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Fully-animated, feature-length film about the history, technology, regulation and social effects of media. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on May 1, 2014.

Fully-animated, feature-length film about the history, technology, regulation and social effects of media.

About this project

BEWARE OF IMAGES is a feature-length, animated documentary about the history of visual representation. The movie explores the intricate relationship between the technology, regulation and social effects of media.

From cave paintings to video games, BEWARE OF IMAGES will take its audience on a fascinating journey that is insightful, harrowing and hopeful. 

The film is divided in 14 chapters, which deal with a variety of interconnected subjects such as: the history of visual language and its application to propaganda, gender and cultural stereotypes, media violence, the emergence of broadcasting technologies, the rise of modern advertising, the commercial takeover of the public airwaves, the consolidation and cultural consequences of media conglomerates, the effects of intellectual property on innovation and creativity, the information economy, Net Neutrality and the future of the open Internet.

Below are 
excerpts from the narration, as well as some visual assets and references being used in the animations.

Movie stills and visual references.
Movie stills and visual references.

In addition to the documentary, the BOI Facebook page has become an open forum where past and current media topics are exposed, discussed and satirized. With over 250,000 participants, the page boasts one of the most active, civil and well-informed communities on the social network.

From tribal pictograms to the alphabet, from illuminated manuscripts to the printing press, from Renaissance art to pictorial magazines, and from telegraphic news services to the Internet; media has played a key role in the development of cultures and hegemonic structures.

The control over symbols and their dissemination channels represent power. Religious institutions, governments and corporations understand this power and have exploited it to advance their interests. Unfortunately, these practices are at the root of many of our social, ecological and financial concerns.

While there’s an ongoing debate about the potentially harmful effects of media technologies to our lives, the truth is that these technologies are here to stay and will continue to expand. It’s true that reducing our exposure to some media channels can be beneficial, but the real power resides in better understanding our media environment. In fact, the only truly dangerous media, is the unexamined media.

No medium is inherently good or evil, and all have the potential to be beneficial and constructive cultural agents. Whether such potential is fulfilled or not, depends greatly on our understanding of the markets, industries and regulations under which they operate. Education is the only way we will be able to shift the present power balance, from corporate interests towards the public good.

Beware of Images will help viewers gain a better understanding of past media systems, question the current ones, and shape those which will emerge in the future. 

After 6 years of research and scriptwriting, we have completed the recording of the narration. We've also spent 3 years producing a multitude of rich and engaging visual assets. We are currently animating and have a composer working on the music.

Your contribution will help us complete the animation, as well as fund post-production, music and sound design.

 STRETCH GOAL: Any contribution exceeding our goal will go towards educational purposes. The film will serve as the foundation for a media literacy workshop that can be tailored to diverse conditions and necessities. Ideally, I would like to involve students, parents and educators in these crucial conversations.

While private schools will be able to afford the workshop, many public and underfunded institutions won’t. In those cases we'll do all we can to make sure we still provide it to them, regardless of budgetary constraints.

DIGITAL GOODY-BAG: 3 exclusive wallpapers (4:3, 8:5 and 16:9 ratios are included for each design) • Set of 30 high-res digital postcards • High resolution files to print your own Gaston and Julia diptych.

Wallpapers based on Magritte's "The Treachery of Images".
Wallpapers based on Magritte's "The Treachery of Images".
Set of 30 high-res digital postcards.
Set of 30 high-res digital postcards.
"Gaston and Julia" artwork by director Sergio Toporek. A diptych named after the French mathematician who pioneered fractal geometry.
"Gaston and Julia" artwork by director Sergio Toporek. A diptych named after the French mathematician who pioneered fractal geometry.

OFFICIAL BEWARE OF IMAGES T-SHIRT: Featuring our iconic logo, based on Magritte's The Treachery of Images. 100% cotton T-shirt available in Men's and Women's sizes S-XXL.

Images can be seductive and deceiving, consume them with caution.

THE WEB SPECIAL EDITION T-SHIRT: 100% cotton T-shirt available in Men's and Women's sizes S-XXL.

It will capture your time and attention, as well as your personal information. Before you know it, you'll be caught in... THE WEB!

DOUBLE PARADOX SPECIAL EDITION T-SHIRT: 100% cotton T-shirt available in Men's and Women's sizes S-XXL.

It's not a t-shirt, but it's printed on one. The plot thickens :)

DARK SIDE OF THE MONEY SPECIAL EDITION T-SHIRT: 100% cotton T-shirt available in Men's and Women's sizes S-XXL.

What may happen when the world is seen only through green-coloured glasses.

SIGNED T-SHIRTYour choice of T-shirt signed by Topo. T-shirt will be signed on the back, right above the Beware of Images logo.

SPONSOR A MEDIA LITERACY WORKSHOP: This is the perk that excites me the most! Once the movie is completed, I will close my design studio and take a break from my faculty position at the Vancouver Film School, in order to promote media awareness.

