Crowdsourced film 'The Beauty Inside' wants to make everyone a star

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There is something weirdly wonderful about this. Ordinarily, I would turn up my nose at any production sponsored by a big company because they frequently turn into thinly-veiled marketing vehicles, but The Beauty Inside is different. It's actually rather good.

Directed by Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning film director Drake Doremus, The Beauty Inside is an "interactive social film" centered around a man with unusual problem. Like a lot of other people out there, Alex suffers from an identity crisis. Unlike most other people, Alex's problem is a tad more literal. Each time he wakes up from sleep, Alex physically transforms into someone else.

That's where the social aspect of the movie comes in. Almost anyone from around the world can audition to be one of Alex's many daily incarnations by submitting photos and videos of themselves via the film's Facebook page. If you make the cut, you'll either get a chance to be a recording on Alex's computer or, for the exceptionally lucky, an actual on-screen role.

Though it's essentially an elaborate advertisement for the Toshiba Protege Ultrabook, The Beauty Inside is a damn fine example of relatively tasteful marketing. It's also a cool use of crowdsourcing. Don't believe me? You can check out the first four episodes on YouTube. I recommend watching them with a handkerchief and, maybe, a glass of wine.

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