Say Goodbye To Hollywood

Independent film has a certain cachet, bringing to mind uncompromising, unkempt artists plumbing their genius to bring cold, hard truths to the corner cinema. Or maybe it brings to mind guys dressed as film canisters panhandling in L.A.

The latter is Josh Caplan’s vision, realized in a trailer that promotes the fifth annual Malibu Film Festival.

In the black-and-white 90-second spot, set to Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talkin’,” the canisters absorb plenty of abuse on their way to the show. They wander aimlessly through Hollywood, begging for change, picking through trash and getting pelted with eggs. The tagline is, “Independent film can’t survive in Hollywood. That’s why it’s coming to Malibu.”

“The spot is a metaphor,” says Caplan, associate creative director at Boston independent McCarthy Mambro Bertino. “As much as people say independent films can survive anywhere, in Hollywood it’s still incredibly difficult.”

On the shoot in Hollywood, “tourists asked to get their pictures taken with [the actors],” Caplan says. “They thought they were some character.”

Caplan worked with Backyard Productions in Los Angeles to craft the pro bono execution. It breaks in West Coast theaters on Sept. 1. The festival runs Sept. 16-24.

Caplan is no stranger to the Hollywood scene. He joined MMB a few weeks ago after several years in L.A., where he scripted two episodes of Fox’s Ally McBeal and worked for agencies such as RPA, TBWA\Chiat\ Day, Team One and Deutsch.