Beware of Images will serve as the foundation for a media literacy workshop that can be tailored to diverse conditions and necessities. Ideally, I would like to involve students, parents and educators in these crucial conversations.

The journey will start with Canada, the US and Mexico, and will hopefully take me to many other countries.

While private schools will be able to afford the workshop, many public and underfunded institutions won’t. In those cases we'll do all we can to make sure we still provide it to them, regardless of budgetary constraints.

Travelling light, lodging with faculty members if necessary and working on the road will be part of the strategy. That said, your contribution can really help along the way.



By choosing this perk, you will be acknowledged as a sponsor during the workshop, and will receive an email with documentation of the event.

Besides the money pledged for this specific purpose, any contribution exceeding our goal will go towards bringing these workshops to educational institutions everywhere.

The Coca-Cola logo is a trademark of The Coca-Cola Company. Its use here does not imply any endorsement.

Risks and challenges

All creative projects present risks and challenges, from production delays to securing licences to technical limitations. The good news is that, with most of the work behind us, BEWARE OF IMAGES is in its final stretch.

As a small and totally independent production, finding the time and funds to complete it has been a challenge. So far though, the project has received constant support from friends, family and total strangers (many of which have become friends).

At this point, it's just a matter of time before the project sees the light of day. But time is, in this case, a very direct function of funds. The more funds, the more time I can take to work on the project, and the more time I can afford from the freelance creatives that are collaborating with me.

If you help me reach our goal, I foresee no obstacle that would prevent me from completing the movie by October of this year. Of course, if an unforeseen issue should arise, you'd be the first to be updated.

I truly appreciate your patronage of this project and will do all I can to make it the best it can be, complete it as soon as possible, and make sure that you are proud of being a supporter. Even if creative, production or scheduling changes occur, that is one promise you can count on!

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    105 backers

    Project updates • Your name will APPEAR IN THE CREDITS under the special thanks section of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    98 backers

    Digital goody-bag • Project updates • Your name will APPEAR IN THE CREDITS under the special thanks section of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    399 backers

    A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the film when it is completed • Digital goody-bag • Project updates • Your name will APPEAR IN THE CREDITS under the special thanks section of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    105 backers

    DVD of the film SIGNED by director Sergio Toporek • Digital goody-bag • Project updates • Your name will APPEAR IN THE CREDITS under the special thanks section of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    129 backers

    Official BEWARE OF IMAGES T-shirt • A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the film when it is completed • Digital goody-bag • Project updates • Your name will APPEAR IN THE CREDITS under the special thanks section of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    21 backers

    THE WEB Special Edition T-shirt • A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the film when it is completed • Digital goody-bag • Project updates • Your name will APPEAR IN THE CREDITS under the special thanks section of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    10 backers

    DOUBLE PARADOX Special Edition T-shirt • A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the film when it is completed • Digital goody-bag • Project updates • Your name will APPEAR IN THE CREDITS under the special thanks section of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    10 backers

    DARK SIDE OF THE MONEY Special Edition T-shirt • A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the film when it is completed • Digital goody-bag • Project updates • Your name will APPEAR IN THE CREDITS under the special thanks section of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    31 backers

    Your favorite T-shirt SIGNED by director Sergio Toporek • A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the film when it is completed • Digital goody-bag • Project updates • Your name will APPEAR IN THE CREDITS under the special thanks section of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $125 or more

    11 backers

    Your 2 favorite Special Edition T-shirts • A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the film when it is completed • Digital goody-bag • Project updates • Your name will APPEAR IN THE CREDITS under the special thanks section of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    27 backers

    ALL 3 Special Edition T-shirts • A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the film when it is completed • Digital goody-bag • Project updates • Your name will APPEAR IN THE CREDITS under the special thanks section of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    3 backers

    A 30 min Q&A session with director Sergio Toporek via Skype following your screening of the film • A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the film when it is completed • Digital goody-bag • Project updates • Your name will APPEAR IN THE CREDITS under the special thanks section of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    9 backers

    SPONSOR a Beware of Images Media Literacy Workshop for AN UNDERFUNDED PUBLIC SCHOOL. Your name will be prominently displayed and acknowledged during the event. You'll receive an email from director Sergio Toporek with digital documentation of the workshop you sponsored • A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the film when it is completed • Digital goody-bag • Project updates • Your name will APPEAR IN THE CREDITS under the special thanks section of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,500 or more

    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    2 tickets to the Vancouver premiere of the film (travel and accommodation not included). Private dinner with director Sergio Toporek following the screening • Special edition T-shirt and DVD of the film, both SIGNED by director Sergio Toporek • Digital goody-bag • Project updates.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    YOU will be listed as a PRODUCER during the OPENING CREDITS and on IMDB • Private dinner with director Sergio Toporek when we bring the film to a city near you • DVD of the film SIGNED by director Sergio Toporek • Digital goody-bag • Project updates.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)