The West

Pierce Davison.

What do Thomas Edison, a tango-dancing backpacker and a farmer who discovers a portal to hell in a cow's rear end all have in common?

They are just a few of the colourful characters featured in the short-film projects competing as part of ScreenWest's digital 3 to 1 crowd-funding initiative.

More than 25 WA projects were loaded on the Pozible website yesterday for the public to view and pledge money towards.

Once a team meet their nominated target, ScreenWest will triple the funds pledged, effectively quadrupling the budget.

The initiative has been endorsed by Hollywood star and WAAPA graduate Hugh Jackman, who released a video urging the public to visit the Pozible site and choose which film, web series and interactive projects get made in WA.

"Ever wanted to be part of the film business? Well now you can," a bearded Jackman says in the video. "Pledge funding to the projects that you believe in, the ones you think will make the grade."

As part of the initiative, filmmakers must raise between $5000 and $50,000 to trigger $15,000 through to a maximum of $150,000 contribution from ScreenWest.

They have up to 90 days to reach their funding target, although the $250,000 will be allocated on a first-past- the-post basis.

Some projects will proceed in a scaled-down version using crowd-funded pledges only, once the pool is exhausted.

Among those asking for public support is director Pierce Davison, who is hoping his stop-motion animation Edison - Adventures in Power will be first across the funding line.

His film "loosely based on facts" tells how Thomas Edison "was a great man but also a complete capitalist douchebag who would rip off a lot of people's ideas".

"We are just extrapolating on some of the more douchey points of Thomas Edison," laughs Davison, who worked with Academy Award-winning animator Adam Elliot on the 2009 stop-motion film Mary and Max.

Other films competing for funding include Derrick's Farm, directed by Aaron McCann, which tells the curious tale of a farmer who one night discovers a portal to hell in the rear end of his cow, and Miranda Edmonds' Tango Underpants, which stars Emma Booth as a young Australian backpacker who travels to Buenos Aires and discovers the wonders of Tango - and the importance of the right underwear.

Some of the Tango Underpants team were at CinefestOz in Busselton earlier this year to promote the short feature by asking celebrities to pose with red underpants.

Davison says while he doesn't have any major names endorsing Edison, like his fellow competitors, he has taken to social media to help promote the film. "I've made an animated 69-second taster clip and I'm going to try some tricky viral videos," he said.

However, he admits the competition is starting to resemble the reality show Survivor as his fellow filmmakers look for ways to promote their projects.

"It's going to get very backstabby," laughs Davison. "Someone has already clicked one of my posters being spam. The knives are out. It's filthy."

The West Australian

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