apr222009

Formosa Marketing Redux

Just a handful of the many rough designs (including the current artwork, top center) created for the revised marketing of the now-completed feature film, “Formosa Betrayed.” (All artwork ©2009 Dreamentia, Inc., all rights reserved.)After grueling production, successful screening & red hot red carpet private premier, DCL tackles new key art for “Formosa Betrayed.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – First came the pitch, then the production, and now “Formosa Betrayed” has shifted into high gear for the promotional path that its high-octane journey has set it on. And Dreamentia is exploring multiple avenues for the updated marketing efforts – aimed at the upcoming festival circuit.

This story has all the elements of a Hollywood blockbuster, and it all began when Hollywood turned a deaf ear.

With actor/writer/producer Will Tiao at the helm, “Formosa Betrayed”, a film poised to expose the dark history of Taiwan, stunned its critics by premiering on February 28, 2009 at the WGA Theater in Beverly Hills.

Inspired by the stories of injustice and oppression often recounted by Tiao’s parents, who were blacklisted in Taiwan by Chinese Nationalists who overtook it in 1949, “Formosa Betrayed” is an independent feature film supported by many Taiwanese-Americans who escaped the Nationalist regime. Many of the Formosa Films investors just wanted their story to be finally told.

“We never had a chance to speak out,” Hillsborough [San Francisco area] resident Gina Mao told the San Jose Mercury News. “We never had a chance to let people know what the real history of Taiwan was.”
But without the investors, the film wouldn’t have had a chance either.

Set in 1983, the story follows an American detective who is investigating the murder of a Taiwanese professor in the United States. As the detective investigates, he finds out that the professor was spied upon by his Chinese students, and that those students were hired by the KMT Government in Taiwan. The detective goes to Taiwan to catch the assassin, only to realize that the murder is part of a larger political conspiracy that goes all the way to the top of the Chinese Nationalist regime, a conspiracy to quell the nascent Taiwanese Independence Movement.

Fearing potential political repercussions, studios would not financially back the film — Tiao had to raise the money himself from the ground up. His search for funding and support led him on a pitch process that took him around the world. In 2006, when the idea was still brewing in his head, Dreamentia was put in charge of creating the proposal – what they call a Primer™ – so that Tiao might finally be able to tell the story that he’d always wanted to tell.

“The Primer™ is not a business plan or a press kit. Nor is it a budget or a schedule with an attached storyline,” said Dreamentia Account Executive Brandi Sweeney. “Rather, it’s a creatively driven show-brochure that encapsulates the vision, right down to the key art and its logo. The concept is communicated dynamically, while at the same time revenue opportunities, market demand and growth potential are all clearly outlined to give concrete support as to the viability of the idea.”

Dreamentia has created Primers™ for numerous clients, including The Firm, Robin Leach, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Sokolobl Films, for projects including feature films, television series, webisodes, and theatrical productions. “Formosa Betrayed” was it’s first Primer™ with an international flavor. 

“Dreamentia has been working with me on this film from the very beginning and I owe so much to the team for their hard work, amazing vision and inspired ideas that have helped get this film further than many imagined we would,” said Tiao.

Tiao first met Dreamentia Creative Laboratories while collaborating on a short film called “The Starbucks Story.” The short garnered multiple awards across the festival circuit, winning the 2005 FAIF Los Angeles Film Festival audience awards for Best Short Film and Best Film of Festival, selling out three screenings at the world famous Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. 

It was also an official selection of the Queens International Film Festival, the Kansas City Jubilee Film Festival, the Austin Movie Show, and the Hollywood Shorts Film Festival. In fact, it was the success of The Starbucks Story that helped validate Tiao’s decision to leave his government position to pursue a career in entertainment, with the intention of creating a project to support Taiwan. Which he did in 2002.

The Cast (left to right, top to bottom): James Van Der Beek, Will Tiao, John Heard, Kenneth Tsang, Tzi Ma, Wendy Crewson

The success of the short film prompted Tiao to once again enlist the services of Dreamentia, who has designed multiple versions of “Formosa Betrayed’s” key art, so that this time he might finally be able to tell the story that he’d always wanted to tell.

“I grew to love Will and his ideas when we first worked with him on ‘A Starbucks Story.’ He had such passion in everything he was doing that it was incredibly infectious to all of us around him - and you couldn’t help but get swept up in his enthusiasm, looking for ways to get involved with whatever he was talking about. So even though Will sat down with me and spent 3 hours walking me through every single step of his incredible idea for Formosa Betrayed, he had me at 你好.”

Now, with plenty of buzz created by supporters around the world, Hollywood is starting to take notice. And by Hollywood taking notice, Tiao is closer than ever to reaching his dream of opening the world’s eyes to this horrific tragedy.

“Formosa Betrayed” stars James Van Der Beek [FBI Agent Jake Kelly], Wendy Crewson, Leslie Hope, Tzi Ma, John Heard, Kenneth Tsang and Chelcie Ross. The film hopes to inspire change, both in Taiwan and Hollywood.

For more information, please visit formosathemovie.com